Those who regularly frequent gyms and workout facilities often complain about how crowded those facilities become each year during the month of January. They remind themselves, however, that if they can hold out until mid-February or so, most of the newcomers will be history. Why is that? Because they know that we regularly start things that we never finish. As a result, our planned lifestyle changes and improvements fail to have any lasting impact.
Similarly, many people often begin programs designed to help improve their financial health. They form a budget but don’t adhere to the plan. They set aside savings but spend it the following month on a new item at the department store. That’s why it is important to create a written spending plan accompanied by a thoughtful strategy to help you execute the plan. Numerous sources provide excellent worksheets and software programs for tracking spending and designing spending plan blueprints. Here is a basic monthly template that you may find helpful for a balanced strategy.
· Tithing/Giving – 10%
· Savings – 10%
· Investing/Retirement – 5 to10%
· Emergency Fund – 1 to 2%
· Housing – 25 to 35%
· Utilities – 5 to 10%
· Food – 5 to 10%
· Transportation - 10 to 15%
· Clothing – 5%
· Medical/Health/Insurance – 5 to 10%
· Personal Discretion – 5%
· Eating Out and Leisure Activities – 5 to 10%
· Debts – 5 to 10%
If you are serious about your financial freedom, use this or another template to help you set a monthly budget and design a spending plan. Once you do so, commit the plan to God, and pray for strength to consistently execute new behaviors to help break the bonds of financial bondage.
DeForest B. Soaries