A budget is a basic tool for managing God's money. The budget calculator produces expected income and expenses that summarizes the budget. Budgets need goals for the budget period, often one year ahead. Otherwise, the budget is random numbers. And goals need plans showing steps to do the goals.
A budget is a spending plan. It’s the best estimate of time, talents, money and resources to do budget goals in the period. Budgets free, they don’t constrain you. Without a budget, you stumble along, and advertisements dictate spending.
The budget starts with goals, then costs plans to do them. It examines gaps and opportunities during the budget period to seize or overcome.
Budgeting is preparing the budget. We set goals and complete income and expenses forms before the period. After, we check how we are doing and change as needed. Budgeting is iterative and continuous. That's why we developed PEACE Budgetary Control.
A budget calculator does the math for you with two vital parts, income and expenses. The income section calculates funds available to do agreed goals (that’s the upper spending limit) After you fix this, estimate expenses. You can complete the budget computation exercise in more than one session. Download the form as a spreadsheet to keep working.
PLAN for a specific period to achieve specific goals
ESTIMATE and record costs and sacrifices needed to achieve the plan
ACT on the plan and record results as you progress to your goals
COMPARE actual spending with estimated expenses and progress doing your goals
EXECUTE behavior changes necessary to achieve those goals
Budgeting is the Planning and Estimating phase of PEACE; the counting the cost before acting stage that Jesus mentions in Luke 14:28. After doing the budget, Act—do what you planned, Compare results against the plan and the budget, and then, Execute needed changes. Doing the budget without the control part of PEACE—Acting, Comparing, and Executing changes— is useless.