Have you ever reached the end of the month and asked “Where did all my money go?” Me too. This week we are getting into the heart of Financial Peace: budgeting! Creating and sticking to a budget allows us to tell our money where to go, instead of wondering where it went. Good stewardship requires that we be intentional with our money.

Remember, Financial Peace is primarily about changing our behaviors. Dave challenges that we need to “feel it” when we spend money. One way to do this is to switch to using cash. Handing over cash instead simply swiping a card causes us to “feel” the money we spend.

The bad news? Sticking to a budget is hard. In the beginning, expect it to be challenging. Dave suggests it takes 90 days to get good at this. I would encourage you to remember to give yourself (and your spouse) grace and keep at it! Having a money plan and sticking to it will remove many of the money fights and much of the guilt and shame associated with money. A budget will give you a sense of empowerment and control over your finances.

Remember that this group is intended to be a source of encouragement and accountability.  Through the trials and triumphs, we’re in this together.  Leave a comment below letting us know how it’s going.

Action Items This Week:

Complete your first zero-based budget.  Use the paper form at the end of your workbook, or download a printable copy here.

Call a Budget Committee Meeting.  Singles, share your budget with your accountability partner. Identify and discuss any parts of your budget that seem too expensive or out of control.  Married couples, call a budget committee meeting and follow the rules outlined last week.  Identify and discuss any parts of your budget that seem too expensive or out of control.

Stuff some envelopes.  It’s time to feel some money!  Choose a few budget categories that would work well with the cash envelop system.


Let's Discuss

-The key to true financial peace is to give every dollar a name by doing a fresh budget every single month.  Share what you think about doing a zero-based budget every month.  What challenges do you foresee for yourself?

-Between cash, auto-drafts, debit cards and online transactions, we have a lot of different ways to spend money.  How do all of these options impact your ability to actually “feel” money?

-The envelope system is one of the best methods for learning how to feel money again.  Using your Quick-Start Budget as a guide, discuss two or three areas for which you can try cash envelopes this month.