Sunday, March 25, 2012

Budgeting by the Bible

Budgets. Money. Spending. Saving. I just know you are loving this post already. :)

I write about these verses a lot, but it's because I believe so firmly in them! As Blake and I start our careers and living life, the topic of money comes up... a lot. We don't have much of it, which is probably why we are so obsessed with it. Well, I am obsessed with it because I took over the money-handling a few months ago. I carefully keep up with each penny we spend, save, and give. I plan for it, rearrange plans, and review our budget every few days. I use a spreadsheet to keep up with where things are going and although I don't have it quite right just yet, it gets better each month.

But what I panic is about is not making it month-to-month. Currently, we have enough to meet our monthly needs (and, I'll admit here that we still have our parents' help with some things since Blake is still in school and making a 1/3 of what he will make once he is done). We always save, we always tithe, and we always treat ourselves just a little. :) What I panic about is the future.

I read magazines/news articles/books about saving for the future. Saving for retirement, saving for unforseen medical expenses, saving for our kids' educations. It freaks me out. I look at our budget now and I barely see enough room to pay for my own student loans, much less room to start any sort of college funds for our future babes. I just read that we need to be putting 15% of our income into our 401K each month NOW - in our 20s and 30s - for the retirement Blake says he never even wants! Errrr.... that 15% is currently being used to pay car payments and gas! Sorry, 401K.

I start to panic, and I remember Proverbs 30:7-9. "...neither poverty nor riches..."

And I think about Matthew 6:31-33, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has trouble of its own."

I wonder if I can really do that - not worry about tomorrow. Not worry about retirement. Not worry about our kids' college fund. Not worry about buying a new car. Not worry about future expenses. Not worry about the future.

God has provided every step of the way for me for a long time - particularly since I started praying Proverbs 30:7-9. Money has always come from somewhere. Sometimes it has been in abundance, other times it has been little-by-little. But it always comes. Yes, we need to save as much as we can. Yes, we need to be responsible for our spending. I dare say that less than 2% of our income goes to discretionary spending. The rest is allotted for tithing, saving, bills, and necessities.

Let tomorrow worry about itself. We do what we can, we hold ourselves accountable for what we spend and save, and we trust God for the rest.

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