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Make a Budget to Help Your Dreams Come True! 
By Monica Resinger

A budget helps you to see where your money is going and helps you determine 
where you can cut back. It is also an important guide for what to do with your 
money when you get paid. If you are serious about your financial goals, a 
budget is an absolute necessity. 

When my husband and I got married over 18 years ago, we had no idea of how to 
manage our money. Even though we both worked, we always had a hard time 
paying our bills and had nothing to show for our money. Then my son came along 
changed all of that; I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. 

We also wanted to travel, save for retirement and college funds, and purchase 
our own home. We knew we had to start managing our money better to be able to 
do these things and the first step in doing that was to prepare a budget. 

When you think of your financial goals, write them down at the top of a piece 
of paper. This will help you stay on track and give you motivation to stick 
to your budget. 

The first step in making our budget was to list out the necessities… rent, 
utilities, phone, vehicle expense and food and the amounts we paid on them per 
month.  Then we listed our credit card bills with minimum monthly payments and ‘
miscellaneous’ for items like clothing or birthdays.   We listed these on the 
paper that listed our financial goals.

When listing your budget amounts, be sure to be accurate and honest about how 
much you spend on them. Look back into your checkbook and add it all up. If 
you write down less than what you actually spend, how can you possibly cut back?

Once we made our list, we looked at it to see if there was anywhere we could 
cut back. We saw that we could probably cut back the amount we spent on food 
by using coupons and shopping sales and discount stores, so we lowered the 
amount we originally budgeted. We saw that we could probably cut back the 
we spent on gasoline by making fewer trips to the store, only driving when 
absolutely necessary, etc. So we lowered that amount also. We vowed to cut back 
our power usage -- turn off lights when leaving a room, dry clothes on the 
line, wear sweaters so we can set the thermostat lower, etc. We stuck to these 
amounts and made it, and I was able to quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. 

At first we didn't have any money left after paying our necessities but that 
was okay because we had a roof over our head and I was able to stay home and 
raise our son. As my husband got raises then eventually started his own 
business, we began to have a little extra money left after our budget was paid. 
enabled us to go out once in a while and add a new category onto our budget 
called ‘savings’ where we strive to save for vacations, home improvement, 
retirement funds, etc. 

Within a few years, we were able to purchase our own house, remodel it a 
little at a time, make our credit card bills smaller, buy a nice car and take a 
couple nice vacations. 

So please Make a Budget and Help your Dreams Come True! 

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