Post by Contributing Writer, Rachael
Without looking at your budget ledger, answer the following questions:
1. How much have you spent in the last 30 days on food?
2. What is the budget for fall 2012 education/school?
3. How many gifts will you give this summer?
How did you do? Have you audited your personal financial state lately?
June is a big month in our home when it comes to our personal finances. Since June represents the half way point of the year, we sit down and give our personal budget an audit.
It isn’t complicated or drawn out but it does give us a good idea of our financial picture and help us prepare for the remainder of the year.
Here are some things to consider if you would like to engage in a personal financial audit:
Are we living within the budget we set at the beginning of the year? (If you don’t have a budget it is never too late to start, here is a calculator to help!)
A. Yes, things are going as planned.
B. No, we need to make adjustments.
For us the answer is B. We’ve had a slight increase in income which means we need to adjust our saving and giving. We also need to increase our grocery budget slightly as our 3rd child will start eating solids before the end of the year. To make up for that we will decrease our gas budget as we have not been driving as much due to gas prices and nice weather.
Revisiting your budget will help you see if you are staying on track. If you are, you will be reassured that each dollar you’re spending has a purpose. If you are not, this is a good time to re-calibrate your spending and/or saving so you can get back on the right financial path.
Are you saving/planning for events taking place during the 2nd half of the year (Start of school, Christmas, major purchase, etc.)?
A. Yes, I am already planning for celebrations and travel.
B. No, I need to make plans and mark my calendar.
For us the answer is A. My husband receives his annual schedule in October of every year. I know for the rest of the year we have 3 weddings, 1 out of state trip, 1 anniversary weekend and 1 additional “travel” time budgeted for, along with 2 holidays and 2 birthdays.
Looking ahead can help you prioritize how you spend your money now. Looking at our busy year of weddings we’ve chosen to make them day trips and not stay overnight. We’ve also chosen to have family dessert celebrations for birthdays versus parties or expensive dinners. When our anniversary trip comes around, I will appreciate the sacrifices we’ve made during the year to have some quality time together doing a few things we really enjoy.
Am I feeling positive about my financial position?
A. Yes, I am comfortable with where we are as a family.
B. No, I am feeling discouraged or stressed with my financial position.
I would choose option C, both A and B! I feel like we are making good decisions with our finances at this time, however, we are still looking to make a major purchase this year and we have not done it yet.
Our attitude toward our finances often times determines how well we manage our money. Having a positive view of your financial position will help you be a better manager of your resources.
If you are feeling discouraged, make sure you take the time to talk about your finances with your spouse or family. Creative and practical solutions alike may help you go from financial frenzy to financial freedom!
Every penny counts so make sure to take time and count every penny!
Rachael shares financial tips from her kitchen table surrounded by a newborn, two active toddlers and her husband. God has called her from corporate life into His grace as an at-home wife! She shares about her passion for motherhood and life at To Be a Mom…
If you have a financial question or topic you would like us to discuss, leave a comment or send us an email!