Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why Wednesday ... Why Budget?

This week I was reminded of why it is so wise to live with a budget. Three things came up to answer this "why" that pops up into my mind from time to time, like when I am digging through old purses for change to satisfy a Chick-fil-A craving or trying to decide if I can use grocery money to buy panty hose. It pays to budget!

A budget is a plan for how we will use our money, including decisions about amounts for the categories that are necessities and those that are extras. There really is freedom in knowing where our boundaries are, in prayerfully and carefully thinking ahead about how God would have us use what He gives us. If we make all of our decisions on the spot, I am likely to eat more waffle fries than I need, to give in to clearance racks that call my name as I pass them, and to feel frustrated that I don't have something ready to give when there's a need.

This week we:

  1. began to do some research to make decisions about a vacation this summer
  2. discussed the possibility of our two kids going to camp with our youth group this summer
  3. had the opportunity to give to a special offering for the many needs in Haiti

For each decision we were able to look at our budget and know where we stand, what our resources are, how we need to save, and how we can make the most of what God has allowed us to have. I really want to be faithful with what He's given; a budget sets us up to be faithful. Luke chapter 12 is full of truths about conquering worry over life's needs, giving to others, and being a faithful steward.

On January 1st I loved sharing Bridgette's story of how she and her husband found financial peace out of pressure. A blog friend of mine, Nancy, commented about her own story and gave me permission to share it. I think it's perfect for today as we answer the question, "Why budget our money?" Here are some of Nancy's thoughts in her own words:

During 2009 I went through many trials due to my being unemployed for 13 months. These are the things that God taught me during this time:

1. Do not use credit to live on (this was my mistake which created much more stress that could've been avoided).
2. Cut WAY back - take care of your four walls (food, shelter, utilities, transportation), the other things will have to wait and as long as you communicate, your creditors will understand (go to for more helpful advice).
3.Speaking of communication... don't shut down. If you are married, talk to your spouse (my dear husband was so compassionate)... trials have a way of bringing you closer; if you're single, find a friend that you can talk to (I am married but I also found a wonderful email/pray partner friend in Julie).
4. Give God a chance "to supply all your needs according to His riches and glory through Christ Jesus"! Out of fear I didn't give God a chance to take care of my family.
5. Do you serve other gods? I didn't think I did but came to realize that having a "perfect" credit score was a god to me. You don't need a credit score if you are not living outside of your means.
6. The Bible says you can not serve two masters... I would never do that! Yet I found out that the more debt I accumulated the more of a servent (or slave if you will) I became to my creditors.
7. CONTROL... a biggy for me. We can't control everything that happens. I've learned to rest in that fact. Release what you can't control. Give it to God and He will walk with you through the journey.

These are great lessons and wonderful answers for why to use a budget. Thank you for sharing, Nancy!

So, do you use a budget? If you don't, what keeps you from using one? If you do, how has it helped you?

Oh, and I would do a giveaway of a Chick-fil-A gift card to go with this post ... but it's not in my budget this week. ;) Would love to hear if there's a budget in your life!

5 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Ann said...

Yes we have a budget out of necessity. With one income and it seems my husband will be losing his job again, we could not survive any other way. God has been faithful to us and we are doing out part to spend His money wisely. We live off of $60 a week or less for groceries and household items. $60 seems to go pretty far when I am able to get many items for free :)

Julie said...

We have always followed a budget, but didn't always follow it too closely. Thankfully we have been debt free (minus our mortgage) for a few years. In October 2009, we started the Envelope system that Dave Ramsey suggests(cash only). I can honestly say the stress is gone in our Marriage, and we see God's blessings each day.

Warren Baldwin said...

Powerful testimony to living within God's financial plans for us.

Michelle said...

It is difficult to budget with a fluctuating income, but we are so use to living on little, shopping second-hand stores and not indulging in a lot of luxuries that we are able to make it with some to spare, praise be to God!

Bridgette Boudreaux said...

I live by my budget! You can read more about it on my blog ( I've even posted a spreadsheet with fake numbers so you can take what I have made and use it for your own family.