Charles Dickens has a way of making his characters come to life. He was often paid for his books by the word count (hence the reason why most of them are very long). But he had a knack of putting so much of the timeless every-day-ness of human character into his books, that everyone who reads or watches a Dickens work seems to relate to something or someone and is changed as a result! One of these "human moments" is when Mr. Micawber gives a young David Copperfield his famous, and oft-quoted, recipe for happiness: "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
In a few more words than Mr. Micawber, Marvin J. Ashton explains the need for a budget in section 4 of One for the Money. I encourage you to read section 4 and have a Family Home Evening, sharing your budget with the whole family.
Making a budget is an important step to financial independence. Knowing where each dollar is spent and tracking these expenditures gives each family member appreciation to what things cost and how they can help the family to stay in monetary well-being. The second part to budgeting is a little harder, but even more important: Keeping in the budget. Every family member should be honest with each other and commit to spend only what is allotted each month. Arrange time to review your budget with your spouse regularly and make changes as needed. As we follow this recipe, we can expect the same result Mr. Micawber promises: happiness.