Before we married, my husband insisted we not only go to pre-marital counseling, but also financial counseling.
We didn’t think we had a money problem, but we did know so many families struggle in the area of finances. We wanted to begin our married life on a solid foundation.
Back then, we didn’t know anything about Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover or Financial Peace. Dave hadn’t become popular yet. Instead, a precious older couple at a nearby church introduced us to a program called Christian Financial Concepts. They counseled us and mentored us in budgeting and stewardship.
Our lives were changed by Paul and Jane’s ministry.
The beginning stage of budget creation is the hardest. You have to brainstorm what budget categories you’ll need, how much money needs to be set aside for each, and ensure that what’s coming in is more than what’s going out.
But before all that, there’s one big thing you can do that will help you be successful with your budget.
Before you do anything else, buy a pocket-size notepad and carry it with you everywhere you go. Write down every single penny you spend, every day, for a week or more. Don’t skimp here; it’s critical to your budget creation.
Don’t leave out the coffee you grabbed at the gas station or the gallon of milk you had to run back to the store for.
Write everything down. Everything.
This little notepad will be a critical part of your budget creation. You must include these small “leaks” in your budget, otherwise these slow leaks will wreak havoc on your chances for financial success. Plug the leaks.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy these things – I’m saying you need to account for them. Don’t pass them off like they’re no big deal. Tallied up, over time, they are a big deal. Pennies turn into dollars.
And I want you to have the best chance of success as you get on track.
For those of you who’ve been budgeting awhile, what tips would you add for beginners?
Don’t forget to pin this for later!