Restoring the Lost Petal

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No More Excuses: You Can Budget Even If You Are Broke & Reason Why You Should

no more excuses

Your broke.

You got laid off.

Your husband’s real estate job just isn’t bringing in what it used to.

You have way too much credit card debt.

You’re so far behind you can’t keep up with paying everything.

Your pay checks are never the same from week to week.

As a financial coach I hear so many different stories of failed budgets, misconceptions of budgeting and down right excuses why people have chosen not to budget their money.

Today I want to tackle some of these excuses. (Yes, this may hurt a bit.)

Lack of Income

A lack of income does not mean you should not budget.  When income is as a minimum there’s no better time to start learning how to be a good steward. Budgeting with no money is the best time to start budgeting.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. ~ Luke 16-10

Not only is it biblical to be a steward with little it is also practical. If you’re dealing with a lay off, reduced salary or living on unemployment for you there might be no better time to get a grip on your finances.  You’ll have to swallow your pride, cut out the unnecessary “necessities” in your life for a while but if you use this season as a time of growth for your understanding rather than your bank account you will be better off in the long run.

Why you should budget: When there is little income you need to be even more aware of where your money is going.  You need to stop the leaks in your budget so you can make ends meet.  You may spend an extended season learning to live on a little but once the season is over you’ll be well equipped to continue living wisely and beef up savings and emergency funds for the future.

Too Much Debt

Too much debt means one of two things.  You don’t know how to handle money or you have zero self control. (Sorry, it’s true.)

Side note – life happens to the best of us…..we sometimes do need to use credit cards to get through hard times if we have no established savings (which we’ll talk about in the near future) that is not what I mean about not handling money.  Not handling money properly is using credit cards because you want to take a vacation, you want a new pair or shoes or you want to go to dinner but you have no many in your checking account to support such activity. 

When you’re swimming in debt it can feel like you are the bottom of a pit with no way out.  I know, we were there.  I knew if we kept doing what we were doing we’d end up at the point where we could not make our minimum monthly payments.  We had money, we just had no idea how to use it wisely. The problem is not making too little, it is spending too much.

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. ~ Romans 13:7-8

If you can barely or absolutely cannot afford every payment you will probably have to default on something for a time.  This does not mean you forget about the debt.  It means you may need to tell the debtor you cannot pay it now but you intend to settle the debt as soon as you are able.

Why you should budget: You may have more funds than you think if you take a hard look at where you are spending your money.  If you are having issues with paying bills you shouldn’t be getting your nails done every week or buying Starbucks every morning on the way to work.    You need to learn how to handle your money and budget wisely or else you’ll keep going around the same mountain.  No income level will change your poor management skills and you will end up making more and owing more.  

Fluctuating Income

When you are paid hourly and your hours vary week to week it can feel impossible to figure out a budget that will work. But it isn’t impossible.  In fact, learning to budget on a fluctuating income will ease the fluctuation.

Why you should budget: When you find yourself purposely saving “extras” from the bigger paychecks to cover the expenses during the smaller pay checks and you are living within your means  the peaks and valleys seem a little less significant.

 

What holds you back from starting a budget? What questions do you have about starting a budget?

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