We tried to live on a budget when we first got married but didn’t stick with it. Now that we have children and are feeling the pain of rising gasoline and groceries, etc, etc., we need to get disciplined with money! Can you help us?
Budgeting for Inflation
Dear Budgeting for Inflation,
We are all having to navigate the dangerous challenges to our finances caused by inflation. To help you get serious about your budget, I reached out to Steve Brooks at Dedicated Money Management. Steve is a dear friend who served on staff with CRU for 21 years and Crown for 27. He has been a trained budget coach for over 20 years, helping tens of thousands of people manage money from a Biblical perspective. He answered a number of questions that will help you get on the right track.
Why don’t more people live on a budget?
Steve: I think there are three main reasons why people do not stay on their budgets:
I teach my clients that God is the Owner of all that they possess. They are stewards of His money and possessions. If they do not get this right, they will never become “good and faithful stewards” of God’s money and possessions. If I do not have a spending plan (budget), I am probably spending God’s money the way I want to spend it instead of the way He wants me to spend it.
What is the best way to get the right perspective on budgeting?
Steve: I ask my budget coaching clients two important questions:
This is the appropriate thing for a money manager/steward to do.
Do people need special skills to make this work?
Steve: I want my clients to become “budgeters,” not “accountants.” The difference is that budgeters check the category balance throughout the month before making a purchase to make sure they have enough money set aside for that purchase.
What tools do you recommend?
Steve: Choose a budgeting tool that works best for you.
What about those who say they don’t make enough to budget?
Steve: If one is unable to live on a budget because income is too low, consider these options:
What are the behaviors needed to budget well?
Steve: This is a great question and an important one to make the budget work well!
What are the beliefs that you want your budget coaching clients to know and believe?
Steve: All of these are Biblical principles that I can summarize:
Thank you, Steve!
General Principle to Follow
Since overall inflation is estimated to be between 8–10%, I suggest you reduce all spending by the same amount to ensure you are keeping up. You also need to increase your emergency savings, as you are able, to ensure you can navigate any disruptions to your income should inflation hurt your job or career.
Hopefully these ideas will set you on a course to develop your budget, stick with it, and navigate the rapidly changing effects of inflation on your finances. If you want help creating and staying on a budget, reach out to Steve today, or contact Crown to enroll in our Budget Coaching Program.
This article was originally published on The Christian Post on June 17, 2022.
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