Common Cents

“Is this in the budget?” I hear the voice. My husband and I are working towards budgeting and financial planning, so it’s at the forefront of my mind every day.


Fiscal cliffs, government shut downs, and rising debt ceilings  have dominated the news for months. While it can be impossible for the average citizen to navigate reports well enough to understand government funding, basic understanding of math can offer simple wisdom in being successful in building businesses.


Debt is a crisis not only for our government, but for a majority of people. 


According to National Debt Assistance: 

  • Americans carry approximately $5800 in credit card debt from month to month. If they make only minimum payments on the debt, it would take 30 years to pay off the balance and cost an extra $15,000!
  • Over 40% of US families spend more than they earn. 
  • The average family has 13 credit cards or other types of payment cards
  • 92% of American families spend their disposable income on debt payments
  • 96% of all people will retire dependent upon the government, family, or charity.


Regardless of whether you own a business or work for one, making money means working hard. My first job was an entry position at a bank, and my take home pay was less than $800 a month. My budget was tight and I got paid once a month. Back then credit was not second nature, I had no choice but to live within my means. I’m thankful now for the lesson then. 


Our daughter recently turned 18, and she receives credit card applications in the mail weekly. How can a student with no job become a target for credit card companies?  Debtors spend millions drafting marketing plans that make others want to buy things, even if they cannot afford it. The hidden fees and high interest rates are in small print, the focus is on getting what you want when you want it. 


Financial guru Dave Ramsey has authored books and enrolled thousands of people into Financial Peace University, teaching Biblical truths and practical advice on getting out of debt. “Act your wage,” he tells students. “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” Millions have taken the class and are pursuing debt free living. 


Being successful in business means making the numbers add up so you can work towards being profitable. This can mean sacrifice now so you can reap rewards later. It takes time,  increasing your earning capacity can take years of sacrifice and resume building. Application of smart thinking and understanding the importance of budgeting and forecasting has become easier with so many software applications that can help.  


Basic math includes common cents. Make sure your numbers are working for you, or they are likely to work against you.



We are not likely to become President of the United States, but we are each CEO’s of our own money. Make sense of your cents, one dollar at a time!

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