The wise men saw the “star” rising in the East. What did they see?
Next month there is going to be a lot of gift giving and receiving. Some presents will be wrapped in beautiful Christmas paper, some even with ribbons and bows. Others will be in fancy boxes. Still more will hide in the increasingly popular gift bag. When I was a kid, you might even find a gift wrapped in newspaper.
Christmastime is coming. Yes, it’s November already. As of this writing, Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away. Many of us, of course, are very excited about this. Certain members of my household will be lobbying for me to put on Christmas music prior to Thanksgiving (they’ve been wearing me down for years on this one). Others of us are worried about the financial implications of the holiday season, among other things.
A budget is an itemized summary of likely income and expenses for a given period (I recommend keeping a monthly budget that covers a calendar year). Simply put, it’s a spending plan. It helps you determine whether you can grab that bite to eat after work or should head home for a bowl of soup. It is typically created using a spreadsheet (I like Excel), and it provides a concrete, organized, and easily understood breakdown of how much money you have coming in and how much you have going out. But more than that, it’s an invaluable tool to help you and your family prioritize your spending and manage your money.