We have made it to the third week of the Controlling the Chaos Challenge!
If not, please don’t be discouraged just take some time from next week to wrap it up.
As you can see by the date of this post, I myself have gotten a bit behind. It happens to the best of us but all we can do is pick up where we left off and keep working. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was our chaos, although sometimes, it may seem that way.
That brings us to the this week’s projects and I have a feeling you may find these a bit more challenging than the previous projects.
Controlling the Chaos Challenge
Haven’t made one yet? Now is as good a time as any. Just don’t forget you can update it as items “to do” strike your fancy. We have added at least 10 things to ours since I published the original list (many of them were added by my husband and kids).
Address the items in your “Take Action” file you were unable to address yesterday. Also gather your 2015 papers if you haven’t been able to keep them in an accessible area. We will need them for this week’s projects.
Sort, purge, scan and make notes from your 2015 papers.
If you finished this project a week or so ago, great, if not TODAY is the day.
What notes should you make?
Record any repeat bills (pet shots, yearly physicals, memberships, housing fees, etc…) , birthdays, anniversaries, yearly doctor appointments, dental visits,magazine renewal dates, etc…
Also record phone numbers, emails, addresses, preferences or notes that you have made about coworkers, doctors, friends and family whether it is on your phone, IPOD, tablet, computer or in your paper address book. One or two organized locations is much better than several loose pieces of paper lying around that you might be able to find.
Create a list of ALL anticipated income and expenses for the year.
We will be adding a thorough list and suggestion post shortly. I realize this will vary greatly by home and there is NO way to account for everything but we can definitely be prepared for the majority of it.
Ask your family to review the list and add anything you may have missed.
Be sure to list the anticipated amount as well as how often it is due (Example: Our trash bill is due every three months but our taxes are due just once a year.)
We are not creating a budget today we are simply creating lists. Please refer to the notes you made from last year as well as last year’s calendar to help create this list. Personally, I create my lists by month and I will sharing those shortly.
Note: We created ours at the end of December and in doing so I realized our dog had missed her yearly shots do to a change over in our vets computer system. We called in and scheduled them immediately since they were due back in October and we like to keep her as up to date as possible.
Create a future plan.
What is a “future plan”?
It is a realistic look beyond the day to day expenses we have. Even if you are looking at barely making it from paycheck to paycheck you need to create a “future plan”.
Some of the things in your future plan may be a new vehicle, new roof, debt repayment, a new baby, college for you or your child, a new home, a rental deposit, new appliance, new roof, new sports equipment, funeral expenses, new floors, new computer, retirement, 401k, vacation, cruise, etc…
List them all along with a time frame and estimated cost.
List the good and the bad.
Ask your family for their input. You may be surprised at what they suggest or how willing they are to make sacrifices to reach those goals.
Create a budget
Yes, I said the “B” word. To be honest the hard work is done. You have already gathered all your info and just need to put it together. I know, it is a hard thing to do.
Sometimes it seems our outgo greatly exceeds our income but you won’t truly know by how just much without creating a budget.
You may even discover that your basics don’t actually exceed your income (even with those payments) but your spending does.
Yep, I am calling you on it. Sit down and look at your actual bills and needs and then look at your income. Look at it for the month, year, week, etc… Not just weekly or how you get paid. Include your tax return and side jobs in your income. DON”T SKIP ANYTHING!
To see how simple it can be to get started check out these great instructions and worksheets here.
Finish up your budget (add anything you thought of overnight).
Wrap up your paperwork-scan, shred, file, etc…
And call it a week.
YOU DID IT!!!
Your papers are under control. Your income and outgo is manageable AND you know where your money is going this year.
Doesn’t it feel great?
Don’t forget to join us next week as we tackle our cards, photos and memorabilia.
As always, you can join our Facebook group Clutter Overcomers for inspiration and stories from others trying to take control of their lives too.
For additional budgeting tips check out some our budgeting Pins.
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