I felt so alone at that time, like I was the only person I knew who had messed up her finances so badly. But those of us looking to reduce our spending don't need to go at it alone. There are so many great ideas and tools available on the internet to help us learn to live within our means. Because I am not a person with a lot of self discipline, I use these gems to stay motivated. Here are a three of the inspirational and useful things I've found online recently:
- Looking for a quick and easy start to making a budget? Dave Ramsey's free Gazelle Budget Lite gives you an online budgeting form prefilled with suggested percentages of your monthly income to go toward each spending category. It also allows you to change those dollar amounts to better reflect your reality. This is especially helpful if you are a green gazelle, and tend to spend more on things like organic foods.
- For a tell-it-like-it-is, un-sugar coated look at what it takes to become financially secure, this post by blogger Mr. Money Mustache is a kick in the pants. Says the Mr., "Your current middle-class life is an Exploding Volcano of Wastefulness, and by learning to see the truth in this statement, you will easily be able to cut your expenses in half – leaving you saving half of your income." Like I said: kick in the pants.
- I like a good challenge, and this one is a doozy. Anna over at And Then We Saved created a Spending Fast that helps you give up unnecessary spending cold-turkey and put that extra toward savings or debt payoff. I haven't tried it yet, but I'd like to.
Have you found an inspirational post or tool in your quest for financial security that is worth sharing?