Good Investments
that are Right for You

DO I NEED A BUDGET?

Budget Concept

If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take,” said the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s classic novel, Alice in Wonderland.

The same can be said about your money. If you don’t create a budget, how will you know what your money can do for you?

“We’ve seen amazing things happen when families commit to limiting debt and controlling spending—knowing where their money goes,” wrote Mick Owens in his popular book, Diamond of Life: The Five P’s of Success and Significance. “Having reviewed spending of over 7,000 budgets over the past 45 years, it is amazing to note that the average family can’t find 10–15% of their previous year’s income when asked to do a 12-month look back to see where their money went.”

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”—Proverbs: 3:9-10

Think of a budget as your family’s cash flow statement. It’s the document that provides insights into all your family’s cash inflows and summarizes all its cash outflows. A budget can help you pursue a wide range of financial milestones, such as creating a travel fund, buying a vacation retreat for your family, or building assets for your estate strategy.

Here’s how to start a budget in five quick steps:1

  1. Add up your net income. In other words, calculate your take-home pay. Your net income will be after taxes and after any other deductions, such as health insurance and retirement plan contributions.
  2. List your monthly expenses. Account for the big items, such as rent or mortgage payments, car payments, and groceries. But don’t forget the smaller items, such as gym membership fees and utility payments.
  3. Determine if expense is fixed or variable. While your mortgage payment may be fixed, other expenses will be variable. For example, if dining out is one of your monthly expenses, you can anticipate this will be variable from month to month.
  4. Determine the monthly average for variable expenses. With groceries, for example, take your total expense for the past three months and divide it by three. If the number is $368, consider rounding up to $400 for simplicity.
  5. Make adjustments. If your expenses are higher than your net income, some adjustments may be needed. On the other hand, if you have extra money, you will have some choices to make about the income.

Pro Tip: “Put a minimum of 10% of your gross income to work in the Bible-believing church of your choice,” wrote Mick. “I further encourage you to become rich toward God, holding everything with loose hands.”

Other Choices for Your Charitable Contributions

Here are 4 non-profit ministries that would welcome your support!

Within the picture there are the four listed non-profit ministries. The first on the list is Cross America and there goal is to send a cross to every home in America, crossamerica.net. The next on the list is DadCamp and there goal is build stronger fathers who build stronger children, dadcamp.info. The third origination on the list is Nehemiah International Ministry and there goal is to equip and train pastors, leaders, local entrepreneurs and future generation, nehemiahinternationalministry.com. The last origination is National Network of Youth Ministries and there goal is to provide prayers for every school in America. 

If you like the idea of creating a budget but don’t know where to begin, please contact us. We have several documents and spreadsheets that can help you get started. We can also show you some illustrations of how others have created a budget by using our tools.

  1. CNBC.com, September 8, 2022 https://www.cnbc.com/select/how-to-create-a-budget-guide/

Other Recent Articles

Quiz: Tax Facts

One benefit to self-insurance is that you can pocket money that you have paid in insurance premiums. Learn more about whether self-insurance is a concept you'd like to explore further with your financial adviser.

Estate Tax Law Changes at the End of 2025

One benefit to self-insurance is that you can pocket money that you have paid in insurance premiums. Learn more about whether self-insurance is a concept you'd like to explore further with your financial adviser.

Should We Consider an Individual Living Trust or a Family Trust?

One benefit to self-insurance is that you can pocket money that you have paid in insurance premiums. Learn more about whether self-insurance is a concept you'd like to explore further with your financial adviser.

Estate Tax Law Changes at the End of 2025

One benefit to self-insurance is that you can pocket money that you have paid in insurance premiums. Learn more about whether self-insurance is a concept you'd like to explore further with your financial adviser.

Should We Consider an Individual Living Trust or a Family Trust?

One benefit to self-insurance is that you can pocket money that you have paid in insurance premiums. Learn more about whether self-insurance is a concept you'd like to explore further with your financial adviser.

Asset Allocation vs. Diversification: What’s the Difference?

One benefit to self-insurance is that you can pocket money that you have paid in insurance premiums. Learn more about whether self-insurance is a concept you'd like to explore further with your financial adviser.