It doesn’t make any difference what politicians do (they aren’t spending their money, they are spending your money), we cannot progress financially by going into debt. It is necessary to budget your money so you can manage your finances, rather than your financial circumstances managing you. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Managing finances requires prioritizing. If you don’t have your financial values properly prioritized, you won’t have enough money to pay important expenses. So, let’s look at a logical set of priorities:
1. Housing – Rent or mortgage always comes first… or you will be living on the street… or with your inlaws.
2. Utilities – It doesn’t make much sense to have a house without electricity and water.
3. Food – don’t tell me you love your kids when you pay for an unnecessary toy before you buy food for your family!
4. Transportation – not a status symbol, but transportation! Get rid of the truck if you aren’t a farmer or contractor!! Get rid of the sports car if you have kids!
a. car payment
b. insurance… (get real… not having insurance will bankrupt your future and family’s future)
c. gas and maintenance.
5. Household supplies (soap, etc)
7. School supplies and expenses
8. Life Insurance and Health Insurance
9. Savings – Pay yourself and prepare for the future.
= Have a second savings account for emergencies.
10. Entertainment (including eating at restaurants).
If we are living by faith, donations/tithes/offerings come even before the mortgage. However, that is not a point of law.. it is a point of grace. There is no point in giving if you don’t have faith to give.
Now, the thing about managing finances is simple. If you don’t have enough money to cover your budget, then one of three things must happen: cut expenses, increase income, or both. But, you cannot succeed if you spend money you don’t have.
Oh, what do I know about financial management? I work in customer service for a Bank. Every day I try to help people who do not know how to manage their finances. And, I have owned three businesses.
One more thing… failing to pay your priorities is very expensive… being late on payments costs late fees. Having phones and utilites disconnected costs reconnection fees. Stop being a victim and PAY ON TIME. Get rid of the toys and take care of your family’s needs.