Posted by Renee Metzler on October 3, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Set up a smart budget.

To accelerate debt reduction, I'm sharing a Get out of Debt Series.  Many of us have the goal to get out of debt, but what is our goal after that?  Do we want to help feed the starving?  Do we want to go on a mission trip?  Do we want to own a home or send our children to college?  Getting out of debt is only a beginning goal.  Start thinking about why you want to get out of debt and what your goal is beyond that.  

A good basic budget to follow is the 10-10-80 rule.  What is the 10-10-80 rule?  It's easy.  10% goes to tithe or furthering the kingdom of God.  10% goes to savings.  80% goes to living.  Now, we'll break it down even further in this session, but remember those percentages and let it be a starting point.  Another basic financial habit is to thank God for blessings, after all "every good gift is from above."  Let's begin stewerding the blessings we already have.

Create your Budget on a Financial Tracker

Tracking is key.  If you want to go on a vacation, you have to plan where you want to go. You have to book your hotel, and reserve tickets to your excursions.  The same is true if you want to arrive at your financial destination.  Create your budget on a financial tracker in 3 Steps: 

1. Calculating your budget according to the 10-10-80 rule.  To calculate my budget, I like using the budget lite tool by Dave Ramsey.  Punch in your income, and it will spit out percentages.  This will only take a minute.  If you notice that you absolutely can not meet the first calculation, use the sliders to adjust the budget.

2. Write down your new, smart budget on a financial tracker.  I like using my fridge file. because, unlike online trackers, I can't forget about what is in front of me (the fridge).  Exra income will flow toward debt pay-off now, and later investments.  

3. Write down bill due dates in chronological order on your financial tracker.  Take out your monthly bills and write down when each bill is due in chronological order on the "bills due" section.  A lot of us Americans pay "late fees."  One late fee of $40 a month, adds up to over $400 a year.  Having a financial tracker with a "bills due" list can really help eliminate this money sucker.  Also, as you pay the bills this month, write down what you actually spent, so you will begin to see if you are spending within a reasonable range in each catagory.  

Very Important Tip:  For miscellanous expenditures (coffee money, odds and ends), you will want to take out a predetermined amount of cash.  Buying extras should only take place with cash ... that way you aren't spontaneously giving your hard earned money to stores and restaurants.  By the way, they will happily take it, but when it comes to paying off our credit card ... they won't be there to help.  


Categories: Manage

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