When you hear the word budget, what’s your reaction? If you’re like most people, confining orcomplex come to mind . . . a financial straightjacket that’s going to require hours of tedious bookkeeping.
That’s why we call it a Spending Plan – because it’s simply a way to make sure you spend your money in ways that are most important to you instead of getting caught up in impulsive spending. Proverbs 27:23 says, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations.” These days fewer of us have flocks and herds, but the principle of staying on top of your finances still applies.
So, the first step is to decide the best type of spending plan for you to use. You might choose to use a pencil and paper budget, a software program, or a popular online budget like www.Mint.com which is free.
Then, track your income and spending for 30 days to develop an estimated budget where you’ll break down your spending by category; for example, giving, housing, food, and transportation. You can visit www.compass1.org to see suggested percentages of what you should be spending for each category.
Once you start your Spending Plan, you’ll realize that it’s dynamic as your income changes and as life happens – you’ll always be tweaking it to make it more accurate.
A budget – a spending plan – is the most effective financial tool to help you make real progress on your journey to true financial freedom.