Seven Tips for Highly Effective Budgets

Here are seven tips for helping you to see a budget with new eyes.

  1. Prioriteyes: List everything you need and want next year, and then put them in order, from most important to least important. Everyone is different, yet odds are that food and shelter will be near the top.  And if God is first in your life, give your tithe first. You'll be amazed at how much further your money will go when you start with what matters most.
  2. Annualeyes:  Seemingly small expenses add up quickly when they recur frequently. So annualize everything.
  3. Incentiveyes:  Build in rewards for meeting or beating your budget. Annually, monthly, weekly, daily.
  4. Unioneyes:  If you're married, you can't build a budget solo.  You've got to work together. Marriage is a holy union. If one person sets all the priorities, your budget is sure to fail.
  5. Coloneyes:  Surround yourself with friends who are making similar choices. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17).
  6. Mobileyes:  Get a job. Regardless of what it pays. Even if it is beneath you. If you are doing nothing, then nothing is beneath you. And look at the whole picture, because a dollar saved is two dollars earned. 
  7. No compromeyes:  Once you've set up your budget, stick with it. It will work if you stay the course. This isn't to say you can't make changes. As priorities change, change your budget. But stick with it.