We’ve dealt with the excuses people use for not doing and using budgets. You most likely are not a sheepherder. So why did I title this lesson, “The Condition of Your Flock”? The reason is that even though we don’t herd sheep or have flocks, we have to learn to “herd”/manage the money God entrusted to us and learn to leave below our means.
Proverbs 27:23-27 – Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations. When the grass disappears, the new growth is seen, and the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, the lambs will be for your clothing, and the goats will bring the price of a field, and there will be goats’ milk enough for your food, for the food of your household, and sustenance for your maidens.
If you do not know what needs you have and the resources you have to cover them each month, you will not succeed. You need to have a plan to direct your money.
For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him – Luke 14:28-29
This translates to someone wanting to build a home and not obtaining any blueprints. The builders wouldn’t have clue how large to make the home. They wouldn’t know where to put the bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, or living room. You need a plan, blueprints. You need to think about your budget/spending plan as a blueprint for your money, Money Blueprint.
You can earn $100,000 a year and still be broke, if you don’t control your spending with a Money Blueprint. There are families out there who have only one wage earner and average $40,000 a year. Yet, they are able to cover their needs, save, and give because they use a Money Blueprint. They don’t let their spending get out of control. They control their spending by using a budget.
A Money Blueprint gives you control of your money. You will know how much money you have each month. You will actually see what expenses you have. Nothing provides you with a clearer picture of your money and debt than a money blueprint.
Starting today, you and your spouse, if you’re single, then you, yourself, and you, are going to sit down and get going on creating your Money Blueprint. The first time you make a budget, you’ll forget some things and have totally wrong numbers for certain categories. Don’t worry about it, just be aware that it’s going to happen. Expect it and don’t let it get you off course.
Right now, you’re going to start with your “meeting of the minds”. You need to have your Money Blueprint meeting towards the end of the month, so you will have your Money Blueprint in place at the beginning of each month. The first time you create your Money Blueprint, you’ll have a bunch of “Emergency Meetings” throughout the month as you make corrections to your budget.
Trust me, the next month it will get easier. After a few months, it’ll be second nature to you. One thing to keep in mind is that the once your Money Blueprint is done, the bottom number (Income minus Expenses) should be zero. If it a negative number, you need to cut back on your expenses. If it is a positive number, you need to put more money to paying off your debt or into savings.
Three other very important things that you have to do are (1) to record your expenses for 30 to 60 days, (2) balance your checkbook each month, and (3) cut-up, hide, or put away your ATM (Debit) and credit cards. You are going to stop using plastic and start using cas