budget / financial fitness / financial goals / spending plan

First step in budgets is to take a step back

“New Year, new budget” or “New Year, no budget” Which are you?
Yes, it’s well past the new year (Happy Spring Equinox), but with so many people losing jobs, getting work hours cut, or having their financial life in a turmoil, maybe now is the time to revisit the “B” word. Actually, I much prefer the term “spending plan.”
Are you the “hands on” must know where every dollar goes type or the automated no-budget type? 
You need to recognize which behaviors will pull/push you to take needed action. Preston Cherry, a CFP and Ph.D candidate at Texas Tech University studies personality types in relation to budgeting styles according to Wall Street Journal writer, Julia Carpenter.
Consider your own attitudes and habits (and that of your spouse/partner, which can be very different. Sometimes spouses hold very different views on money management and may benefit from consulting a financial therapist.
Focus on your financial goals. What do you want to achieve in the short and long run? If saving for a house down payment or paying off student loans (or both) is a priority. Focus on what strategies will get you there.
Don’t be rigid (especially if someone else shares your financial life). Sometimes the best approach is to set up an automatic savings transfer from your checking account each month toward your goals and simply live on the rest without using credit cards.
There are lots of resources and tools available. Now might be the time to put a spending plan to work to reach your goals, whether planning for the future or how to survive a pay cut.
Source: Financial Planning for Women