An Excerpt from Bank Magic: Financial Literacy for Young People

Here is an excerpt from Bank MagicFinancial Literacy for Young People written by TaxAssurances’ owner, Kolonji Murray. The full book can be purchased on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback.

QUESTION: Why are budgets so important?

ANSWER: Budgets help to ensure that you cover all of your expenses, pay your creditors on time, and save, invest, and make money for the future. You will be surprised at just how fast money can go through your pocket without a plan for how you will spend, save, and invest it. So often, people think of budgets as being restrictive, but budgets actually give you the freedom to track how much you spend and to adjust your habits so that you can make better financial choices in the future.

QUESTION: What happens if I go over my budget?

ANSWER: it’s OK! Fortunately as a young adult, you don’t have to worry about big financial responsibilities, like a mortgage or car payment, for now. If you spent a little more than you expected, find out where you can cut back or adjust your expenses until you receive your next allowance or paycheck. Maybe you can cut out one day at your favorite pizzeria or a drink at Starbucks. Little things add up. You can also download spending apps to help you track your expenses.

For more on TaxAssurances, check out our reviews, photos and links on Yelp.

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A Diva’s Budget

  • NEW Everyday Diva Logo PNGPutting together a budget is an extremely helpful tool for someone trying to get their financial house in order. During the process, they can find out what expenses are necessary, what expenses aren’t and what expenses they should start to incur.

Prepare the Budget with an Advisor

I recently sat down with an opera singer who is a friend of mine to go over her budget. For some time she’s had the feeling that she was making a pretty penny but didn’t have anything to show for it.

During the review we were able to determine that certain bills had to be paid. They included rent, car, power, medical insurance, student loans, retirement savings and a number of other necessary bills.

Know the Goals and Outcome of a Budget Review

Now part of the reason that she wanted to go through the exercise was to determine how she could set aside money for simple savings for a rainy day but also carve out a portion of her income for continuing her opera lessons.

With this review we also came across expenses that where secretly and subtly draining her pocket book. Namely food. This included not only the food that she bought for the home but also what she spent every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was adding up.

On top of those expenses she noticed that going out with her friends was hurting her finances. She realized that she was spending too much going to dinners, movies, and generally hanging out with her friends.

Do What the Budget Plan Recommends

Now to be fair, the review was not designed to say that she should stop doing what she was doing all together. It was however designed to let her know where the challenges where and how to fix them. Namely watching what she buys outside the home for lifestyle.

This part of the review is critical. Once we identified what needed to be done she needed to do it. This is not to say that she won’t spend a little extra here and there but she needed to follow the plan to make it work. That way she can achieve a healthy financial balance in her life.

Putting together a budget with a financial advisor can go a long way in getting ones financial house in order. They provide independent, expert eyes that can look at the finances of their clients and determine what the best use of money is and where they can make improvements.

For more on TaxAssurances, check out our reviews, photos and links on Yelp.