Budgeting

Budgeting is very important to everyone.  Whether you live pay check to pay check or have more money than you can count, budgeting should be top priority.  You not only want to know where your money is going to every month, but if you plan carefully, you will have a good chunk for retirement, not to mention leaving an inheritance for your children.  If you have not already taken a finance class, I strongly recommend you doing it.  Crown Financial and Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace are my 2 favorite classes to take.  You can check with a local church to see if they offer these classes.  It’s well worth the expense!  Basically, you need to budget every penny you spend, and live below your means.  You need to build up an emergency fund, because we KNOW emergencies WILL happen!  You need to put money away for retirement, again, we know one day we will all retire-why not be prepared?!  I even have my savings broken down into categories.  So, let’s say I have $5,000 in just a simple savings account.  $1,000 will be ear marked for homeschool supplies, $2,000 for vacation, $1,000 towards a new car (paid in cash) and $1,000 for Dr bills.  That is just a rough example of what I am talking about.  We all know we will need a newer car one day.  Why not save up and pay cash for one.  You also will eventually need money for college, or weddings for your kids, or whatever.  Just a few dollars a month can add up fast over time.  Now, if you live paycheck to paycheck, I know this sounds impossible.  My husband and I lived for years with an uncomfortably small paycheck, but we were determined that I would stay home and homeschool our kids.  We were able to live fairly comfortably and also build up savings.  Yes, it takes longer, but it can be done.  You just have to be determined to not owe money and to save up for big purchases.  Also, bargain hunting really helps stretch your dollars.  Thrift stores, yard sales and craigslist are great places to find good quality products at a fraction of the price.  Try not to purchase something when you need it right away, you are less likely to get a good deal if you are desperate.  If you know your car will only last 2 more years, you definitely need to start saving now for the purchase, and not wait until the last minute.  Budget where your money goes, plan for big expenses, and live on less than you make.  It will change your life to have extra money in the bank, everything paid for in cash, and less stress on your marriage!

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