The Basics of Budgeting
Creating a financial budget is similar to how traditional Native communities managed resources. In traditional times Native people dried buffalo meat to sustain their families through the winter and traded with other tribes to obtain items they did not have. The wise use of all of their resources was how Native communities thrived throughout the year.
In today’s modern economy, the same concepts still apply. If a person has a seasonal job, he saves his money to sustain his family through the winter. Today, money is our primary resource. Money provides goods that we do not have, such as electricity, food, and clothing. In order to wisely manage your resources today, it is important to create a budget.
Your Feelings About Money
Before you begin budgeting, it is important to think about your financial culture and history. Ask yourself these questions to find out what your current relationship with money is like.
- What kind of feelings do you have surrounding money?
- How did your parents handle money?
- Did you ever save for items that you wanted as a child?
- Have you ever created a monthly budget and stuck by it?
- How do you feel about people that are financially successful?
Now that you have explored your relationship with money is like, what changes do you think you will need to make in order to have a bright financial future?
Developing a Monthly Budget
Your monthly budget will show how much money you have coming in (your income) and how much money you are spending (your expenses) each month. It will help you to identify items you need versus items you want. Needs are things you can’t live without, such as food and rent. Wants are items beyond your basic needs, such as going to the movies or eating out.
Sticking by your budget will help you stay out of debt and meet your financial goals. The Great Plains Native Asset Building Coalition offers a monthly budget worksheet to help you develop a spending plan that works for you.
Download Budget Worksheet
Assistance with Developing a Budget
Several Great Plains Native Asset Building Coalition members offer courses and assistance to help you develop a budget.
View Course List