BUDGETING TIPS FOR PASTORS

from the Center for Ministerial Excellence




Here are some basic budgeting tips to help get you started on saving money and stop breaking the bank.

  1. Change your perspective on your situation. Instead of seeing tight budgets as challenges, see them as opportunities to grow, be humbled, learn from God, depend on Him more and get creative. He’s right there with you.

  2. Most cleaning products can be made with things already in your pantry  – http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm

  3. Gift Giving - If you have a big family there can be lots of presents to buy but there are tons of gifts that don’t cost any money. Be creative, and think outside the box: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-evans/20-gifts-that-cost-nothing-to-make-but-just-might-be-priceless_b_6282918.html

  4. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a good time. Libraries always have free activities for families and kids. You can visit parks, explore walking trails, ride the trolley, take a bike ride, see a high school play, go on a treasure hunt, volunteer or just sit outside on a blanket and watch the clouds pass by. Change your thinking on what fun is, use your imagination and seek out new things to explore and do.

  5. Just drink water. Ditch buying anything but water. Limit spending on unneeded beverages like juice, soda, tea and coffee.

  6. Don’t buy anything in a box for one week. Instead, make meals with healthy, in-season fruits and vegetables, grains and lean meats. In God’s wisdom, fruits and vegetables have their season and they cost less when they are in season. Here is a great resource on how to live on $4 per day with healthy food choices: https://cookbooks.leannebrown.com/good-and-cheap.pdf

  7. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it. Be honest with friends and family that invite you to outings and dinners. If you can’t afford to do it, pass. Don’t feel pressured to say yes to every invitation. Look for Groupons and coupons or special discounted rates for local attractions and museums.

  8. Don’t buy anything for a week – prepare in advance with groceries and just don’t make any purchases for a week. Journal about this time and pray through the temptation to go buy gum (my weakness), or whatever else you may be tempted to purchase.

  9. Kids clothes and toys can be purchased inexpensively at resale stores and garage sales. Kids grow out of everything – including toys. Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing expensive clothes and brand new toys for kids. Ask family members and or friends for hand me downs or find friends you can swap clothes and toys with.

  10. Try it on first. ALWAYS try it on first.

  11. Buy clothes in the off-season and get great deals. http://thedomesticfringe.com/shop-season/,www.mint.com

  12. Plan your shopping trip before you go. You can go online now for many stores and get everything in your cart to see what you cost will be in advance. Stick to your list and don’t buy things that aren’t on it.

  13. Pack your lunch, don’t buy it!

  14. Take the time to research online tools and resources that may be helpful to you and try them out. Here are some good ones:www.feedthepig.org,http://www.michellesingletary.com,www.youneedabudget.com,

  15. Buy household items like paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex, etc. in bulk at Sam's or Costco or some other warehouse store.

  16. When you go out to dinner, share an entrée and get water instead of paying for a beverage.

  17. Check the clearance shelves at the grocery store and buy meat / bread when it's marked down then put it in the freezer until you're ready to use it.

  18. Make a list of all the bills you have where it would be possible to change providers such as insurance, phone, cable, internet, electricity, etc... Shop around and get quotes from other providers who will give you better rates

  19. Take advantage of meat going on sale the day before/the day of that store meats have to be sold and freeze it.

  20. Call your cable company every other month to request your rate go back down to the introductory amount.

  21. Do research and plan ahead for vacations and time away. Lifeway has a list of retreats and getaways available for pastors at deeply discounted rates:http://www.lifeway.com/pastors/retreats-and-getaways/