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Scott Thomas, ChFC®, CAP®, CKA®, RICP®

Budgeting Basics: 5 Things You Can Spend Money On

Did you know God has called you to steward your money well? That means earning, saving, and spending your money in a way that honors God and is responsible. To do that, though, you need to understand some budgeting basics.

Let’s start with how you earn your money.

Allocating money over the month follows a basic formula.  All income comes from five sources or fewer. Those income sources include earnings, pension, royalties, rental income, investment dividends and capital gains realized. 

Now let’s look at how you spend your money.

There are only five things you can spend your money on. Those include debt payments, taxes, saving/investment, and giving and living expenses.

Download this PDF to help you visualize the 5 ways you can spend money.

Why Simple Budgeting Doesn’t Help You

People who want to steward their money well sometimes don’t understand the complexity of budgeting. Many choose to simply focus on living expenses and compare that to income sources. As a result, they don’t have the financial clarity or the good money habits necessary to be successful.

Just like good physical habits of eating well, sleeping and exercising lead to greater success in life, the same is true of money budgeting. Good budgeting habits over time can lead to financial success and peace.

Did you know that Jesus talked more about money than faith? It’s true! I find His emphasis on money very fascinating. I believe He made that emphasis to show us how important it is to set our priorities straight when it comes to money.

We have the ability to control (to an extent) and invest our time throughout the day according to our priorities so we can meet our goals. But do we make time for the things that matter?

“Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant,” said the popular showman P.T. Barnum. His words, although spoken over 100 years ago, are still true today.

A Strong Foundation for Budgeting

Before jumping into the details of monthly budgeting, it’s important to understand yourself and what you are called to do in this world. Having goals and a purpose bigger than yourself helps you stay the course and provides more motivation when you need to work through life’s challenges. 

What we think dictates what we believe. Those beliefs then lead to what we do, or our actions. Understanding this on a deep level will help you discern the priorities that are important to you. Show me your calendar and your budget, and I will more clearly understand you and your priorities!

The 1926 classic book The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason spells out the simple rules of money acquisition:

  1. Start thy purse to fattening.
  2. Control expenditures.
  3. Make thy gold to multiply.
  4. Guard thy treasure from loss.
  5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment.
  6. Ensure a future income.
  7. Increase thy ability to earn.

Today there are lots of tools and resources to help with your budget. You can use apps, online materials, books and spreadsheets.

I also have a free comprehensive budgeting tool you can download as an Excel Spreadsheet. Over the last 30 years, many people have used this helpful tool to prepare successful financial plans for their lives and families.

Click here to get the free budgeting tool.

Reach out to me and I’d be glad to have a conversation with you about these matters. You can email me at

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Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck