New Year, New You

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Every year we hear that same motto “New Year, New You”.  But do you really take it to heart?  I want to make this year a lot better than the last one.  I am putting steps into place to make that happen.  How about you?

One of the first steps I am taking is saving more money.  I am going to try and set aside money each week to have a little cushion room.  Having been off work for 13 weeks last year with my heart surgery it really made me see the importance of a savings account.

I am asked a lot during counseling sessions how to help a couple get on track financially.  One of the best ways is to have a budget, and stick to it.  Knowing what your bills and income are and setting up a way to pay them makes life better.  Make sure that both of you are envolved in setting up the budget.  Usually there is a spender and a saver in the relationship and if the spender can actually see where the money is spent it will help them to understand the saver’s worries.  And if there is some extra it may show the saver that there is some room in the budget for some fun spending.

Even with a budget set up, it is hard to actually follow it.  Two tricks I tell couples is one, to use the envelope method.  You take the money you have left after bills and keep it out in cash.  When you only have cash it makes you look a little different at the frivolous things you buy.  Another is to keep track of EVERY cent you spend.  Write down anything you spend your cash on, even if it is a 50 cent pack of gum.  You will soon see a pattern of where your money is going.  Our main frivolous spending is eating out.  It is so easy to just grab something while we are out.  A meal out for the family can be 3 meals made at home.  Big difference, and usually much healthier!

I know that all of this seems easy on paper, but much harder in real life.  Trust me I deal with it too!  Take time to pray over your budget and pray together as a couple over your spending.  Talk to your children too and explain to them about a budget and how it helps the family.  Ask them to help the family stay within the realms of the budget.  It will help them to value money and a budget.  Be prepared also to take this time to teach them about the importance of tithing. 

I hope this helps us all to start our New Year being more financially savvy. 

Happy New Year!

Aundie Starks

p.s. On a personal note, I would covet your prayers as I lost my birth father last week.  Thanks you.  Aundie

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