Today, my friends from The Imperfect Housewife, Victorian Rose, These Five Of Mine Plus Two, and The Straightened Path, and I are writing on the topic of the dreaded "B" word: "Budget." Yes, I said it. No, I do not need soap in my mouth!
"Budgeting" can be a scary topic. It means disciplining yourself, being responsible, and *possibly* doing without some desires. It means being a grown-up.
I know all too well how not to keep a budget. I am not an expert on keeping one; I am an expert at failing one! My friends are the experts. ;)
It is not as though I do not want to keep to it; but rather, I do. Yet, I find myself doing those things I do not want to do...Sounds like Paul and I have something in common (see Romans 7). What are some of those ways?
Some of the things in which I regularly indulge are those things not budgeted. And, if we do try to budget in our indulgences, we typically go over the allotted amount for the month. Not beneficial to keeping a scheduled budget, I might say!
I like to give in to those blessed frappuccinos, ice cream delights, dinners out at a restaurant (or take-home), retail therapy...You name it! Any way to spend money can be a way to not keep to a budget!
Anytime I spend money that should have been saved for a bill, savings account, or any other itemized account, I have done a big "No-no." I have shown to God, my husband, myself, and the rest of humanity my absolute inability to be a faithful steward. Aargh.
It is frustrating! I want to be good with my time, my talents, and my treasures on earth! God gives us money, and we are to wisely use it. It is not to be used, regularly, for those spontaneous desires of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, I'm-tired-so-let's-order-in-or-go-out-to-eat, I-really-like-that-movie-so-now-that-it's-on-disc-let's-buy-it, Why-don't-we-drive-out-to-just-window-shop?, Let's-go-out-for-a-date-night (every night!)-to-keep-the-spark-alive, I-need-to-fill-my-house-with-supplies-just-in-case-there's-a-massive-catastrophe-and-we're-the-only-source-of-reliable-easily-attainable-supplies-for-our-whole-town...Get the picture?
Those "once-in-a-while" gestures can easily morph into a regular occurrence. You get hooked. You become addicted. Rather than being content with what one has, and asking the Lord for those "wants," we decide to go ahead and spend that money. It is burning a hole in our pockets, after all. Nothing like experiencing the rush of an empty bank account!
Yet, since my friends and I started discussing "budgeting," I have been seeking to pay more and more attention to myself. There are many things for which my husband and I are responsible, and things we would like to have/accomplish. Those will become impossible if I am irresponsible in budgeting.
I need to die to self. In order to function as the good Lord unctions, I need to say "No!" to myself, and pretty regularly. If I want something, I am learning to share it with Christ. If He thinks I should have it, I will have it. If He thinks I do not have to have it, then I will not have it. That takes faith, and meekness, in His fatherly care.
So, in order for myself and others like me out there, we need to daily seek the Lord's guidance. Reading His Word, praying to Him (openly, honestly, and humbly), sharing with our husbands our sin (so they will guide us, pray for/with us, and know us), and meditate on God's Word regarding this sin in our life. If we practice walking with Christ daily in such a manner, it will not be long before those impulses are erased from us! In their stead will be godly desires, such as found in Proverbs 31:27a: "She looketh well to the ways of her household..."
Here are some encouraging, exhorting, straight-to-the-point quotes that will be undoubtedly a blessing in aiding in avoiding not keeping a budget:
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
2 Corinthians 7:1
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."
"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;"
1 Peter 2:11
Please join the rest of the series on the topic of "How To...Budgeting." You will be blessed, encouraged, and exhorted in your walk with Christ in this most important matter! Oh, BY THE WAY, there is a give-away associated with this series! We will be giving away to one of our readers these items:
- 1 year's free subscription to "Keepers At Home," which is a lovely quarterly periodical!
- Wonderful, homemade goat's milk soap from Victorian Rose Soap Company
- Lilla Rose Flexi-Clip from personal consultant Gail Harris
- "The Good Wife's Guide" e-book from Time Warp Wife
- "Blog Design On A Dime" e-book by Jacinda @ Growing Home
For those desiring to enter this lovely give-away package, please go to The Imperfect Housewife's site to enter the give-away! There, you will find the contest rules, entry opportunities, and entire run-down of it. God bless!