How much do you hunt and fish? If you’re like me, you look forward to trying out new gear, anxiously drive to your hunting or fishing spot, yet realize you must still pay the bills and save. Budgeting’s a skill that will help you save money on what you love to do while managing your finances. How you spend your money will help determine if you can hunt, fish, or both.
No matter what your age, budgeting is something that’s good practice. It teaches you how to manage, how to plan, and how to have will power. You see, budgeting gives you wisdom; wisdom to say yes, wisdom to say no.
Throughout my life I’ve been on a budget. Since college ended I’ve been on a tighter budget, yet budgeting is not just for college students or those who’ve recently graduated. Continue budgeting throughout your life, control your money or it will control you.
1. Budgeting allows you to save.
2. Budgeting allows you to see exactly where your money goes. (you may find you can put aside more money for your sportsman lifestyle, and know when to scale back.)
3. Budgeting allows you to give back to God. Know that it’s God’s first.
Feel Your Money
I’ve learned to still withdrawal cash at the bank. Physical money. When you can feel money, you don’t spend as much. It also helps you stick to the dollar amount in your pocket and not go over budget. This helps to set limits, thus, eliminating the feeling to spend more.
Example, I allow $60 a week on groceries. If I get to the checkout and my total is $62.90, I’ll put something back so that I am only spending $60. If I had a debit card it’d be pretty easy to just hand over a plastic card to the cashier, accept $62.90, and be on my way out the store.
Money’s Invisible When Using Plastic
You don’t see cash when you use plastic. In fact, how many of you carry around your register with you when using your debit card? It’s pretty easy to lose track of your balance when you are not looking at it. This is the danger of credit cards/debit cards. Since you don’t see your balance you will be more likely to charge something you don’t need and spend money you don’t have. You may think, well I can pay that off in a month, but how can you know for sure the money will be there if you don’t know your current balance? Impulse buying can be eliminated by knowing your balance.
Therefore, if you do use debit cards realize your balance, use your register, track your purchases. Be aware of your balance and set limitations for how much you spend. Budgeting produces discipline which will guide your spending. Impulse buying can be eliminated by knowing your balance because you’ll be using your head, not your heart.
Always think about unexpected car repairs, and budget more than what you actually plan to spend. Doing this means any left over money you have can go into the savings.
Saving money means you can:
1. Take control of your finances; have your money work as hard as you do to make it.
3. Save for unexpected expenses.
2. Set goals on future fishing/hunting gear.
How To Budget
One method I use and recommend is this: The day you get paid write on the back of your pay check where your money will go (write the bills you’ll be paying, gas money, groceries, savings, church, county fair, etc). This allows you to see how much your bills cost, your balance after bills, what you can save, and what is too much money for you to spend in a month.
This also allows you to incorporate spending-money and realize you’ll be able to either save more than you thought, or buy that one item you’ve had your eyes on.
Think Fishing & Hunting
It takes patience to fish and hunt as it takes patience to save. If something’s on sale don’t buy it right away. If it’s on sale now, who’s to say it won’t be on sale again? It’s okay to wait. You may find the item on sale is not something you need. You may also realize that you really could use that item, so it makes sense to buy it. Always think through your purchases.
As my dad mentioned to me once, “it’s your money until you spend it.” Remember, once you spend it, the money’s gone. Which is another good reason to use cash. You actually see that money go out of your hands and into the cash register. You can feel the change you get back.
Common Sense & Discipline (If you don’t have it, don’t spend it. )
You don’t need a degree in accounting, finance, or be a mathematician to effectively manage your money. Set priorities of where your money will go. Start budgeting to save and enjoy your passions!
Share Budgeting Tips
What tips do you use for budgeting? Let’s hear ’em in the comments!
By Josh Schwartz 2013. Author’s note: Fishing can represent the lifestyle you live or your own favorite hobbies. Fishing’s my fav so it’s picked for this post!