Tithe first. Trust God. Manage wisely.
1 Create a budget overview (or download Budget Overview)
2 Enter your regular income/s.
3 First things first: Subtract the tithe.
Tithe actually means The Tenth or A Tenth Of. To us that means 10% of our income; not for the “amount’s sake” but because we are convinced God told us to. We do not give it all to one place or ministry. We give according to what God has laid on our hearts. If we feel this needs to change we pray about it and then wait for guidance from the Lord.
4 For payments that are deducted monthly note a) the date when it will be taken out of your account, b) the description, c) the amount. After each one write in the new balance. (See Budget Overview – Example)
5 For bills that are bi-monthly, quarterly or annually you will need to calculate* first how much you have to set aside monthly. Once you have done that, write a) date when it’s due, b) description, c) the monthly amount on your budget sheet.
6 Let me also suggest that you’ll keep track of the bi-monthly/quarterly/annual bills. Create a balance statement for each account (or download Bill Balance Statement). That way you are aware of upcoming bills and do not spend the money on other things.
*Calculate: add up all the bills over the last year, divide by 12 to have a monthly average. Be careful, some bills are higher at certain times (e.g. heating), meaning, if you are just starting to do this kind of budgeting you might have to put aside more money at first.
These are things like clothing, food, gas and electricity, water, etc. For each one you’ll need to put on hold the amount needed. Again, it’s easier to keep track of these things on a separate balance statement. (see Bill Balance Statement – Example)
Get Out Of Debt
Saving is good, debt is not. If you ran into debt, give your best to get back out of it — the sooner the better. Easier said than done, you might think. But don’t despair! You’ve gotten yourself into debt; now is the time to change. Tackle one at a time. I’m not saying to postpone paying the other debts. No! I’m talking about paying them off faster, one at a time. Start with the one that has the lowest amount. For example, if you have a credit card debt of 500 and a bank loan of 5,000 and another credit loan of 50,000 you would start focusing on the credit card debt first. Pay off as much extra as you can to have it paid off as quickly as you can. Let’s say your minimum payment is 10 per month. Pay the minimum plus an extra 40 (or more, if possible) each month until it is paid off. Focus on the bank loan next. Make your monthly payments plus the extra 50 (that you no longer owe on your credit card) each month until it is paid off. Once these are gone, focus on the big junk next. Yes, it is hard but not impossible! Debt usually does not come overnight (unless you have bought a real expensive something) and it will not leave overnight.
Been there, done that. Oh, yes! We have made some real stupid decisions before and paid for them. It’s hard, I know. It seems that, during these times, even the prices of essentials rise. But, please, do not despair! Through God’s Grace it is possible to get out of debt, believe me. It is hard but not impossible — not for the Lord our God. Hang in there! Keep a balance statement sheet for your debt, too. One day you’ll look back to it and you’ll say: “Wow! Amazing! How did we do that?” If people ask you about it then, tell them, giving all glory and praise to Him!
If you want to, keep a balance statement for your savings as well. Sometimes unexpected things do come up. Then we need to draw from our savings account. At other times we want to upgrade or buy some things. That’s what savings are for. However, hold yourself back from making unwise purchases or the savings will soon be gone. Don’t buy spontaneously. Think twice before you buy.
Talking about saving… I will do a separate post on Saving Money Each Month.