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Helpful Tools for Budgeting

Darren Laudenbach - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Helpful Tools for Budgeting

As we enter this New Year, maybe you’ve gotten a little off track when it comes to budgeting. After all, thousands of people—perhaps tens of thousands worldwide—have completely blown the family budget due to the holiday season and general paying. In order to get back on the path to financial freedom, start with a refresher from God’s Word and then use these simple tools to make budgeting easier (and most are free and the rest are close to it).

“Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God.” –Leviticus 20:7

Note: To “consecrate” in this case means to dedicate yourself formally to God’s purpose for your life. You can’t do this halfway—like many other aspects of Christianity, it’s all or nothing!

Tools for Success

  1. Start with our 30-day spending challenge, even if you already have a good idea of what you are doing when it comes to the budget. The beginning of the workbook offers a lot of helpful advice, some of which you may not have seen before or maybe need to implement all over.

  2. Notebook and pencil are absolutely essential, because you need these in order to keep track of what you need to pay, when it’s due, when it’s paid, etc, at least until you get everything into a spreadsheet format (we’ll get to that). Remember, for the first month you have to track expenses so that you can be sure everything is accounted for when you create your new budget.

  3. Envelopes are handy for keeping track of what goes where when it comes to cash. Since we’re working hard to avoid credit cards and even debit cards when possible, envelopes will help you remember how much needs to be paid and where it should go. Just be sure to label the envelopes.  Alternatively set up "virtual envelopes" (being a series of suitably labelled bank accounts) - see HERE for more details.

  4. Spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets will help you keep track of everything in more detail. Excel is normally already installed on your computer if you have the Microsoft Office Suite, but if you don’t, Google Sheets is also free. It’s a little more complicated to use, but if price is an issue, go with something free instead of paying for Microsoft Excel.  Better yet, get into some dedicated software such as Xero or Quickbooks or similar which makes the job even easier.

  5. Smartphone apps for just about everything exist, and there are probably free apps related to spending if you want to keep track of your spending from your smartphone. However, not all of these apps are free, and be sure to be careful about those that are phishing for your personal information. Do some research before installing them, even if they seem to come from a trusted source.

  6. Finally, a desire to succeed really goes a long way toward success. The more you want something, the harder you’ll normally be willing to work for it, and the same is true for those who are trying to achieve financial freedom. Motivate yourself by getting in the Word, doing your homework, and being diligent to take the steps necessary to achieve your goal. It takes time to get there, but it’s worth it. I promise!

Join one of our courses today to learn how to create a budget and other great ways to get financially well organised - click HERE