New Beginnings

A new year is coming and I just love new beginnings. Many people laugh at new year’s resolutions, but every year I see it as an opportunity to begin again. I ask the Lord for fresh vision for the year and for my life. I look at my calendar and write in all of the birthdays for friends and try to think “birthday budget”. I clean out my closet and go through my junk drawers. In my house, everything gets a fresh beginning for the new year… and that includes my budget.

So as I have been looking at my budget for the new year, Matt and I have decided to do something a little drastic. Over the last few years, we have started using our credit cards more and more. We pay it off every month and we meticulously track our spending, however we have also started to feel the slide of spending without knowing exactly where the money is coming from. Up until now, we always had a steady salaried paycheck so we knew that at the end of the month we would be able to pay it off. However, with Matt moving towards a commission based income, where it is not always a guarantee that clients will pay you by the end of the month, we no longer feel that our credit card “habit” is safe for us.

Consequently, starting in January we are going to quit using our credit cards. I am going to take them out of my wallet, and outlaw online spending (at least for a month), and I am going to blog about the adventure. I am sort of seeing it as a fast for my budget. I have gotten lazy with my spending and I just think this is going to re-focus us towards “purposeful spending to enable our dreams” which is the very heart of my philosophy on budgeting. You don’t budget just to control your spending. You budget to enable your dreams, because just having a goal of deprivation is not enough to empower a life change in your finances. But when you have a purpose for budgeting, it takes on meaning and the dollars you save become significant because they are enabling your dreams. (budgeting in a nutshell 🙂 )

Matt and I have a huge dream this year of going to England for our 10th anniversary in August. We have talked about it since our 2nd anniversary and it is almost here. It seems a little difficult to me with starting a business and all that goes with it, but it is not impossible. But first, we need to get back to purposeful spending.

So, I am going to call this next month “Life After Credit Cards”. I know it is possible, but for me it is really going to be a challenge. Anyway, I am going to share the journey with you this month. Of course, I will probably write about other things along the way, but I hope my adventure will inspire you to think outside your box of the familiar in order to reach your dreams.

We get so used to doing things a certain way that it seems so sacrificial when we have to change. Yet, many times the things that we are holding on to are actually just holding us back from our purpose. As we look at this new year, are there things or habits that you are holding onto that are holding you back. For me, the credit card has become a crutch that has enable my faith to get weak (I’ll write more about that later). What is your crutch? What habits are you keeping that are actually sabotaging what is God has put in your heart? We still have three more days until the new year. Take these days to ask the Lord what He has for you this year and what He would like you to leave behind in the old year. The new year is a beautiful time for new beginnings. And the new beginning for me is life after credit cards 🙂