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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making a Family Budget Work for You

Living wisely includes the need to manage financial resources, without obsessing, lest we get our heart set in the wrong place.  You’ve heard it a thousand times but it is still one of the wisest morsels of biblical wisdom, the love of money is the root of all evil.  Avoiding that kind of obsession seems more than essential if we are to successfully navigate our lives with lofty goals in mind. 
But, you say, money management is so complicated!  It takes too much time! It makes us way too stressed! We fight every time we work on our budget together! 
Unfortunately if those worries cause grid-lock and budgeting goes on the back burner, soon credit cards control the money flow without restraint.  So is there a solution?
After many years of using a multiplicity of systems, some of our own concoction, we have found an online program that does most of the entry portion of budgeting for us.  We now use Mint.com which made me nervous at first but has proven to bless our lives ultimately.  The concern was that you give them access to your financial accounts and the entries are made automatically to your tracking system online. 
There are other similar online resources.  Investigate carefully before pressing forward. But we are satisfied it works and that our identity and privacy are protected.  I don’t work for them and I don’t get a commission from them for making this suggestion.  But it has simplified our much friendlier weekly meeting of the minds on financial decisions. 
Our goal as we go into retirement will be to continue to increase our net-worth by at least 5% per year in order to inflation-proof our nest-egg. This will allow us to serve others and to spend time traveling to see family and friends.  Mint.com is quickly becoming a very good friend.                       

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