Friday, July 6, 2012

Thought on Finance...

So, for some reason I have always associated budgeting as something "poor" people do.  Let me clarify, yes my parents were poor when they were first married and their garden and the nearby bayou were true sources of food, but we have never been destitute.  Not the poverty of a third world country.  

But anyway, budget.  I forever remember us being on a budget.  The thought of having to (GASP!) be on a b...b...budget! Ah!  I'm admitting that I can't have what I want when I want it and that I am lower on the income totem pole than Joe next door (or Fred or Tom...).  And that my life is boring, mundane, restrictive, unfair and cheap.  And that I'm unhappy cause I can't have it now!!



Do you think Bill Gates got to be where he is because he just blew money like a preschool kid with bubbles?  Absolutely not.  He probably (I really should have read-up on him before using him as an example) scrounged and saved and scrimped and ate Ramen noodles for five years!  Not advocating eating Ramen noodles...but it proves a point.  Once his corporation was booming he probably still didn't get what he wanted when he wanted!  Instead, he probably read-up on investing, or allowed someone competent to do the investing for him to save and prepare for when life threw him a curve ball.  Note: Investing your money is not playing at a casino hoping that the money you've "invested" in the next flashy Adams Family themed machine will tell you that you've just hit the nickel jackpot people!  Even successful individuals follow budgets.  Quite possibly the MOST successful individuals follow budgets.

A budget is simply your chosen method of managing your money, rather than allowing debt collectors, credit card bills and late payments bully your income around.  Familiar with good ole' Dave?  He says (I quote loosely) "a budget is you telling your money where to go."

You may be surprised how freeing a budget is.  It is the BEST lesson in accountability and strengthens the communication between spouses.

Once you find the budgeting system that works for you, you may find, as we have, that a budget teaches you self control (holy cow!!), prudence, patience... 

Do you see the connection?  Not only is a budget part of adulthood responsibility, growing in communication and virtue, but following a budget is part of being a good Christian!  The job(s) that source income into your life are gifts.  May we not forget this!  The Lord has equipped you and formed within you the gifts you need to excel at your vocation.  You aren't poor because you are on a budget my good friend.  You are actually RICH!  Rich in the knowledge of being a responsible consumer and Christian, a prepared parent, a debt-free (or on the way) member of society, a  person of intentionality, a person free to delegate their income to needs rather than flounder for money after satisfying your wants.  

You are rich, you are free, you are blessed and you are a gift to all peoples when you follow a budget and use your income as the beautiful gift it is meant to be!

Have a wonderful weekend!  And maybe enjoy a Georgia peach as much as this cute kid...

Do you budget?  What sort of system do you use?  What are your struggles?

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