Balancing Your Checkbook and Saving Money
Paper currency, it will always be a major factor in your life unless you plan on disappearing into the mountains to live the rest of your life in a cave. Some of us (including me) hope to do this someday, and self-sufficient lives. Even then someone would probably find you and eventually want money for something. Until TEOTWAWKI does come about and the foundation of our society crumbles, paper currency will continue to hold value in our world. So to start, budget. There is still a lot of value in balancing a checking account. In addition, recording all your transactions in your checkbook’s register allows you to double check everything your bank does, without relying on an internet connection. A bank has thousands of transactions every day and mistakes, while rare, do happen.
I personally don’t carry my checkbook on me, which I assume is pretty common. This makes recording my transactions as I make them is pretty much impossible. I find it best that I keep the receipts from any transactions in my wallet and then add them to my checkbook’s register at the end of the day. It only takes few minutes to do and provides me with an organized record of all my transactions. Furthermore, it provides me with a current up to date balance. Online banking is great but sometimes it can take a day or two for a transaction to clear. After about a month of recording transactions the process of creating a budget can begin. Here are some common budgeting forms from daveramsey.com, if at all interested.
First off, I personally like to sit down and compare my checkbook’s registry to the information my online banking. It is a quick way to double check my work and the bank’s numbers. This could be seen as an optional step, and it is, but I highly recommend doing it. It is a great financial habit to develop. If everything is accounted for and looks good it is time to create categories to sort your finances into. I would suggest categories like food, bills, leisure, hobbies or anything that is a relevant expense in your life. If you are looking to cut certain expenses out of your life you could label a category “unnecessary expenses”. Once you have sorted your various expenses into their proper category, add up each category. The totals in each category should give you a good idea of where your money is going.
Now that you have a good idea of where your money is going you can decide if there any particular areas require some cutbacks. If you created an unnecessary expenses category you could immediately disperse that money somewhere else. The unnecessary category could be very handy if you need to save up money to put towards outstanding debts, or if all debts are paid off, put that money towards additional preps. All you would have to do is set aside the amount you would normally spend on expenses you deemed unnecessary into something like a savings account. Any money sitting in a savings account should not be touched for any purposes other than being used as a down payment on a house or getting off the schneid and out of debt.
Hopefully this will help readers see how staying organized and planning ahead can reduce the stress of living within the current times. In a capitalist economy in which everything revolves around money, remember there are things much more important than material goods and extra stuff. Use saving money as a chance to reconnect with friends and family, not spending so many nights out, or making impulse purchases that you’ll regret in the long run. Prepare for the future now and become a much more financially responsible individual.
Gale Newell is continually working on being a self-sufficient human being. She finds herself spending her summer days outdoors, whether that raising her own food in her organic garden or playing cards with friends and family. She is very much into grilling meals on her old-school charcoal grill and has since lifted her addiction to multiple television series. She feels freer than ever and is truly happy. She is prepared for the future and ready for whatever happens next.