Money is the currency of life. We use it to provide, food shelter, clothing, etc. for ourselves and our families. It is hard to come by and easy to lose. Create a workable budget that will help you conquer your finances once and for all. Here’s how.
Proverbs 27:23–24 “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, And look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever:And doth the crown endure to every generation?”
The Bible tells us that we need to be diligent to know the state of our finances. Also, we are to pay close attention to them because they disappear quickly. A budget plans your spending. It protects you from impulsive spending and unwise purchases. A budget is a schedule for your money. A schedule is a budget for your time. You will be a slave to your budget or your bills. Choose your own fate and create a budget.
1. Figure your Gross income (before taxes) from all sources.
2. By faith, calculate your Tithe.
The Tithe is 10% of your Gross income. The Tithe is the Lord’s. Return it to him through your local church. You’ll never get ahead financially by robbing God. Decide to give the tithe by faith. Trust God. You will get more bang for your buck with 90% after tithing than if you kept 100% by robbing God.
Leviticus 27:30 “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord.”
Malachi 3:8–10 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me.But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, Even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be meat in mine house, And prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
3. Decide upon an offering.
An offering is anything given above the tithe. You can distribute this any way you choose. Offerings such as missions, building funds, etc. can be given through the church. God allows you to decide the amount of your offering. If you don’t tithe, you cannot give an offering. Even if money is tight include a small amount of offering and alms in your budget.
Any gift under 10% would simply be a portion of the tithe and should be given through your local church.
Exodus 35:5 “Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold, and silver, and brass,”
Alms are the Bible word for personal giving to a specific need. Look for the needs of others and be generous. You can’t outgive God.
Matthew 6:1 “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”
4. Calculate Net Income (after taxes) from all sources.
5. Calculate monthly and weekly expenditures of all fixed expenses.
This would include items such as your Rent/Mortgage, utilities, insurances, loans, etc.
6. Calculate a monthly and weekly number for all other known expenses.
This would include items that don’t have a fixed monthly payment. Decide how much you will set aside for items such as auto fuel, tolls, groceries, etc.
7. Calculate a monthly and weekly number for all desired expenses.
You should budget your desires last. Those who don’t live by a budget often by things they want, but don’t need only to run out of money by their next paycheck. It’s no fun to live that way. Budget all of your needs first; then wants.
8. Use the minimum payment and include the balance for all loans and credit cards.
9. The total expense line gives you a “break even point”.
This is how much income you need to break even each month.
10. If your expenses exceed your income, you need to increase income and/or decrease expenses.
Earn extra money by picking up extra hours at work, adding a part-time job, or leveraging a skill to work for yourself. Look into starting a simple business in your spare time if you know a trade or have a marketable skill.
Decrease your expenses by cutting out luxury items first. You may be surprised how much you can save by cutting out some discretionary spending. Do you really need 400 cable channels? Also, you can take your lunch to work instead of eating out. I guarantee you will find ways to save money if you are not currently living by a budget.
11. Any surplus should be used to pay off debts with the snowball method.
12. It may take a few months to iron out your budget. Be patient!
13. Review your budget at the end of each month and make necessary changes for the upcoming month.
14. Use the Proper Math.
Technically, there are 4.33 weeks per month. This is because some months have five weeks. If you calculate your budget with 4-week months, your budget math will be incorrect. Use the following formulas:
To find the monthly value from the weekly value, multiply the weekly value by 52 and divide by 12.
To find the weekly value from the monthly value, multiply the monthly value by 12 and divide by 52.
15. Obey Your Budget.
Let it be your boss.
16. Choose Your Tools.
I find it better to figure out my budget with pencil and paper. You can move it to a digital format after you have it settled. Here are the downloadable forms I use in teaching and counseling. You can download them below.
17. Start Today!
This process may sound overwhelming, but it really is doable. Set aside a few hours and plow through it. You’ll be glad you did.
Some people delay because they know their financial situation is not good. I assure you that it is better to know the truth of your situation even if it is discouraging. Once you know where you are, you can plot your course to where you want to be.
What tools and tips work for you? Tell us in the comments.
I hope this helps you conquer your finances once and for all!