Friday, November 10, 2017

Budgets, Oh My! Becoming Prudent (Part 2)

BUDGET!!! The dreaded word for some people. Honestly, I am apart of those people that dread the word. Not because I do not like budgets or that I don't budget partially. It is because I always have a hard time setting them up, making them work, and etc.

It never fails. I will set up this nice budget. I will get all our ducks in a row. I promise the next week we will have a unforeseen expense and it throws us all off.



I know...I know....that you need savings for these things. I know you should have that $1000 ER fund, or sinking fund. I know...I know...BUT what if you don't?  For example, every time we will begin our plan to try and work towards having that savings or ER fund something comes up.

I think this is where Prudence comes in.  We have to ask ourselves is this situation worth investing at that moment or could we possibly make a decision to put it off until we have the money for it. Prudence is all about making wise choices.

But to be realistic you do need a budget when aiming to be prudent. You need to know where your money is going and how to make it work for you.

My first step is to go over our current budget. Here are my steps to make this painless as possible.

1. Gather all totals of debt owed. (I am crying like a baby here!)
2. Write out all of our fixed expenses.
3. Write out all our expenses that fluctuate such as gas money, clothes, boy's haircuts, groceries, supplies. Things of this nature. Set a more fixed amount if possible for these expenses.
4. Total all income. Then total all expenses.
5. Plan any money left over to go toward debt reduction. Cut any expenses possible if need be to help this area.

This is my first step toward Becoming Prudent. Of course, all this tackled with prayer!

What is your thoughts on Budgets?  How do you make them work for you?  Any budgeting tips?

Blessings,

Chrissy


20 comments:

  1. I have no problem making a budget. it's the sticking to it that gets me! Sadly eating out is a budget buster for us. It's hard to say no when you get invited to eat out after church or to celebrate a family members birthday. We have aquired some debt this year. Almost all of our kitchen applianced died this year. A $1000 emergency fund isn't enough to cover a stove, frig and dishwasher replacement in a span of three months! I don't want to think about our debt total... I'll right beside you crying.

    Sticking to budget is one of the goals we have set for the coming year.

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    1. I feel like I can write your comment. Eating out on occassion is a apart of our only "entertainment". We don't have hobbies like hunting, fishing, scrapbooking, or crafts. We don't gonto movies or anything like that. So, I don't mind eating out at times. But you are so right it is a budget buster.

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    2. My hubby loves eating out, that is the only thing that blows our budget. I try to limit us down to one a week,
      sometimes we blow that as well. I am glad we aren't the only ones who do that.

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  2. one thing that helped us when we were younger..we had two budgets. One was "normal" frugal and one was "clinch" frugal. In order to save for our two adoptions and keep an emergency fund; we did them every other month. The clinch budget was beans, eggs, beans. mostly frozen vegetables and fruit and basics like carrots, celery, onions and potatoes. canned fish. Heat down to 55. staying at home so as not to have to refill the tank (not even the library.) After a month we would revert to meat a couple of times a week and fresh fish. We might get asparagus or strawberries in season. Ultra-frugality was psychologically unsustainable for us; but we could do anything for a month. After 2 years we had a savings cushion and enough for our first adoption! After 4 years and the second adoption, we retired the clinch budget. Now we just do it once a year in January. Pantry clean out, no going anywhere (we have new Christmas things!), no discretionary spending at all.

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    1. What a phenomenal idea!!!! Thank you for sharing. I may have to consider this.

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  3. It took us a loooong time to be able to start saving money. My mom always told me "as long as you have kids at home, it's almost impossible to save." My kids have been gone for several years now and we are just now able to see our accounts growing. Hang in there, do the best you can, but be very mindful of where the money is going. We wasted a lot of money hitting drive thru's and eating out; I wish I could take all that back. Also stocking up when things are on sale is one of the best things to do to save your food budget. Always in a hurry, we bought whatever we needed, whatever the price. I have learned so much since I have the time to slow down and study prices and to plan my purchases. You know all this already, I'm just telling you my experience and my later in life 'light bulb' moments. :-))

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    1. I understand exactly what you meam with children. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I dislike the word budget. It sounds so constraining. Kind of like my pantyhose right now:). What do you do well? Do you have a skill? Besides being beautiful, do you have a side hustle? That sounds so bad,but I always tried to stay home with my kids and I had so much pressure from my Husbands family and my church peers. The guilt of working ate me up, so I found things I could do where I cold take the kids and still make a living. Now not much of a living at the time, but it helped. If you are having a hard time funding and emergency fund and trust me I know all about this, you are at a point where you need more income. How can you fix that? What can you do to bring in more money after you have reduced all of your expenses?

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  5. I am loving this series that you have started. :)

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  6. Hello Chrissy :)... how wonderful to find your post on this specific subject!

    Budget? well, I have been married for 26 years now, and I still have to keep our expenses in check :/ I like your list and looking forward to reading more. I have tried to work outside the home and have tried to open a 'cottage business'... but you know what Chrissy...at the end, it is my trust in Our God that has kept us afloat. We live on one income - and we are considered poor by today's standards, yet Our Lord has yet to stop supplying for our needs.

    Oh boy...I can share my experience, but I think I'll pray about it and see if I could write a post to share.

    Thank you so much for sharing and for writing about this issue :)

    God bless!

    Maria

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    1. Maria,
      Thanks for visiting and your encouragement!!

      God is reliable.

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  7. Chrissy, we've always had a budget and tried to put even a little bit away for a rainy day. We were determined to live on less for many years in order to save for college for the children. We also made sure to pay our mortgage off as early as possible saving so much money not paying interest. It was tough and we went without a lot of things but it was worth it. We still budget but have a bit more leeway as the children are all grown and done with college.

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    1. I am in that boat. How did you save for college?

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    2. Chrissy, I'll be honest. It wasn't easy. I was a stay at home mom so we lived off just my husband's salary and we had 4 children - who also needed braces. I pinched those pennies as tight as I could. We did without a lot of things. Rarely went on vacation. No cable tv. Weren't cell phones but if there would have been, we wouldn't have them. I'll think about what else I did to make $ stretch. I'll try to write a post this week so I don't monopolize your blog. xo

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  8. Chrissy, I've always worked from a budget, yes, things (life) happens and can certainly ruin your best made plans/budget. But it's still important to always have a game plan. Enjoyed your tips.

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  9. I think maybe considering working outside the home might be a good idea if things are that tight. I’m a single parent (well, for now) so I have to work and put my daughter in school. It has worked out great for us. I didn’t choose for her dad to leave. It was a thanksgiving bombshell , 2009.
    I think churches put a lot of pressure on women to stay home and homeschool and also give 10% of their income. This puts families in a huge bind. Does your church tell you that these are the choices you have to make? If so, then it can be hard to look within to see what’s best for your own family.

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  10. The concept of budgeting is always a hard one when you have children at home, and always there are unexpected expenses! It seems that as soon as you have a little extra for savings at there is something there with their hand out to take it. I enjoyed what you wrote and also what the other ladies wrote in the comments. I have a budget but because we are both self-employed, owner owned business, our income always fluctuates and there are always unexpected expenses both with our children and with the business.

    My advice to you would be this, enjoy your children, live as frugally as possible, but don't beat yourself up about the unexpected things that break the budget, and just realize that there will come a day once the children are grown that you'll be able to save more money. Enjoy your children now, they are only with you for a short time! You are doing a great job with what you have!

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Welcome! Love your friendly comments.