Tools for the journey
- A budget
- Daily expenses
This last week i have been writing about creating a personal or family financial budget. I have been looking at the Lord’s way of dealing with what can only be said to be, a temporal need. However, everything is spiritual with God, that includes ‘goods’ and ‘money.’
I have found that we are all stewards of that, which God has provided us with, for He provides us with everything we need, even if we do not always have everything that we want. Yet, the world would have us believe that God plays little or not part in our temporal needs and we should fight our way up the money ladder and earn and spend all that we can, to the point that getting into debt for non-essential items, such as televisions, mobile phones and the techno-gadgets is okay.
I have asked us how they budget and the results showed that the less money we have at our finger tips the frivolous we are likely to be with what we have. This is not the Lord’s way. Although there are occasions when money is lean and we may feel that we cannot do that which the Lord is asking us to do, which is to be a good steward of all that we have, it is not am impossibility.
Today, I share my budget as it stands as of yesterday. I will confess, to being an ‘hit and miss’ with sticking to a budget, but here it is –
Goal: To stick to a budget and record daily expenses for the next 3 months – January-March and then to evaluate.
I use and Excel Spreadsheet for my budgeting. If you haven’t tried it, then i would suggest you figure out the ‘how to’ (plenty online) and persevere. Although, some of this spreadsheet is self explanatory, it is useful to note that i put in a rounded-up figure at the beginning of each month, under the title of ‘Budget.’ As the month progresses I then add in the actual figure spent in £ and pence, under the heading of ‘Amount,’ You may find other words more useful, don’t think you have to use mine.
This was my original chart, but I have now updated it to the one church suggests –
This gives me more details of ‘Income’ and ‘Expenses’. I have changed the colour of the Income amounts to make them stand out more and also Savings, so that I can pick them out easier. I have also added ‘How Paid’ – DD=direct debit, DP=direct payment, etc. At the bottom are running totals.
The other thing the church suggests we have are savings. As you can see right now, I am savings poor, but I intend to share in the coming weeks how you can still saves ‘pence’ to make ‘£’ even on a very restrictive income, it will take longer, but in the end it still works. More about the ‘how to’ as the month progresses.
Doing things in the Lord’s way may not be the easiest way, but in the end he promises us ‘a blessing that there may not be room in your house to receive it’ (Malachi 3:10), but it up to to do all that we can to receive the promise blessing.
There are number of different ways to create and use a budget, there are many types of budgets and you want to look some up and try some, however, if someone if going to charge you for them to help you make a budget then i would say ‘no thank you’ and go and use the money saved on something more useful.
Money is like water, it runs away far too easily and today’s banking systems means that money is often invisible too. It is up to us to be good stewards, so we can gain the blessing.
To do list
- Write out a budget.
- Set a goal not to deviate from the set budget for a set amount of time.
- Write out your daily expenses.
- Stop shopping – more about that to come.