Budgets are tough to put together and even tougher to follow. When you work on your budget, I would ask you to step back and review what percentage of earnings you are putting toward certain items. As former Vice President Joe Biden points out in this quote, what items you emphasize in your budget are likely the things you value most.
If you are putting 40-45% of your income toward debt payments and 0% toward retirement accounts, you are not valuing your retirement very highly. This type of behavior over the long term will lead to delayed retirement or a retirement lifestyle much lower than the one that was enjoyed while you were working.
Because budgets are tough to follow, I would suggest reviewing your spending over the past 6 to 12 months and to become aware of where your income is being spent. Again, you will quickly discover what you find most valuable based on where your money is going. You may want to save for retirement or your kids’ education, but your actions will show how much you actually value the achievement of your financial goals.
If you haven’t recently reviewed your financial plan you should contact your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner.