Creating a Budget You Can Live With!
What is a Budget?
- A budget is simply a financial plan that helps you decide how to use your money in the best way possible.
Why do I need a budget?
- In order to control your money, you need to have a plan. Otherwise, your money, or lack of it, often controls you! You need to know ‘how much money you have’ and ‘how much money you need’. If what money you bring home doesn’t cover what you are spending, something will have to change.
Where do I start?
- To make a budget, you have to know where your money comes from and where it is going. Start by keeping track of every penny you spend for one month by getting and saving receipts. (This even includes those stops at 7-11 or Sonic!) Add them up to get a better picture of where your money is going. Once you see that, you can make better decisions about what you might need to change.
What are the basic parts of a budget?
To make out a budget, you will need to know 2 main things:
- Income – Money you bring into your household through wages, benefits (Pell Grant, TANF, SSI, etc.), legal orders (child support, alimony, etc.) and gifts
- Expenses – Money that you spend in order to live
There are 2 kinds of expenses: Fixed and Flexible
- Fixed – These are things you HAVE to pay EVERY month. Often, they are the same amount each month. Fixed expenses include such things as: rent, taxes, car payments, childcare, insurance payments, phone bill, and loan payments. You should also give an offering to your church each month.
- Flexible – While necessary, the amount you spend on flexible expenses can be different from month to month. Flexible expenses include: electricity & water bills, gasoline, food (at home & eating out), clothing, medical care, household items, savings & entertainment.
When you complete your budget, your Total Expenses needs to equal your Total Income to have a Balanced Budget. If they don’t, you will need to work more to increase your income OR cut back on your flexible expenses.
Why is it hard to make and keep a budget?
- The single biggest problem is being honest with yourself about ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’. There are very few people in the world that can truly buy everything they want! Before spending your money, always ask yourself, “Do I really NEED this or do I just WANT it?”
Click here to download and/or print a Budget Worksheet for you to complete. Today would be a good day to begin working on it! If you need help with any part of your budget, please feel free to ask us at Midland Fair Havens 432.689.3411. Remember, in Philippians 4:19 of the Holy Bible, God has promised to supply all of our needs when we trust Him. May the Lord bless you with financial peace as you seek to honor Him with your budget.
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and
all these things will be given you.”