Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My latest thoughts on Budgeting

I have recently fallen in love with the Proverbs 31 woman! I have been reading it, studying it, and reading different bible studies on it and I have come to the conclusion that this is a woman I want to strive to be like. She just has her act in order. But what I am coming to realize that she didn't get it in order overnight!

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27 This passage has prompted me to stop waiting for things to get better and make them better. I have spent a lot of time saying.. "I need to do this.... I will do it tomorrow." And then tomorrow something would come up and I would put it off again, until I forget it completely. A lot of things I need to be handling, such as budgeting, have been swept under the rug and forgotten about. And then I sit down at the beginning of the month dreading my scattered version of budgeting and bill paying.

I have known about Crown Financial Ministries but I never got around to looking at the website because I was "too busy". But now its time to tend to the affairs of my household and learn how to do things I don't know how to do! They are a christian based approach to finances and budgeting, with encouragement and resources to help you succeed. They have free publications to help create a proper budget and financial road map.

In fact, I read an article on the website about a Financial Road Map. I loved the idea that we need to look at our budget plan as a road map. We need to know where we are, plan where we want to be, and how exactly we are going to be there! "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty." Proverbs 21:5

One thing I know that already works is the concept of "snowballing" in regards to debt. We did this when my husband and I first got married. I had an embarrasing amount of debt, that my husband helped me get rid of. But we were able to do it because we made a list of all of our debt (I wasn't the only culprit) and figured out what needed to be paid first. We planned to pay off that one first as soon as possible, and pay minimual on the others. Once that was one was paid we moved the amount we were paying to the next credit card/loan until it was paid off and so on until all our debt was gone. "The borrower is servant to the lender" Proverbs 22:7b. I personally am tired of being a slave to the credit card companies and their tricks, lies, and astronomical interest rates! To be clear, I'm not against borrowing for important purchases and if the interest rate is reasonable but I see credit cards as nothing but trouble and I'm tired of having them in my life.

So all of this to conclude, I have made the decision to take control of my spending, finances, and budgeting. This is going to be hard, uncomfortable, and down right painful at times but in the end it will all be worth it. But most importantly I have to make sure I keep God at the head of it all or it will all be worthless!

"For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philipians 4:11-13

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