Budget is not a bad word!
We are always hearing about the dreaded BUDGET. A budget is not scary. A budget is not constraining. It might reveal a weakness or two, but we shouldn't be so proud that we hide that.
A budget is:
Why the Thompsons budget
The bible has many many many references to money, contentment, and debt. This is our main reason. Our finances are a blessing from God. We choose not to take advantage of that. We make (sometimes hard) choices regarding what we *need* and what we *want*. And we make really really hard choices about what we think we *deserve*.
Also, we are a one-income family. It's important for us to be aware of our finances and our spending habits BEFORE anything bad happens. We'd rather be pro-active than reactive.
We want to be an example. It's important to us that -as parents- we show them that money isn't a four-letter-word. It's a blessing from God! And - just like there is an order to making sugar cookies - money can be handled in an organized, logical, and non-threatening way - and it can still be fun. :)
You don't have to be poor to budget. A budget doesn't mean that you are so broke that you have to count your pennies to make sure the utility bill gets paid. Even multi-million-dollar companies need a budget.
You don't have to be in debt to budget. What a great way to stay OUT of debt!
You don't have to spend hours doing budget spreadsheets and keeping up with all the numbers. There are so many options to do this. Store-bought computer programs, websites, even some checking accounts offer to categorized spending. Find the way that works for you.
How we budget
We have an excel spreadsheet that some friends gave to us. We have categories, and a money amount allotted for each category. As we spend, we can see how much we have left in each category - and the number turns red if we go over. It's a clear visual for us.