Positive Budgeting

Portrait of young couple calculating their monthly expenses at home

Many people who are seeking financial stability may initially view a budget, and the overall budgeting process as a negative part of their struggle. It is human nature to view any type of control on behavior as the enemy, and a budget is definitely an effort to control undisciplined spending. However, the process will take on an entirely different outlook if you will learn to see a budget as your friend. The budget will allocate finite resources to those areas of the highest priority, efficiency, impact, or interest. The budget will face the real foe of debt, overspending, financial arguments, wastefulness, and regret. A budget does not take control over you; a budget gives you control over your finances.

Once you have disciplined yourself to create a budget and submit to it, you will feel empowered to spend your money on those things that really matter to you. A budget will bring harmony between you and your spouse on mutual priorities and goals. It will remove the stress of uncertainty.

You can take some specific actions to make a budget work for you in your home to provide financial stability.

  • Sit down with your spouse and make a definite list of spending priorities.
  • Lay out some positive dreams and goals that you can agree to save toward as a team.
  • No matter how tight your finances are, squeeze in a little fun for the family into your budget. You will be far less likely to impulsively overspend on fun if you know that there is a little bit of fun purposely built into the budget.
  • Do NOT spend more than you earn. This is the cardinal rule of budgeting. If you are going into debt, you MUST cut expenses or increase income.
  • No matter how tight your budget, save something each month.
  • Review your budget on a regular basis, consider adjustments and reward progress.
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