When finances are tight, it’s time for a budget (2)
Like it or not, money is a necessity when it comes to living on this earth. And for many people, money is incredibly tight.
So what does God have to say about managing our finances effectively?
Finances Are Tight All the Time
Have you ever noticed that there never seems to be quite enough money to go around? Doesn’t matter how much you earn, money always seems tight. It’s true on a personal level, in a business and in fact, across a whole nation.
Right now, the United States of America – the richest country in the world – has so much debt that it owes, wait for this, over $16 trillion. That’s over $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. And it’s a debt that’s growing at almost $4 billion a day!! That’s incomprehensible!
But what about at a personal level? What about you and me?
Easy Credit Equals Easy Debt
One of the things that happened when credit cards were invented and became prevalent, at least in the western world, is that people stopped budgeting their finances. In a cash based economy (I remember being paid in cash when I started working – that’s just the way things were back then) the process of budgeting was somewhat easier.
You only had so much cash in hand each week. You’d put some of it aside to pay for the rent or the mortgage, electricity, gas – all those usual bills. A certain amount would go to the weekly grovery shopping and what was left is what you had either to spend or save. And when that was gone – well, it was gone.
There was pretty much no way of going into debt, other than taking out a loan with a bank and that wasn’t, as I recall, such an easy thing to do.
These days, credit cards are a big thing and people find it very easy to run up very large debts very quickly. Debts they can’t afford to pay off. And by spending tomorrow’s income today, we discover that we can’t afford to give to the poor, or to save any money, because we blew it all last week on an impulse buy on our credit cards, right?
It’s that ready access to debt that’s blowing out many a budget. It’s why so many people are doing it tough financially.
It’s Time for a Budget
Here’s some biblical wisdom on budgeting:
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3,4
How do you build a house? With wisdom. How do you fill it with good things? By knowledge. In other words it’s not something you just slap up without thinking. You plan, you use your brain, you apply wisdom and understanding to making it happen. And that’s exactly how it is (or should be!) with our finances.
We were always meant to be good stewards of what we have. And in fact, there’s more wisdom a few chapters later that relates specifically to budgeting.
Yep – you wouldn’t credit it would you?? God’s Word, the Bible, has specific advice on budgeting. Here it is:
Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds; for riches do not last forever, nor a crown for all generations. When the grass is gone, and new growth appears, and the herbage of the mountains is gathered, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field; there will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household and nourishment for your servant-girls. (Prov 27:23-27)
This is what the website faithandfinance.org has to say on this: “It’s interesting to read this passage and see that the writer isn’t saying “it might be good if you plan ahead” or “if you find it convenient, plan ahead with your resources.” It’s actually a pretty clear set of instructions to apply a budget to your income and watch your resources carefully. There are two basic principles that come from this passage:
1. If you budget you will have enough to cover your expenses.
2. If you don’t budget, you’ll struggle to meet your obligations and won’t pass on an inheritance to your children, grandchildren, or anyone for that matter.
It’s Not that Complicated
Is that pretty straightforward? Yes, it is. Absolutely it is!!
And so if your finances aren’t quite in the state that they should be, if you’re finding it a bit tough to make ends meet – here’s the important, godly wisdom that I want to share with you: make a budget and stick to it.
It doesn’t have to be complicated – but the end result will be that you’ll know that all your important commitments are covered, and you’ll also know exactly how much you have left over to save or spend or both.
Worth doing, you think?
Berni Dymet – adifferentperspective.org
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