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How to Plan Giving into Your Budgets 

Money and personal finances are always tough subjects to talk about. Our relationship with money can be a deeply personal one. However, it’s a topic that many of us are likely to be pondering at the moment, with the current cost of living crisis creating such an impact on so many across the country.

With rising costs in the shops and our energy bills ever increasing, we want to talk about the elephant in the room: how can we give back to God responsibly at the same time as being wise with our spending.

In this article, we're going to discuss how effective budgeting can actually make you more generous and free with your giving. We’ll also explore practical suggestions and tips on how to manage your finances whilst also factoring in giving in a safe and generous way. Read on to learn more.

Planning your finances and giving  


Having a wise attitude towards money has become even more important as the Cost of Living Crisis continues to bite. Being in control of our finances is the first step to feeling free with our finances. You may be great at managing money, but, if the thought of diving deep into your finances gives you anxiety, you are not alone. 

  • One in three (36%) say thinking about their financial situation makes them feel worried  
  • Those who have lost income due to the pandemic are more likely to have lost confidence in their ability to manage money 

Stats provided by the Money and Pensions service, Nov 2021 

With that in mind, here’s our first tip: try to use a budget planner tool. 

Practically, using a budget planner is a great way to understand where your money is going and help to prioritise financial giving as a spiritual discipline within your monthly budget.

A budget planner gives you an accurate picture of your income and where that money is being spent. It will break down how much you spend on pretty much every aspect of your life. By understanding this level of detail, it becomes a very powerful tool that you can use to organise your finances and understand your incoming and outgoings.

But how can we factor giving into planning our budgets, especially as giving seems like the least wise thing to do when money is short?


How a budget planner can help us to be more generous 


Most people who use a monthly budget planner start to make a difference immediately. Having insight into their spending patterns gives the power to make changes. They might be small adjustments at first, but they can have a significant future impact. Having this oversight may help you identify areas in which you can save or reroute that money into giving. Tip two: spot the opportunities to save and give. 

Preparing and using a budget planner to track spending, comparing month-by-month income and expenditure will show you where you are spending is overstretched. It’s like a smart meter for your everyday spending habits. Armed with this insight, you can start making changes that will help you to achieve your giving goals without worrying that you are giving away too much or too little. 

The main goal of a budget planner is to help you understand where your money is going. Knowing this means that it will help you to not spend more than you earn, while also allowing you to factor in unexpected costs.

From a giving perspective, it will also enable you to plan and pro-actively manage how much you can give to charitable causes that you care about. All this will lead in time to a positive cash flow and an opportunity to be generous with what you have even when times are hard. 



Giving gladly without worry 


Sometimes ‘giving gladly’ is a bit of a challenge. This world encourages us to keep all we can and our bank statements may seem to be saying the same thing. However, Jesus encourages us to give all we have. Radical generosity is part of life in the upside-down Kingdom, as we’ll be discovering afresh at Spring Harvest 2024.

So how can we give gladly? How can we be truly generous without worrying about our bills? The answer is, through a healthy mix of faith and personal organisation, we don’t have to be anxious about giving. Tip three: practice a spirit of responsible generosity. 

As Christians, we believe God will provide for our every need. However, we are also called to be good stewards of what is given to us.  

So, we need to keep praying and relying on God to provide for us but we are also challenged to manage money responsibly. Feeling in control of our finances can really help to get rid of worry. In turn, this allows us to give, knowing that we’re not giving beyond our means.  

There you have it. We hope this article has inspired you to give well, knowing that you are giving with a courageous spirit and with biblical diligence whilst also being aware of your limitations.


Download the Stewardship budget planner


Stewardship have kindly provided a very useful budget planner doc. It’s really easy to use and FREE. All you need to do is enter the amounts in the projected and actual boxes, and the results will be calculated for you. You can change the descriptions for the items you spend money on if you want and also add in extra lines if needed.

To complete the planner, you will need to enter your monthly income and anything you spend. So, you will need access to your bank account figures, as well as receipts and statements to start filling it in. 

The section at the very bottom of the planner is called 'seasonal'. This allows you to factor in ‘one-off’ amounts that come up throughout the year such as birthdays and holidays. You might choose to move these amounts to a savings account each month to use when the time arises.


Getting started with the template 


Creating a budget planner is simple and easy but it has immense power to change the state of your everyday finances. It will give you a much better handle on where your money is being spent, freeing you to be more generous with what you have. During the cost of living crisisthere has never been a better time to start one and Stewardship’s Guide to Budgeting is also a great place to start when considering how to budget well and live generously 

Download the budget planner today and take control of your finances.  

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