Its hard to take the plunge and start a budget…
…and where do you start?
You could try downloading a template but I find that you usually have to change so much that its actually easier to start your own.
You need a spreadsheet program and a very basic knowledge of how to use it. If you haven’t used a spreadsheet before, don’t worry – I mean VERY basic. All you need to know how to do is: enter information into the cells, create formulas for adding and subtracting and a few other small things. Spreadsheets are really easy and if you like numbers you’ll love the way spreadsheets work. I will tell you how to do these things as we go. Its great fun – and a great way for your children to learn more about computers and numbers as they help you with the shopping list, etc.
Each family is different and some husbands like to do the budgeting themselves and others like their wives to do it or to do it together. In our family I do the budgeting and my husband okays it all. I keep track of the nitty gritty, plan and set out the budget and then operate it through the month. He glances at it once or twice but doesn’t have time for much more – that works for us. Its funny because I’m actually not good with money (but I’m learning!) I am good with the planning, the numbers, the calculating – I love that part – and I’ve become good with the keeping track but I need to be accountable or I spend too much. My husband provides the accountability – other than that he gives me complete freedom with the budget which is a blessing – we talk about major decisions and he always says if we spend more than planned on something, then we first have to see where its coming from (i.e. to spend less on something else.)
I’ve learned through my mistakes, and I’ve learned where to pad the budget for the unexpected – and where it is wasteful.
I will be taking you through the steps that I have developed over many months to make not only budgeting easier but sticking to your budget, shopping to your budget and updating as you spend, planning shopping lists to print, etc. – all from your budget.
It takes many months to get it right as you build your budget so adjust your expectations – don’t expect too much too soon and don’t be discouraged or lose heart – keep at it!
“He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy [is] he” Proverbs 16 v 20