As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we have been told frequently by our leaders to be provident in how we spend our money.
I firmly believe this advice to be true for everyone, not just members of the church.
Part of our country's problems right now, are that not even our government has followed this counsel. We are currently TRILLIONS of dollars in debt and that number is climbing every day.
Grig and I have been very careful in how we've spent and saved our money. We found it necessary to take out a loan for school, and we've been trying to pay that off as quickly as possible. However, even for a necessary loan like that, it has been profoundly miserable. Money that could have been going into savings for the future is being used to pay for the past.
The more that we've been making, the more money we've been putting into the debt. It's great, because we've paid off a large portion of it, but it's also sad, because I see how much money is going into it that could be used for other things.
I look forward to being done with it. It makes me never want to take out any kind of loan again though. I can see the value of what our leaders have told us, and we do our best to follow their counsel.
I'm really rather proud of our budget. I made it myself. The first half of the budget is Monthly payments. As I plug in our gross income, tithing (what we pay to the church) is automatically taken out of it. If you aren't Mormon, you can delete this column, as well as the next one. FO/MF stands for fast offerings and mission fund. I'll explain more about those and tithing next week. Then, the actual amount we get (after taxes) is placed into the next column. The next column automatically subtracts tithing, fast offerings, and mission fund from the actual amount you receive.
The next section of columns is monthly payments. Above each column is a place to put the amount you pay each month, and then it is divided by two (the number of monthly payments.) If you only get paid once a month, they you wouldn't divide the amount by two. As the money is plugged in, I put the amount that is needed for each payment in its consecutive column. This adds money to those areas. What ever is left is in the amount remaining column.
After that, we have divided the remaining amount into percentages to suit our needs. If we get more money, we get to put more in each category.
Once you spend something, you simply put the negative amount in the column and it subtracts it from the amount available. The only major flaw so far, is when you make a monthly payment, you have to make sure that you delete the remaining amount or it will put that amount in as percentages as well.
This process has worked very well for us. If you want to try it, I have decided to share it with you.
If you want to look at our budget, here is a link.
If you want to download it for your own use, click here. Just go to file: Download as: excel. It should save it as an excel document to your computer.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them below and I will do my best to answer them.
I have also added a new page where the budget will be permanently available to the public.
This budget was made to be customized to your needs. That's why it works for us.
Living within our means as the Lord would have us do helps us prepare for the future.
Along with that, we also believe in having food storage so that when disasters occur, we will continue to be able to survive.
I know that as we do our best to save up for the future and spend less money than we make, we will have the Lord's help. Sometimes we have seen miracles because we've been frugal with our money. That is a major blessing we have received from the Lord.