Don’t let what is happening in the economy stop you from being prepared; instead, start austerity budgeting now to build a 12-month supply of food, water, other survival supplies, and ready cash reserve, before there is financial chaos.
Now is the time to start watching and counting every penny that come in and go out to get your house and food pantry in order.
Get started with a plain notebook and record monthly income, expenses, bills and other financial transactions.
You need to make sure all bills are paid up, and extract any and all extra money for unnecessary expenditures.
You don’t need any complicated nuts and bolts to start austerity budgeting.
By doing an austerity budget, you understand how to “take charge” of your money.
Here are just a few of the principles behind my frugal budgeting strategy:
Think about short-term goals like stocking your 12-month survival pantry, 1-2 months at a time.
Decide what to stock in your survival pantry.
Also, plan what you will do each month to put everything you NEED in place.
Write these all down for each month in your 12-month survival pantry plan.
Next, estimate how much to put aside each month to buy food, supplies, water, etc.
In addition, save at least $100-$200 per month with a goal of $1000 for ready cash reserve.
If you can save more after you’ve met your pantry goals, then do so.
Remember to write down specifically how you will make that happen.
A monthly austerity budget sheet coordinates your monthly bills and expenses with your bring-home pay.
However, there is probably no such thing as an average month, so outline each month individually.
Be sure to include planned savings.
Treat your $40 monthly savings and monthly pantry allowance like required expenses.
Do not get ambushed by high credit card bills.
Every time you use a card, write down the date, what you bought, and amount charged.
It is wise to STOP using credit cards now, unless you don’t have cash to stock up on food and water.
If you use several cards, keep separate sheets or columns for each.
Start cutting expenses that are not necessary for your monthly living activities such as vacations, annual club fees, new glasses or contacts, etc.
Instead, apply that wasted spending to firewood, wood stove, solar panels, etc.
Find more money in your austerity budget to save by reviewing the previous year’s spending.
Eliminate any and everything that won’t sustain your life, in a disaster.
In so doing, you will have extra money to pay off a few bills, buy more food and water, and save more ready cash.
Make austerity budgeting a family affair because you have to survive together.
Tonza Borden is a 20-year finance and digital marketing expert with a passion for coaching and training. Visit her website at RuralMoney.com for exclusive rural resources and strategies for your financial future. Google+