What we do: budgeting

Thank you to all of you who shared your budgeting system (or woes!) :)

Here are some of the things we do:

-I created a pretty straightforward budget sheet on the computer. At the top it lists how much we bring in each month. Then there are two columns representing each paycheck. Each column indicates a category (tithe, house payment, car maintenance, car insurance, gifts, medical, clothing...) and next to it the amount that we pay out (if it's a bill) or put away (if it's a savings account). There's a little box on the left-hand side of each category so that I can check it off when it's been paid or transferred. I print a bunch of these sheets out and keep them in a binder.

-I keep hard copies of these budget sheets in the binder for a year, so that I can make adjustments as needed (for instance, if I've only budgeted $25 for our phone bill each month but look back and note that we've actually been averaging $27/month, I can make that adjustment for the beginning of the next year.)

-We have several savings accounts at our bank. I find that if I transfer the money immediately into an account (as opposed to just having it "available" in our checking account) I won't spend it! Most of our categories are separate accounts at our bank.

-We take cash out each paycheck for groceries and dining/miscellaneous. And I keep that cash in an envelope. We tried the envelope system for a year or so, but I'm just not very disciplined about keeping the cash in separate envelopes. (I kept borrowing from one envelope to use for another category.) Now I only have two envelopes so if I end up using some grocery money for dining, it's okay.

-We have no debt (besides our house, of course), so that is a huge blessing. The best tip I EVER heard about credit cards (which was a huge lightbulb to me at the time but maybe everyone else already knows this!) was this: Each time a credit card purchase is made, immediately write it into the check register so that the money you just spent is actually deducted from your available money. (Does that make sense?) That way we're held accountable for how much we're charging.

It's all pretty simple. I've grown much in this area since we've been married (but I hope to grow much more in the years to come!) I want to be a good steward of what God gives us.

1 comment:

  1. Stacy -

    I am so proud of you and so thankful for how you have grown in this area. You are truly a good steward of all that we're given.

    Thank you!

    - Mark


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