Wednesday, March 7, 2012

While You're Waiting: Keep a Budget

(Image Credit: Jomphong)

*Recently I was thinking about all I would want my daughters to know before they get married.  Instead of wishing the days away until they walk down the aisle, how would I encourage them to live?  Living in the joy of who God created.  The practicalities and the dreaming.  What would I want to encourage... While they're waiting?  These are some of those thoughts.

My prayer is that as you're growing you will see your parents living within our means.  We may not have the newest and the greatest, but we'll have our needs met and debt will be a dirty word.  Budgeting is the key and my hope is that I have taught you at least the basics before you leave our home.

My encouragement to you would be to keep a budget on your own.  Remember to list your basic needs first: housing, utilities, and food first.  Even things like car insurance can come later as you can always ride the bus if needed.  Don't forget to include your tithe right up front.  Honor the Lord in all you do, even in your finances.  

When you first start out on your own, you will be tempted to apply for a credit card or spend beyond your means.  You will see what others have and may desire the instant gratification that credit brings.  Your peers will be buying on credit, banking on future jobs or raises.  Building your finances is not an instant gratification situation.  Instead, it requires hard work and dedication.  You may find that your budget necessitates that you live off Top Ramen and popsicles.  Believe me, I've been there.  You will survive.

Living off a budget will prepare you for the lean times you will encounter with a family.  It will prepare you by being able to enter your marriage debt free.  Budgeting will enable to make tough, dedicated choices in the future.  And it will teach you to control your money, without it controlling you.

Buying on credit or banking on the future may look like fun now.  But 20-30 years from now, when you are debt free and others are still over paying in interest, or worse yet bankruptcy, you'll find that learning to live on a budget offered you true freedom over your finances.

*Linked to these Parties

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