In my last post I wrote about Dave Ramsey and his program. One of the musts in the Dave Ramsey program is to live on a budget. This is something we did for a while but until we really sat down and did it correctly we were just writing down some numbers and forgetting about it. We are in no way experts in this now. in fact the other day I told my husband we needed to be better at looking at and going over our budget more. But we are now planning correctly and using it more as a guide for where our money is going.
When budgeting there are a few guidelines you want to follow so it is effective for you and your family. These guidelines will help you to be effective and it will help you to have less stress.
First is that you have to be realistic with your money. You can’t spend $300 on groceries each month and then put $200 in your budget amount. That is silly and unrealistic unless you are going to be using some drastic saving techniques to bring it down. Along with amounts you put into your budget, you need to be realistic with your income. This is very important. This will save you lots of stress and anxiety. I would go as far as saying to not round off any part of your income.This way you are budgeting to the penny and every cent has a place to go.
Second, you want to have categories for ALL your expenses. This means every little thing it budgeted for. It could be anything, but you want to include things like date nights, clothing, entertainment, photography, kids sports… anything that will take money for you to do. It is important to start with the needs and then move to the wants so you ensure you are budgeting for the essentials.
Third make sure you have savings categories for the things you know you will need money for. This includes things like car repairs, household expenses, or any maintenance type thing you may have to do for your home. This way you are setting money aside for the things you need to do regularly and wont be strapped for money when you need them done.
I have a spreadsheet we use for our budget, you are welcome to download it and use it and if you have any questions on how to use it please let me know. It is completely adaptable, but be sure you don’t change the formulas you need. It is set up to add up all income, deduct taxes and other deductions, and give you the 10% for tithing if you do that.