It is a common challenge for people who share economic resources but do not always share the same financial goals. One partner may want to save as much money as possible to purchase a large ticket item, while the other has a strong need to pursue a hobby or other recreation. Without an endless supply of money, this couple will have difficulty in reaching both of their goals. It is likely they will experience problems in their relationship until they are able to settle their differences.

Once you are clear about your goals and priorities, the next step is to assess the resources that you have or can expect to receive that will be used to achieve these goals. There are two components to this resource assessment:

(i) an inventory of assets, called a net worth statement, and

(ii) an income statement.

Balance future cash flows, based on the data you have assembled, estimate your income for the next year. If you are at all unsure that you will receive some income, do not include it.

When your income is irregular or seasonal it may be more difficult to forecast a budget but not impossible.

A critical part of the planning process is evaluating your progress. Many wonderful budgets have been created and then filed away because their creators thought the task was complete, when in fact, it was just beginning.

Since the purpose of making a budget is to have a plan for our financial decisions, there must be a mechanism for measuring progress. Evaluate your progress. Are your goals being met, if not, why not?

Our experience has shown us that people who gain control over their money will increase their chances of reaching their financial goals and improve the quality of their life.

Although money is not everything, it is the means of achieving many of our desires.