Budgets, Featured

Budgeting: A Guide to Sanity and Wisdom

My wife and I budget. Well, that is not technically true. I build spreadsheets and crunch numbers and think of areas where we can shave off a few dollars here or there, but my wife is actually the one in the trenches making our family budget work. If it wasn’t for her we would probably be eating Top Ramen every day instead of the nutritious and flavorful meals we currently eat. Our house would be drab and spartan, instead it is warm and welcoming. My clothes would be torn and tattered, but she keeps them clean and neat. If it wasn’t for my wife applying what we plan, all my tinkering would get us nowhere.

But if my wife is the soldier in the trenches, then I am like the Captain on the field. I can see where the tide of expenses is encroaching on our precious financial independence and devise the strategy to defeat our foe. I am there, ready to lend a hand where needed – but my primary responsibility to to stand back and get the big picture. I have to keep the good of my family, which includes the mental health of my wife, in my mind constantly as we face the day to day struggles of finances. If it wasn’t for the plan, we would soon be overwhelmed by the smallness of our income and the greatness of our expenses.

You see, in a family it takes the commitment of all its members to live debt free for the sake of changing the world and there is no greater display of this than in budgeting. Budgeting is a tool that tests your fiscal tenacity, a way to control and maximize financial efficiencies. It takes careful planning as well as thoughtful execution. Without these two components any budget will either fail, be useless, or make no lasting change on the world.

Here are five quick reasons to budget:

  1. It takes the guess work out of things – if you budget you know exactly how much you will be making and how much you will be spending. This will make saving for things like retire-from-earning-a-wage-but-still-working-to-help-people-in-need-ment a whole heck of a lot easier.
  2. You know exactly what needs to change – since you will know exactly how much you make and how much you spend you will be able to see where you spend too much money or where you make to little. This knowledge is power.
  3. You know exactly how to change – this is directly related to the above. Once you know the problem you can analyze the information and make the changes that you need to. Are you living a lifestyle that you cannot support? Is coffee, or clothes, or the place you live destroying your ability to stay out of debt and change the world? Then this is where you see the stark reality of your finances and shape up.
  4. Law and order brings freedom – I love rules. I mean, without that law of gravity and the law of friction I would be going nowhere fast! Laws bring structure and function to our life and often times our financial life needs some structure so that it can function.
  5. Chuck Norris would do it – you know the guy budgets. If it is good enough for the Chuck you know its good enough for you.

*whispers* Save the budget, save the world.