Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monthly Budget Meetings

Works for Me WednesdayMonthly Budget Meetings

Last night I was asked to teach a short "math" class in Relief Society on budgeting. And I realized that, in spite of the pain it sometimes causes, monthly budget meetings work for me and Wayne. We'd always had some type of budget, but didn't necessarily follow it faithfully. That all changed on April 1, 1996 when we made the commitment to quit dipping into savings and actually live on less than we earned. I don't know that we're totally successful at it, but we're trying. Once a month we sit down together and go over the previous month's expenses and budget for the current month. We work together to distinguish between wants and needs, and then prioritize them. In addition we do our best to anticipate and prepare for future expenses - like vacations, school clothes, college tuition, Christmas, auto repairs, home improvement, insurance, retirement, you-name-it!
The process of budgeting is really quite simple.
1) Figure out what your income is.
2) Figure out what your expenses are.
3) If they don't match, figure out ways to get them to match.
4) Keep repeating the cycle.
Of course, putting it into practice isn't quite so simple, but it's in the doing that we find success. I found some terrifice resources at providentliving.org to help. Check out the section on Family Finances - where you can find an online course that teaches how to budget and also several online financial calculators, along with links to several other great sites.
President Heber J. Grant once said: “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet” (Gospel Standards, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1941, p. 111).

Striving to live within our means works for us.

3 comments:

Julie said...

First of all thanks for your comment on my blog. We do the same thing each pay period and usually once a month "regroup" session to go over the budget. We find it fun...most times...sometimes things get stressful but we always make it work somehow...usually tithing blessings!

christa elyce said...

single mother of two...and newly divorced...i'm am learning the hard way to budget my money! thanks for the post...

also...

i wanted to say Thanks for the compliments on WATF blog post! I had a great time shooting such a wonderful family! I really enjoy your blog post! And you have such a gorgeous blog layout too! You can always check in with my site or blog to see if there are specials on photo session for your family or photography tips if you're an inspiring photographer yourself. Anyways, thanks again for the kind words!

Love,

Christa Sherrard
http://www.jemappelles-christa.blogspot.com

http://www.sherrardphotography.com

christa elyce said...

p.s. i'm lds too!