Why do you need a budget? Let me ask you a question, are you not able to save at least 10 percent of your earnings from your paycheck, or are you living paycheck to paycheck and can’t seem to make ends meet. We’ll those are just two examples regarding why implementing a budget in your personal life may be the answer. So, what is a Budget?
Planning: By planning ahead and organizing, you’re not only planning your purchases, you are organizing your expenses. Unnecessary spending and impulse buying is dangerous. When planning your basic needs, try to view the bigger picture. For example, rather than buying bits and pieces as groceries run out, plan for the week’s groceries. This eliminates impulsive purchases, focuses on what items you really need and want, and eliminates what items you don’t really need. You can also incorporate sale items in your planning, which will help stretch your dollar further. Why not design your weekly menu around food items that are on special for that week?
List all your sources of income for example; Wages, Business, Unemployment, Disability, Retirement and Investment Income
Bargains and Discounts: Many stores have seasonal sales. Rather than purchasing items at regular prices, you can save a lot of money by purchasing them when they’re on sale. That is a wise strategy during a recession. Monitor store notices and newspaper advertisements for sales and special prices. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for cheaper alternatives. You might also qualify for store rebates, or you might be able to use discount coupons or cards. Discount stores may also stock items that you are looking for. Remember, every dollar you don’t spend is a dollar saved.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8 (KJV) Notice, God said to not let the Word depart from your mouth. In other words, don’t ever allow yourself to speak doubt, fear and unbelief when it comes to your finances. I don’t care how desperate your situation may seem to be, God is bigger than any mess we can get ourselves into, and he has promised a way of escape for any situation we find ourselves in.
Let me illustrate, say your net monthly income is $3,500, then that would be 3,500 *.02= $70. Now, you would use that $70 dollars for Wardrobe/Clothing, Personal Grooming, or Meals & Entertainment.
The next phrase is where a lot of people miss it. We also need to be obedient. It isn’t enough to name it and claim it. You have to also do your best to do what God asks of you. Will you miss the mark sometimes? I’m sure you will. God knows I have many times. But, remember, God looks at your heart not at the outward appearance. God knows if your heart is right and if you are trying to follow his Word. Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with your finances. Look at the final phrase in this verse: “then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Extra Income: Don’t let the recession get the better of you. Stay positive and look for opportunities. If your money still doesn’t stretch far enough despite your efforts, then you may need to earn more money. Rather than passively waiting for a promotion or a raise, consider looking for other sources of income that you could earn and save. Look at getting part-time employment, or work extra hours at your regular job. You could offer your services as a freelancer, or find something to market or sell. These extra efforts and skills that you develop will serve not only to help until the bad times are over, but will be beneficial when the economy improves also.
Harris Smith is a writer on personal finance education. Her article tackles the pros and cons of home equity line of credit . Clear Debt Now offers links to Debt Consolidation and consolidation programs in your area.