In Budget, Budget, Cash Management, REACHING YOUR GOALS, Uncategorized

We hear it all the time… we must spend within our budgets. But what does that really mean?  Many people spend aimlessly without preparing a budget and as a result, they usually come up short in their financial goals.  Trust me, I know.  There have been many times in my life, I figured I would just “wing it” or spend according to my feelings.  But that type of attitude got me nowhere.  It wasn’t until I decided I would commit to a budget, then and only then did I see changes in my finances.  Now does this mean that you cannot improvise if needed?  Maybe – or maybe not.  Things change and times change.  We simply can’t predict every single thing in our future, but you must use your budget as a roadmap to help you to reach your financial goals.

So whether your desire is to pay for your kids to go to college or simply become debt free at a certain age, your chances to achieve your financial desires are better if you simply prepare and live within your budget.

As you read this, you may be thinking yeah right, what can a budget do for me?  I have little to no money or I have enough to cover expenses, but I can assure you, if you are having financial difficulties, it is even more important to create a budget and stick to it.

Creating a Budget

A budget is simply a listing of expected and expected expenses for a period of time.  A budget should be prepared at the beginning of the month with the understanding that it  is flexible and a moving document.  You should budget for all expected expenses, which includes recurring expenses, such as utility bills, groceries, mortgage, insurance and other expenses that you will incur for the month. In addition, you should also budget for items that you may pay infrequent, such as your annual property taxes or a quarterly insurance bill.  Setting aside a few bucks toward these annual expenses can prevent “panic mode” when the bill is due.  For example, if your property taxes are due annually, you should set budget a sum monthly to make certain you are able to cover the expense when due.

Get Inspired

Now this may seems crazy to some, but I am a visionary type of person.  Not only do I prepare a monthly budget, but I also prepare an inspirational budget.  You will be amazed by the power of simply putting your thoughts on paper and how your vision is certain to come to pass.  It is inspired from one of my favorite scriptures from the bible, “Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision and make it plain on tablets,
 that he may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2).

It is my little inspiration to envision what I desire my future budget will be.  I call it my inspiration for several different reasons.  It provides me (1) a clear vision to determine where I am headed; (2) inspiration to keep pressing knowing I will obtain the victory; and (3) and a constant reminder to understand small sacrifices will provide big rewards in the future.

So if you want to obtain victory over your financial life, consider making steps toward living within your budget and you will see God do a great thing in your life!

Remember, your choice, your future!  

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and a business professor at Dillard University. Follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog at kemberley.com.

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Showing 11 comments
  • Allyson Neal
    Reply

    Wow! That was awesome. I saw a news report the other day where a CEO’s bonus was $650,000. And, I thought, what would I do with that money. And, after that thought, I envisioned buying affordable homes for my family members who don’t own homes, setting up trusts for all of my family members kids for their college educations or their lives after high school, and setting up a grant program for people in need.

    I’m going to write this down. God may bring this to pass … Thanks for the Godly advice.

    Have an awesome day!

    Allyson

    Sent from my iPhone

    • kemberley
      Reply

      Thanks for this…you have to keep envisioning and it will come to pass:) Thanks for reading!

  • Canadianbudgetbinder
    Reply

    We started budgeting back a couple years now and it was the best thing we ever did for our finances. We won’t ever turn back because now we are able to say we are debt free and it’s all due to documenting our expenses and budgeting. Setting goals and sticking to them. Cheers Mr.CBB

    • kemberley
      Reply

      Thanks for your comments, it definitely helps to keep your finances under control and also provides the ability to allow you to save more. Thanks for reading:)

  • Cory
    Reply

    I just wanted to mention that Bank of America provides an free budgeting tool for those who have online checking accounts. Its really interactive and user friendly. Within a matter of seconds, you can see your history of expenses, categorized by types (utilities, grocery, loans, and several others). Although I don’t have a formalized budget yet, the tool definitely highlights those areas that I’m spending a heap of money on. Thus, I’m excited to find it. I would suggest everyone to browse their online banking accounts for things like this. Take advantage of the various options that are available to you. Great post. Kem.

    • kemberley
      Reply

      Thanks Cory! I will check it out and share!

  • Jason Cabler (@DrCabler)
    Reply

    Preach it sister! I’ve been doing a written budget every month for years, and that’s one of the biggest reasons we are out of debt except for our house. I’ve been shouting from the mountain tops about budgeting for years because I truly believe that it is the best tool you can use to start becoming financially free.

    I’ve always loved the scripture about writing the vision so that you may run. Awesome!

    I even recently published a book entitled “How to Budget- The Quick and Easy Guide to Making a Budget That Works”. You can find it on Amazon at this link http://amzn.to/OOZrD5

    • kemberley
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your comments! I appreciate you taking the time to read!

  • Myra Frye
    Reply

    I really enjoyed the above communication. I am the facilitator of a free weekly motivational call (“I AM Special” Weekly Motivational Teleconference) that was designed with young people in mind (also for the young at heart and those with a heart for the young). The teleconference highlights a different area. This week deals with topics centered around Health/Wealth. After reading your article, I will be presenting something budgets. Thanks for the inspiration. I would love for you to consider being a guest facilitator one of these 2nd Sunday evenings. Mason Jar Wisdom

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