Give those dollar bills a job in 5 easy steps

Give those dollar bills a job in 5 easy steps: We live in a busy for the sake of busyness culture. Let’s put our money on autopilot. How nice would it be if we KNEW for a fact that there would be more money at the end of the month, than more month than money? You can do it (Insert Billy Madison Voice)!!! Just put together a spending plan or better yet a “job description,” for each of your little employees called dollar bills. Here are the five easy steps to put together a plan for your daily money.

  1. Review the last three months of your expenses and categorize them as the following:
    • Housing: this includes rent (includes renters insurance) or mortgage (the entire mortgage: principal, interest, taxes and insurance), all utilities and include cell phone and some small buffer for misc. home repairs.
    • Auto: this includes car payment, gas, repairs, oil changes and insurance
    • Food: this includes grocery trips, eating out and all those kids, football, pot luck parties where you are requested to bring a dish.
    • Debt Payments: Debt that is not secured by an asset is called unsecured debt (the bank can take back a secured asset like a home or car. The bank cannot take back that night out with the guys a BW-3’s that you put on your American Excess card. Don’t count out Chase either…because you will chase your money if you use credit cards. What’s in my wallet? A Debit card and cash.).
    • Medical Expenses: This category can get big in a hurry, so let’s include your co-pays at the minimum.
    • The goal is to add these five categories up and get to ONE NUMBER, yes, ONE NUMBER. I want you to be able to track this stuff with eventually ONE NUMBER and it’s called: MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES. IT IS A NET INCOME NUMBER. NET INCOME is the income you get to spend after tithe, taxes, and savings.
  2. Put these averages in a spreadsheet, computer program like Quicken or Microsoft Money, notebook, phone app like Mint or Every Dollar.
  3. Once you have the averages, over the next three months pick a category and see what you can do as a family to try to reduce those expenses. Maybe it’s crock pot cooking time? New cell phone provider? Maybe it’s less BW-3’s (that one is for me because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE fried chicken in any form: As a tip, the smoked fried chicken at SMOQ off 275 is OUTSTANDING).
  4. Here’s the hardest part: you need to have an accountability partner with the spending plan AND have a daily conversation about spending. This helps you break the silence of money that our culture has put around proper stewardship. Remember, our culture YELLS…Spend, Spend, Spend and is silent on the save, save, save. Here’s what it will look like:
    • Hey, what did we spend today?
    • What are we going to spend tomorrow?
    • Are we over/under our spending plan?
    • Rinse, Repeat. Psalm 20:7 “Some Trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

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