“Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough” – Proverbs 21:5 (GNT).
Budgeting lies at the foundation of every financial plan. It doesn’t matter if you’re living paycheck to paycheck or earning six-figures a year, you need to know where your money is going if you want to have a handle on your finances. Unlike what you might believe, budgeting isn’t all about restricting what you spend money on and cutting out all the fun in your life. It’s really about understanding how much money you have, where it goes and then planning how to allocate those funds best.
A budget is simply a plan for how to spend the money we have. As Christians, we recognize that everything we have is a gift from God. We are not the owners; we are simply the managers of what He has entrusted to us. Knowing this should give us a better perspective on handling money. A budget is a great way to make sure we are being faithful.
Throughout the Bible, God gives us important principles for life, including how to handle money and finances. Wise King Solomon wrote: “Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation. After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in, your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field. And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.” (Proverbs 27:23-27)
This passage from Proverbs gives us some insight into managing family assets. It will require not only planning but self-discipline to stay within the budget. It will probably involve putting off some purchases until later or deciding against others entirely. Every budget starts with deciding which expenses are the most important and the first to be paid. Food, shelter, utilities, clothing, and transportation are the basic necessities that should be at the top of the priority list. Within a Christian budget, one must not forget to give God what belongs to Him.
Working together as a family, you can create a budget that will provide a plan of action, a goal to look forward to. “May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.” (Psalm 20:4)
Financial freedom does not come from making more. It comes from spending less. Financial freedom is not based on how much you make. It’s based on how you spend what you make. You can be financially free at any level of income.
Questions to Consider:
- What feelings or experiences do you have related to managing money?
- What keeps you from developing a successful budget?
- Who is someone you could consider asking for help? (Friend, mentor, financial person)