Financial Principles to Consider in Creating a Budget
The information below is adapted from Larry Burkett’s book Family Budgets That Work.
1) Use a written plan. A written plan helps keep you on track and provides a reference for you. Adjust your budget as your income and/or expenses change.
2) Provide for God’s work from the first part of your income. God enables us to work and provide for our families. All of our income truly belongs to God. He asks for only a small portion of it back.
3) Limit your use of credit. Avoid using credit cards to purchase items you cannot afford. Use credit only for large-ticket items that fit into your budget.
4) Before buying new items, ask:
- Is it necessary?
- Is it the best buy?
- Is it an impulse purchase?
5) Save regularly, even if it is only a small amount. Setting aside even $10 or $20 per paycheck gets you in the habit of savings. Increase savings as your budget allows until you can save 5% of your income.
6) Set your own goals with your family. No one else’s budget will work for you. And your budget will not work for your family if one partner dictates the budget without input from the other spouse. Work together as team.
7) Get out of debt. Develop a plan to pay off small debts first and continue until all debts are paid off. We will look at strategies for paying off debt in two weeks.
8) Avoid indulgences and lavishness in your family life. However, do include some money for leisure and recreation in your budget. You will not be able to stick to your budget if you never feel rewarded for all your hard work.
9) Seek good counsel if you have a question, preferably from a Christian financial counselor. Crown Ministries (Crown.org) provides many resources to assist you in budgeting.
10) Stick to your plans diligently. Make a plan you can live with and follow it.
11) Balance your checkbook every month or more often.
12) Use duplicate checks if possible.
13) Have only one bookkeeper in the family. This should be whichever spouse is better at record keeping and balancing the budget.