Second chances are not just boxed in romantic-love-affairs. Second chances are also meant to be embraced in our finances. My fave mobile application, Goodbudget, sent me an article on second chances in budgeting and might as well share it with you. I find it interesting and very helpful to everyone – the budget-freaks and the happy-go-lucky freaks. May this article help you in being a good stewards of the resources (in this case, money) that God has given you.
Before that, let me introduce to you the B word. B–U–D–G–E–T.
In Ptr. Dennis Sy‘s book, Rich for Life, budget is a written game plan that tells you where the money goes. I love this statement on how Ptr. Dennis defines the purpose of budget planning.
We make a budget because we are not mastered by our money; we tell our money where it’s supposed to go. -Dennis Sy, Rich For Life
I was raised by Mama and Papa to allocate all funds coming in my pocket. Well, the only fund that came in was my weekly allowance from Papa. Haha. However, during my last two years in college I literally had to budget the funds coming in from my stipend (DOST) monthly. Until now, in my 5 years of working, the habit of budgeting is still in me but sometimes, I get stumbled with unexpected stuff in return ruining my budget.
Thus, second chances are meant to be embraced. Just because things haven’t gone quite according to plan doesn’t mean all our hard work has failed. Give ourselves some grace and take our second chance. Let me now share to you how. This is interesting.
1. BRING YOUR BUDGET WITH YOU
Your budget plan is at home on your computer, but you’re out in the real world swiping your cards and making purchases. I’m not against the Excel sheet. I do have tons! Haha.
The thing here is to make use of your smartphone. Since you have your phone with you anyway, you can quickly know how much you have left to spend on groceries, food trips, etc.
I am not a fan of mobile utility apps. They don’t satisfy my conditions when in comes to budget planning but Goodbudget app gave me the features that I simply need – a virtual envelope system budgeting. By the way, I only use the free version with 10 envelopes. Good thing, I only have 9 envelopes being used.
Every time I buy lunch or simply buy quick snacks to fill me in, I always make it a point to track ALL of them. If my baon was not used, I transfer it to another envelope – either in Spending Fund or Emergency Fund.
2. GET ON THE SAME PAGE
Well, this is for people with families, I believe. You bought groceries, and your spouse bought take-out. But you’ve both used more than the entire Food budget on your purchases! What now?
Get everyone on the same page (at least in the same chapter) by adding those expenses to your mobile app right away.
3. PLAN FOR BIG EXPENSES
Sudden travel because of the Piso Fare Sale is not an EMERGENCY! Birthday gifts, car repairs, home repairs. Whoops!
Expect the unexpected and start saving now. Create that Travel Envelope. When it comes time travel, you’ll already have the money saved up in your budget.
4. BE FLEXIBLE
So, you overspent on Spending or Travel Fund. Know that you’re a real person with real expenses. Move extra money from Groceries to make up for the overspending in Fun. You’ll be as good as new and ready to keep on keeping on.
Remember, budgets are flexible and I think we should be too. We need to know where things went wrong, say Okay and then try your best with this second chance.
That’s the four steps Goodbudget team is recommending us in our budget planning. I tried this out since last month. First, I budget using my excel sheets then once done I put those allocations in my mobile app. So every time I buy lunch or snacks, I track them real time.
It’s funny ’cause most of the time I don’t spend my daily baon because we (with the other apartment boys and girls) bring our group lunch and I bring my own juice, fruits, and snacks to the office. What a way to be thrifty, eh? So, most of the time, I transfer my daily baon to either my Spending Fund or Emergency Fund virtual envelope. All these transactions happen in my mobile app and real time.
My prayer for you is that you may be a good steward of God’s resource He has given you. Don’t let money control you.
Happy budgeting folks!