Keeping a budget can be a challenge, particularly for those of us who tend to be scatterbrained. In fact, when it comes to staying on a budget, one of the biggest hurdles I face each month is disciplining myself to sit down and write up our budget. I’ve done everything I can to streamline the process and make it as easy as possible, but I still put off sitting down and getting it done.
But what we often forget is that sitting down and writing a budget is only the first part. In fact, it’s the easy part. Keeping the budget is where it gets hard. Because being a good steward of the things God has given requires actually spending it well, not just mapping it out. You can write down all the numbers you want, but if you don’t commit to doing what that piece of paper says, it doesn’t do you any good.
That’s why following up on your budget is important. But it’s also the difficult part, because it’s going to require work all month long. You’ll need to track where your money is going somehow, and make sure it’s finding it’s way into the write funnels instead of all those fun things you need (no, actually just want) to buy right now on Amazon. But how?
Well, you could just do it like our parents and grandparents did: track every expenditure in a check register or book somehow. But there’s also some great tools out there that can help you make a budget and track stuff. Dave Ramsey has a new Every Dollar program that allows you make a budget and see where your money is going. Mint.com is another service that offers budget, tracking of spending, and will even track what’s in your accounts so you know what’s in checking, savings, and what you still have to pay off on that credit card.
Whatever tool you use, this is the month to get on it. (I’m preaching to the choir too.) Put your money to work for you, so you don’t feel like you have to spend all your time working for more money.