The headline jumped out of the newspaper, “Don’t Call It a Budget.” Per the author, the word “budget” doesn’t create excitement. Reading further, I learned that the act of “budgeting” is an exercise in deprivation. Call it a “spending plan.” Spending is fun, something to look forward to. These were not the words of an accountant. They came from a psychologist.
The new operative phrase is “financial illiteracy.” It is an increasingly common problem, one that crosses economic class lines. During nearly a quarter century of unprecedented economic expansion, “we can’t afford it” slowly disappeared from many a family’s vocabulary, with unpleasant consequences for everyone from garbage guys to gynecologists, pilots to plumbers. Failure to budget is a common cause of financial failure.
1. Live below your means; save the rest.
2. Pay yourself first.
3. Prior planning prevents poor performance.
4. You are not entitled to a good time.
5. Life is about choices.
6. Choices have consequences.
7. Today’s decisions are with us tomorrow.
8. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses.
9. Don’t make yourself a prisoner in your own home.
10. Rent vs. Leasing
11. What about homeowner’s insurance?
12. Medical and health care
13. Life Insurance vs. Term Insurance vs. Whole Life
14. Long Term Care
15. How a Bank Account works
About the Author: Ronald M. Zobenica holds degrees in industrial engineering and veterinary medicine. He is a former U.S. Marine Corps jet pilot, call sign “Zeb.” He spent time in the aerospace industry before returning to college to pursue studies in veterinary medicine. Dr. Zobenica retired in 2002 after a rewarding career as a small-animal practitioner. All of the money-management methods advocated in this handbook have been utilized in his household and in his practice. He is confident they will work for others.