How to Create A Budget That Works

 

The word “budget” has gotten a bad rap over the years.  It’s considered by many to be a 4-letter word producing all sorts of negative emotions.  The main resistance to budgeting is control and constraint.


Control is one reason people resist budgeting.  Someone has used a budget as a way to control them and they want nothing to do with it. 


When my wife and I started budgeting it was out of pure necessity. We were in financial trouble because we had taken on too much debt and lived a lifestyle that was beyond our income.  To solve the problem I got us on a budget.  Notice I said, “I” got “us” on a budget.  I then proceeded to make my wife conform to this new way of living.  


I’m embarrassed to say, I used the budget to control her spending while justifying spending on the things I wanted.  As a result, she hated our budget and appropriately called the black three-ring binder where I kept our budget, “The Evil Black Book.”  It took some time for me to see the error of my ways, beg her forgiveness, and invite her to join me in creating a budget together.


Another reason people resist budgeting is they believe that a budget will constrain and limit their ability to live and enjoy a happy life.  To them the thought of living on a budget is the equivalent of putting on a straight jacket and being locked up in a dark room, never to see the light of day again.


At the beginning of our budgeting journey, we felt the same way.  There wasn’t enough money to take care of our financial obligations, which meant spending on anything but essentials was out.  However, we pushed through, paid down our debt and created financial margin, which then allowed us to budget in the fun stuff also.  


Creating and living on a budgeting was the vehicle that helped us to go from being stressed and worried to peaceful and secure.  It's given us the means to save for the future, give to causes we’re passionate about, and spend without worry.
 

You too can experience peace in your finances by creating a budget to help you manage your money.  Having a plan for managing your money will give you clarity about your finances, confidence in your spending, and freedom to enjoy your life now while making your future more secure.


How to create a budget


In my last post I emphasized the importance of tracking and recording your spending as a first step toward financial success.  I hope that’s a practice you’ve begun and are currently doing.  If not, it’s not too late to start.  You can read the blog, download the Tracking by Category form, and begin using it today.


Creating a budget is a simple process if you have the right information and the right tools to help you do it.  The 30 days of tracking and recording your spending is the information you need.  And the Create Your Budget form is the tool you can use to create a budget that works.  I’ve recorded a short video that will show you how you can use this form to create your own budget.

 

Note: This form is only used to create your budget.  Once you’ve done it, you’ll use the Yearly Budget form to manage your budget going forward, which I’ll cover in my next post.


I’d love to hear your feedback on this form and the budget creation process outlined in this video.  Let me know what you think by adding a comment below.