|Nancy Twigg is a speaker and author who loves inspiring others to live more
simply. Adapted from Nancy’s newly revised book, Celebrate Simply: Your
Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions (www.celebratesimply.com).
Visit Nancy online at www.countingthecost.com
hear the word "budget," our family budget has come to be
one of my best friends.
One key to abundant living for us is
financial peace -- knowing that we are living within our means while
setting aside money to meet short-term needs and long-range goals.
If your family is having trouble in
this area, consider these six keys to successful budgeting:
SIMPLICITY - If your budgeting
system is too complicated, you probably won't stick with it very
long. Start with a system that is simple for both you and your
CLARITY - Be clear about your
goals and what you wish to accomplish. Make sure your budget
reflects what is most important to you. For example, if you say
giving to charity is important but you don't budget for it, guess
what will happen? It probably won’t get done.
FLEXIBILITY - It takes time
and experimentation to find a system that works for you. Be
flexible. Don't give up if a particular method doesn't work; just
keep at it until you find one that does.
REALITY - Be realistic in your
budgeting and financial goals. If you aren't, you set yourself up
for failure. Strict budgeting is like strict dieting. It's hard to
keep at it for very long. When possible, give your budget a little
UNITY – Is there a
particular goal you are working toward? Maybe the goal is for Mom to
be able to stay home with the kids or the family paying off all
credit cards and getting out of debt. Budgets work best when
everyone in the family understands and agrees on the end goal.
CONSISTENCY - An exercise
program won't work if you don't stick with it. Neither will a
budget. You have to be consistent, not on-again-off-again. If you
spend more than you should one month, it's not the end of the world.
Just buckle down and commit to doing better next month.