Balance, Moderation and Budgets

What do you need more of? If someone asked you that question, what would be your response? The list could be endless. I would like to narrow the list and identify that time and money would be in the top twenty. These items appear to be the top priorities on the minds of many. People with money, need more time. People with time, need more money. The elderly or sick need more time. The people with lack need more money. There are many scenarios, but time and money are involved in some type of capacity. The question is, what you are doing with the time and money you have right now. Are you having good success with the time and money you have available?

If you are born into a wealthy family with the silver spoon hanging from your mouth, you have more money to begin with. And, maybe you have people to perform many tasks and chores, for you, freeing up time in your day. I am addressing the average person who works full time and maybe living from paycheck to paycheck with many items on their daily to-do list.

Balance is staying in the middle, not to sway to the left or right. Centered. Staying balanced should be taught. Have a wiliness to do and the self-discipline to keep doing it. Moderation is to avoid extreme behaviors; to observe reasonable limits. A budget is a plan to determine how much of a specific item is allocated based how much of that item is available.

Society is unbalanced always swaying too far to left or right, whatever the trend is, at any given time that is the way society leans. We live in a time of excess, which is the opposite of moderation. And, the world teaches always to have more than usual or necessary. If you own a car, a luxury car is desired. If you own a home, a bigger home is better. If you have one credit card, more credits are sought. More people are not making or keeping a budget. The reasons may vary. They may not have been taught to keep one or feel budgets are useless and a waste of time.

Are you in the middle or at the extreme ends of life’s spectrum? Are you doing too little or doing too much in areas in your life? Does it appear as soon as money comes in it flies out without you knowing where it went?

If you are tired of seeing other people reach their goals in a timely matter and purchasing items you dream of. It’s time to receive some basic tips on balance, moderation and budgets, specifically on time and money. Two items that should be budgeted to enrich your life. You don’t need to do it alone, let God to be your guide.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5King James Version (KJV)

Balance and Moderation on Time Management

Time is an important commodity. Older individuals realize much time has passed, silently desiring more time. While the younger generation believes they have all the time in the world.

You cannot go back in time. You cannot make up for lost time. My advice is to make the present time count for something because the future is not guaranteed.

Do you budget your time, like your money. Or, do you live minute to minute, day to day with the regards to how your time is spent. It does not matter if you are 18, 28, 48 or 88, spend time wisely.

Do you budget your time?  Budgets reflect balance, the ability to stay centered when spending your time is concerned. To be able to acknowledge limits, deficits and surpluses and adjust accordingly. To maintain a healthy time budget is to avoid extreme behaviors, not to spend too much time or spend too little in areas of your life. That’s moderation.

I understand, the majority of people spend many hours of their day with either going to work or school time. What about the rest of your time?

You may hear or even say two statements;

  • I’m so busy
  • I don’t have the time

Many can testify and prove that those statements are true. If you are juggling employment, participating in an exercise regimen, going to school part time, performing household chores, running errands, fulfilling family time and stealing a little bit of “me”. There is probably isn’t much time left.

However, if you fall into the category of going to work, and having a lot of “me” time, and you barely cook, perform little to no housekeeping, attend no classes and your spouse and children are left to fend for themselves. This post is for you.

Statements often made are:

  • I’m so tired
  • I’m sleepy
  • I need a nap
  • I need my rest

These people are the ones who take off unnecessary days at work or come to work dragging and unhappy, but miraculously have a second wind close to clock out time and hurriedly go home to do nothing.

Time should be budgeted. We spend time on the things we must get done, working, traveling to and from work. But, you better believe we make time for the things we want to do. Texting, Facebook, television shows, movies, friends or any other fun activity.

For obvious reasons, time should be budgeted because things get neglected, for example:

  • Aging parents, or other loved ones may want a phone call, a quick visit, something to let them know you love them.
  • Spouses need attention. Don’t be fooled. Spend time with your husband or wife.
  • Too many children are not nurtured at home. So they go elsewhere to get what they think they need. And, the places they end up, may not always be positive.
  • Education should always be sought. Don’t allow opportunities to come your way and you’re unprepared.
  • Self-awareness is the knowledge of your personality or character. Do you know yourself?
  • Health should be addressed. There are too may illness, disease and disorders that can be avoided with good health habits.
  • God. I purposely left God last, not because He is least. But, He can assist you with all of the above issues. He is the key to your success.

Remember, anything you do not water, feed or nurture will eventually die. Not necessarily a physical death, but a cease from functioning to end in failure or to become indifferent.

Here are some tips on managing your time more effectively. No one knows your schedule better than you. The obvious tip is asking God for help. We are living in a “me” society and a world of selfishness. It is difficult to take your eyes off yourself and focus on God and His counsel. You must have a strong will to have good time management. You must be obedient to wise counsel. If you do not have at least these qualities. You run a high risk of failing because the strong will of procrastination, laziness and distractions will be activated. With God, you can fight these unhealthy spirits.

When developing any new skills or healthy behaviors, it may come a time when you must isolate yourself from people who are not encouraging you on your quest. If you have previously associated yourself with individuals who waste time or lack time management skills, it may be time to part company. It may not be forever, only until you get stronger.

Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Colossians 4:5Amplified Bible (AMP)

You may not have control of all the hours of your day, but make good on the things you can control. Become an early riser. Instead of sleeping to the very last minute, wake up early and spend time on things that matter. Maybe call your parents/loved in the morning. Take an early exercise class for your health.

If you are a night owl. Instead of binge watching television series or playing video games, spend time with your spouse, do something special. Have date nights. Do something your spouse enjoys. As far as education, spend late hours doing online college courses. For health, locate a gym that is open 24 hours a day or have late hours.

Traveling back and forth to work is an excellent t time for self-awareness. Listen to audio books, spiritual guidance CD, the Bible on tape. Also, this time can be allocated for calling parents and loved ones.

Time can be spent with children while you are cooking. Have them sit in the kitchen, while you prepare meals. Have them assist you in preparing the meals. This is a wonderful time to teach them cooking skills as well as catch up on what is going on in their lives. Also, maybe take one day out of the week for meal prep. When you come home from work, it may be a matter of just heating up a meal instead starting from the scratch. Make sure you incorporate your children or maybe your spouse with meal prep. Preparing meals in advance, gives you control with healthy eating habits.  Having your premade nutritional lunches and healthy snacks can help you to avoid the vending machines or high caloric; high fat; fast food meals.

On your lunch break eat, of course, but attempt to incorporate some the items listed above.

Spend time with God early in the morning, late at night, coming and going to work, on your lunch break, all throughout the day.

Time is more precious than money. You can lose money and get it back. Once time is lost, it is gone. Spend your time wisely.

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17King James Version (KJV)

Balance and Moderation on Money

According to an article online, 40% of Americans do not have a budget. Some individuals may marvel at this percentage and wonder how in the world can people make it without a budget? While others may shrug and say, what is the point? I live from paycheck to paycheck, always trying to make ends meet. What is the point of keeping a budget?

My focus is to address those who don’t have a budget. Or, the ones who keep somewhat of a budget in their minds, but never write down amounts coming in or going out.

What is a budget? Basically, a budget is a plan to decide how money is allocated based how much money is coming in. It is a plan, your plan concerning your money. It can be as simple as witting your assets and deficits in a spiral notebook, creating an Excel spreadsheet, or using an online budget plan. The point is to write down, keep track, and review your expenses on a regular basis. In can be weekly, biweekly or monthly. Budgets reflect balance, the ability to stay centered when spending is concerned. To be able to acknowledge limits, deficits and surpluses and adjust accordingly. To maintain a budget is to avoid extreme behaviors in spending, not to spend too much or pay too little, that’s moderation.

Why is a budget important? It can determine:
• What’s coming in and what’s going out
• If you are living above your means
• If you are not making enough
• If you are overspending
• If you are not allocating funds properly
• Ways to save
• When to make large purchases, i.e., cars, homes
• How vacations can be paid
• How to get out of debt and stay out of debt

Bad or no budgeting occurs when individuals treat themselves, family and others before paying bills. It is the, I deserve it mindset. They feel they work all week or for 2 weeks and now they feel they deserve to go to Happy Hour on Friday. They deserve to go out to dinner on Saturday. They deserve to buy something at the One Sale at Macy’s on Sunday. But on Monday, reality hits. There is not enough money left to pay rent, utilities, or other expenses. In their mind, they thought they had enough to do these things. Either they overspent, miscalculated or they are living beyond their means.

Slowly, these individuals find themselves sinking into a financial hole. Bills accumulate and payments are behind. Which can lead to apartment evictions, repossessed cars and garnished paychecks.

Budgeting skills are taught, through parents, schools, or other means. To maintain a budget is a choice. No one can force budgeting skills upon you. If you find yourself mystified at the end of a pay period as to where your money has gone, take a few minutes, write down your income and subtract all your expenses and allow your mystification to be resolved. Many people will blame the amount of income coming, that it is not enough. That may be the case. Then it is decision making time. You may need to get a second income or get a job making more money. Sounds simple, it’s not. But, a budget can help you see these revelations more clearly.

However, the way you spend your income may be an issue as well. If you are making just enough to pay bills, but find yourself overspending in areas that can be controlled, then the problem is not the income, it is your allocation techniques.

One of the key concepts to have when formulating a budget is honesty. You must be honest with how you spend. You must be willing and ready to do better. If these concepts are not adopted you will continue to find yourself in a financial debacle.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7King James Version (KJV)

Provided below is a simple good budget. This is a monthly salary of $2000. 00 after taxes.

Rent $500
Electricity $100
Utilities $40
Cell phone $70
Groceries $100
Gas for Car $100
Car Payment $200
Entertainment $100
Miscellaneous $100
Savings $100
Total $1410 $2000. 00-$1410= $590.00 left

The $590.00 allows you to identify areas you can increase. You may be able to get a better apartment or car, because you have the money to increase payments. You may be able to save more to eventually have a down payment on a home or other large purchase or save for a vacation. You have extra, at the end, of the month, to apply to other areas.

Remember, a budget is designed for you and your family. If you eat out more and cook less, increase your entertainment portions and decrease your groceries. What is the point of buying groceries that is rarely used when you lean more on take out? Or, in your budget, allow an amount for eating out. Of course, this will decrease the amount at the end of the month, but you were honest with yourself to know that eating out is a given.

Another point to address, some items on your budget may vary from month to month, allowances have to be made. Electricity bills fall under that category. However, you may be able to have some control. During the winter, does your home need to be a furnace while you walk around in shorts. Or, during the summer, does your home need to at a subzero temperature with windows and doors opened, children running in and out of the house? Adjust thermostats to save money. Most electric companies will provide you with ways to save. Adjust your way of living, It can save money.

This budget below needs adjusting, a case of bad budgeting. This is a monthly salary of $2000. 00, after taxes.

Rent $800
Car Payment $600
Entertainment $300
Gas for Car $200
Cell phone $150
Electricity $100
Utilities $40
Groceries $100
Miscellaneous 0
Savings 0
Total $2290 there is a deficit of -$290.

The budget has a deficit of $290, indicating you are in a hole from the start. And, there is no money left for any miscellaneous items that may occur or any portions for savings. This person is living above their means. Unfortunately, this is the way many people live.

Let’s investigate more closely. Remember, just because you qualified for the luxury car and the luxury apartment in the beginning, does not mean you can afford them when the monthly payments begin to flow in. If you had a budget, before seeking these pricey items, you would have known you couldn’t afford to pay $800 for rent and a $600 car note. With this valuable piece of knowledge, maybe you could have gotten a more affordable car or apartment. Maybe you could have invested in one of items, for example, the car, but rented an apartment more suitable for your budget, or vice versa.

The entertainment fund is too high. Eating out, going to the movies, renting games and videos, Happy Hours, Sunday brunches and any other forms of entertainment are fun and are needed to maintain a balanced healthy lifestyle. Everyone needs to decompress and blow off steam. However, your budget does not allow you to do all of the things, all of the time. Sometimes, you may need to say no. Discipline needs to be activated. It’s difficult because the I deserve it mindset comes into play. Thinking you are entitled to do whatever you what, it’s your money, you worked for it. In your eyes, this may be true, however you and your family deserve to live a balanced mental and emotional life, not constantly worrying about electricity being cut off, utilities being shut down, being evicted from apartments, or seeing the family car repossessed.

The two budgets listed above may be an over or under dramatization of everyday incomes and spending. The key point to focus on is the need for a budget in life. It keeps your money balanced and your spending in moderation
If you find yourself, week after week, month after month; year after year; always in a state of financial ruins and truly deserve to turn around. Here are some simple tips:

• Stop Spending. When you have reached the point that your spending behaviors is out of control. Stop the madness. Stop spending so you can identify where you are and where you are going.
• Go to God. He can give you the strength and courage to turn your situation around. Pray for His wisdom and guidance
• Obey and Listen. Whatever God instructs you to do. Do it. It will always be for the best. God will never lead you down a road of destruction. People are stubborn, strong willed and prideful. These are elements that must be broken to get out of your current situation. Some decisions may be difficult in the beginning, but worth it in the end.
• Seek knowledgeable people to assist you. There are people around you that have been in your situation and got out of it. God will send you the people to consult for financial guidance.
• Be disciplined. Train yourself to develop new healthy habits and discard unhealthy ones. Learn new things to do without a pricey price tag. Look for way to save. And, obtain the determination to stick with your plan when others advises against it, or entices you to do otherwise.
• Pay bills first. Bills come first. Entertainment and extracurricular activities should come after the bills are accounted for.
• Start a savings account. Take $5 or $10 a pay period and put it aside. Don’t dip into this fund or spend it. Many people will say this cannot be done, but if you shave off here and cut corners there, you will be surprised what you can save in a few months.

Everyone desires to have more money. But if you can’t take of the money you have, what is the point of receiving more. Start your financial planning today. See prosperity tomorrow.

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. Proverbs 15:22King James Version (KJV)