Make. A. Budget.
Whether you are a one income or two income family, making a budget can help you get a handle on your financial situation. A couple of verses quickly highlight the importance of managing our finances well.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;Proverbs 3:9
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’Luke 14: 28-30
Once the big bills and expenses are taken care of and you have the rest to live on for the remainder of the month (or pay whatever pay period), it’s tempting to just dump it altogether without really paying attention to it. But if you are the household manager/grocery shopper/extracurricular fees payer/etc. . . . then you may benefit from a next level budget to take these not so surprising elements into account.
Modeling good money habits and discipline to our kids is important. We have not always done the best job in this area. So I understand if you struggle in the area of budgeting as well.
We went for years without a real budget. You may think you don’t have enough income to make a budget. But if you are living paycheck to paycheck, getting a handle on your money is a key to moving past that stress and begin to get a clear picture of where you are and where you are headed financially.
If you’re budgeting consists of only two categories: (1) Bills, (2) Everything else, then you may need to get a little more detailed.
There are lots of how to resources on creating a budget, but I suggest keeping it simple (and do-able).
Husband not on board? That’s okay! You don’t have to wait around. Just take whatever money you earn or are allocated and break it down into the categories of what you need to spend it on, typically for the month. (Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman are two – – there are others – – who give pretty detailed advice and tips for setting a budget up). There are apps and video tutorials on YouTube. The thing is, a simple system can evolve easily as you tweek your categories, and figure out what works best for you.
Your budget should leave room for flexibility.
Your budget can help take some of the financial pressure off because you’ve become aware, pre-planned the big and medium spending decisions, and left flex room for the small ones.
Your budget can help you take action toward goals such as setting aside an emergency fund and saving toward larger expenditures.
The time you spend creating and maintaining your budget is time well-spent.
Once you get a more accurate awareness of what’s coming in versus what the spending is, and made any cuts to expenditures you decided on, you might make a decision to enlarge your household income. If that’s the case, after creating a budget you’ll have a clearer understanding of just how big a gap there is to fill between your current income and your desired income and more able to make a decision that will be a good fit.
Setting up a budget helped me see where I could cut back on my spending. But more importantly, it helped me see that I really needed more income to match the level of spending and giving that I wanted to be able to do. Currently, I’m happy to be able to work from home to supplement my family’s income and remain flexible with my schedule doing something that I enjoy.
I’m Dawn and I enjoy helping parents and advocating for orphans!
I founded Yesterday’s Orphan, an outreach to support parents and caregivers, especially moms, of adopted and foster children and also step-children.
If you liked this post and it is helpful to you you might like to join the small but growing Yesterday’s Orphan Facebook group for parents and caregivers. The group is free to join but closed — members only.
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