Deborah Knuckey's passion is traveling. She's been to more than 40 countries, and even took her mother with her to Italy for cooking school.
wasn't born with a lot of money, and she didn't win the lottery.
has a spending plan. You might call it a budget. She doesn't.
A money coach
and author, Knuckey says she doesn't even use the word "budget" when she counsels
people because of its negative connotations.
word 'budget' says self-deprivation," she says. "The way I approach, I talk about
creating a spending plan and start from, 'What do I want to make room for?' Start
with what you'd really like to spend and how you can create that space. It's not
about being frugal. It's about saying, 'What's most important to me and how do
I get there?' "
OK, so you can say budget, but think spending
Just like eating right and exercise, just
about everyone understands the value of a spending plan
or budget. But unlike nutrition and exercise, most people
don't get an education in money management.
"Most people don't budget properly
because they're not taught to," says Howard Dvorkin, president of Consolidated
Credit Counseling Services in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "There are no courses I know
of, especially in the high school level. A lot of families purposely don't talk
about finances; I think that's extremely detrimental."
the right track
All the experts say that the place to start is to track
every expense, even snacks from vending machines and
change put in parking meters, for a month. The process
itself is time-consuming at the outset, but it's not
difficult. On one chart, write down all your income.
On another, write down all your expenses, broken into
categories for fixed expenses like the house and car
payments; flexible expenses that vary each month, including
the phone and electric bills, and discretionary expenses,
such as gifts and recreation.
the two lists, see where the gaps are, and adjust accordingly. Now, be surprised
at what you find.