Often times I hear, however do you afford to live as you do, serve God in multiple locations, have more than one house, homestead on small acreage and not have huge debt with one main income? My answer really isn’t a secret, nor do I have the need to hide it.
A budget. I have seen a couple programs and things from outsources that really do look great in terms of a plan! Honestly though, I believe it’s grace and provision from the Lord, a determination and a will. A true desire to be debt free and live within a budget is attainable. So where does someone start?
Do you want the quick and brief way or the detailed nitty gritty? Or both?
To start go to your computer spreadsheet and make a list of all your monthly expenses. If digital is not an option because you do not have it, a trusty ol’ pen and paper works great!
Even as time passes, I continually play with our budget. When we have expenses I know are coming, penny pinching is the best thing that I can do. Besides, then I don’t have to dip into our savings or change long term goals. Yes, you read that correctly. Once there is a savings, even if you start it with $50; don’t touch it, (except as a very last resort).
If you are unable to use the computer, because you do not know how to create a working spreadsheet, click —> HERE and use this one. Feel free to adjust it to suite your families needs. This is a base spreadsheet.
Once you know your expenditures, do the same with your current income. Now this is where you can see what and how much more (or less) is needed each month. At the end on the far right, as you can see in the download; I do a running total for yearly on both. That way, I can see if changes come, what my year projection looks like.
Simple enough, right? That’s where I begin. That is a budget. Super simple! However, if you are reading about budgeting, you probably do not need a spreadsheet to tell you how much you have left to spend (or overtime you need to work) this week to make ends meet. Perhaps this post interested you to become debt free or you are wanting a change in your current day to day living arrangements. Keep reading…
So once you know your running budget, it is easier to tuck in your debts or “goal amount” you want to save for. If you pay or set aside and extra $200 a month for that, how long will it take? Or if you penny pinch in your grocery bill or animal feed/ expenditures by using extra savings or coupons, every dollar counts. For example, let’s say you are tweaking each column to what might seem as a measly $15.00, that really produces $180.00 a year from each column that could be used elsewhere. Get where we’re going with this? That is where I pull up my grocery budget or farm budget, and see where I can “shred” it down a tad bit more. In life for careers, big days and events, even workout out programs we number crunch and take careful preparation; I truly believe the Lord would have us do the same in our finances.
So, where is this post going? Well it’s really to help you look at your current budget state to be able to move forward. Let’s be honest, you can read 1,000 posts on making money or becoming debt free; but that doesn’t mean they will help YOU! What’s the point of taking the time to type out this post is it doesn’t help someone else?
#1- know your budget and what you are working with.
#2- Decide what can and cannot give. And dive into those areas.
- Can you shave off some regular bills to create a surplus that would allow more freedom?
- If you create a surplus, could you payoff a larger debt to slowly alleviate ALL debts?
- Do you have anything you can sell?
- Would a quick cash flow push everything back into a progressive goal of achieving your financial freedom?
- Are there commitments that can be altered (even tiny bit) to conserve resources?
- Is there a short term and long term goal?
- How attainable are these goals in perspective to time?
- Do you have too much debt that is ALL too high for something to be paid off? If so these would be more beneficial too you.
#3- Calculate and come up with a plan.
#4- Pray & Get ready, Pray & Get set, Pray & GO!