"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail..."
I've heard this for years now. Years. I've heard it applied to all kinds of areas of my life.
Spiritually - if you don't have a designated time to spend alone with God, you aren't going to do it. It doesn't just happen. *True
Working out. Eating right. *True
Spending money - making a budget - *True. True. True.
We don't really have a lot of flexibility in our personal budget. When people hear how much money we lived on 4 years ago - like what our grocery budget was, they have a hard time believing us...and although our budget has increased some, so has the size of our family!
Lee and I have been challenged to become better stewards of the resources God has given us. A steward is another word for a manager. We want to become better managers of what God has given to us. Especially in the area of our finances.
We don't have any debt. We paid off the student loans, credit cards, and other debts that we had. We don't own a single credit card, and we haven't for almost 6 years now. We have a credit score of zero. If we wanted to get a loan, we would have to have a huge down-payment to get it.
People ask us, "What will you do if you have an emergency?"
Our answer is that God has always provided for us. Always. We have paid for our vehicles (and we have been extremely blessed by people who have given us over time a car and 2 trucks - even though we no longer own all of those vehicles), medical bills, and everything else cash. And it has always been there when we needed it. Always. It is quite amazing to look back over the past 6 years and see how God has provided for us.
I would almost throw up at the beginning of every month - especially on the 5th - because our rent was due and our check wasn't in yet. Still God provided.
We even got a reimbursement check from the hospital. We had to pay for Bella, but all of my expenses were taken care of. And we received huge discounts on Bella's bills.
It really is living by faith. I have faith that God is going to provide what we need when we need it. And I know that He will because He's done it before, and He doesn't change.
It doesn't always come in the way I think it will, or even when I think it will, but God provides for us. And we are being able to keep money in our emergency fund/savings account, which is a huge blessing. We don't have everything we want, but we certainly have everything we need.
Yes, I want to own a house, but right now, I'm sitting in a beautiful 3 bedroom house in which our rent just went DOWN...yes, that is right, the price has been reduced because we've lived here for a year. It will stay at this lowered price for the remainder of our time here. The brand new A/C is blowing cold air...the brand new dishwasher gets my dishes clean, and the brand new refrigerator is keeping our food cold...and all of these new things were at no extra expense to me. We are very blessed.
I want to be careful with how we use the money that He provides. So, I'm jumping on the bandwagon of couponing. I've clipped. I'm going to organize the coupons as well as our budget and our meals. I'm going to shop with my coupons. I'm going to save our family money. I'm ready for the challenge to be a better manager of the money God has given us.