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A Budgeting Journey, with Ask the Experts' Beverly Bailey

As I mentioned in my last post, I am learning to live on a budget. Yes, after 40 years of earning my own money, I am learning to budget. Even though I am a financial adviser and planner, I have made bad money decisions just like everyone else.

The year 2012 was hard for me financially. I made some not-so-good decisions and had a huge unexpected household expense so ended the year feeling very vulnerable. I don’t like that feeling.

But I have found a great resource to get and keep me on track: Albuquerque’s own Judy Lawrence has written a workbook called “The Budget Kit: The Common Cents Money Management Workbook.” I strongly recommend it.

The book contains worksheets for every imaginable financial issue: setting financial goals, non-monthly expenses and yearly budgeting, and most valuable of all, the monthly budget worksheets and monthly expense tracking worksheets, where you keep track of all spending.

I am using the January worksheet to write down everything I pay out and when. Immediately, I found a couple of those regular non-monthly expenses: a Waste Management bill twice a year for trash pickup and my safe deposit box rent. Well, I tend to forget about these things until the bill actually appears or in the case of the safe deposit rent, comes out of my checking account. Not good financial management!

Another habit I have to work on is keeping track of the cash in my wallet. I know I’m not the only one who looks and says, “I know I had a couple of twenties in here.”

Ask the Expert

I would love to hear about your experiences and tips about living on a budget. Please give me a call at 505-856-9237.

Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax adviser.

About Beverly Bailey

Beverly Bailey is principal of Chamisa Financial, a full service financial firm. She has been a registered representative since 1995 and a Certified Financial Planner™ since 2009. She focuses on retirement planning and asset allocation.

Ask her a question in the comments field below, or contact her at 505-856-9237 or Find her at