I have a confession to make. I haven’t lived by a budget in far too long (and my bank account is showing it)!
How about you? Are you disciplined or would you rather go to the dentist than think about creating a budget?
I know that creating a budget can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! By breaking the budget into small steps you can get back on track to financial freedom!
What are your financial goals? Do you want to stay home with your kids, pay for a vehicle with cash, take a great vacation, or save for college?
The first time I ever tried to get my act together with finances is when my youngest was born and I was dying to be a stay at home mom. I had always thought of budgets in terms of restrictions and rules. I went to the library (trying to be frugal) and checked out books by Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, David Bach and Mary Hunt. I soaked up everything I could and applied it to our finances.
There is no need to have bad images associated with budgeting. People that take the time to discipline themselves with the word “budget” should associate it with the mental image of what their goal is. Whether it is being debt-free, buying a car with cash, or taking that dream vacation your budget is the vehicle that is going to get you there.
It was easier to budget then with 2 salaried jobs. I set up a quick spreadsheet in Excel with our income on the top line. Underneath I put in each of our monthly expenses (house payment, car payment, insurance, etc.) subtracting each one from the income line. Poof! I had a budget!
With the farm, trying to figure out what our income will be is insane! We sell our grain and cattle just a few times a year so until then we are living on last year’s income and then on loans! This makes it way harder to budget but it also makes having a budget that much more important!
Discipline can be hard, but you will reap the benefits. Discipline might mean eating at home, not buying that cute shirt, or staying home instead of going out with friends but you will see and reap the benefits when you accomplish your goals.
I have found the key to a budget is that each month you need to come back and tweak it according to what is happening in life. However it usually only takes 15 minutes to tweak the next month’s budget and by doing so, I started seeing my savings grow, debt go down, and eventually I was able to stay home. I’m not going to lie, because of bad past decisions, it took me until right after I had the twins to get there (almost 5 years later) but I made it!
As you are creating your budget, keep in mind it’s a lot easier to go into debt than to pay it off. It’s very similar to losing weight, but it is possible!
If you are having trouble creating a budget, I highly encourage you to visit Dave Ramsey’s website. Many local churches offer his Financial Peace University which can really help you get organized and on budget. Other apps such as You Need A Budget and Mint are highly recommended. You will need to figure out what your monthly income and expenses are. There is a really nice free pdf printable you can use here! There are also some good tips here! Don’t forget gifts and other items that happen throughout the year. Christmas is coming no matter what and so is swimming lessons, car insurance, and taxes.
I want you to succeed with your goals! By creating and sticking to a budget I know you can get there! I can’t wait for you to let me know that you have met your goals!
Have you enjoyed what you read here today? Do you have friends or other women you know that could benefit from this resource? If so, please do me a favor! I have included the links below to share with other intentional women! They’ll be glad you did!