On the Rollercoaster

It the 15th of January today! I can hardly believe how quickly this month has passed. My Mom always used to say when I was growing up that it felt life just kept getting faster and faster. I think it has a lot to do with watching your children grow. Once they have grown, I think it slows a little in the wait for grandbabies and then the joyful rollercoaster begins again. The cycle of life is always a thrilling ride.

Right now the ride seems so fast that it is difficult to imagine that it could go any quicker. However, I have heard from friends that the pace of teenagers is even more frantic. That is a daunting thought. I think the key is to enjoy whatever place or stage you find yourself in because there is only grace for the ride today. Tomorrow’s grace awaits the new morning.

In my life, today’s grace was needed for sitting with my finances and reconciling my budget. We deposited our check, withdrew the cash that we needed for our envelopes (see the envelope sytem to find out more), and then I sat at my computer and entered our deposit and all of the bills that are going to be automatically debited in the next few days. The books reconciled beautifully (again only 15 minutes!). There was nothing to “jimmy-rig” or move around because we have stuck to our budget.

I then as a precaution checked the balances on my credit cards ( just in case, and because it is wisdom to regulary check up on your cards) and gasp… there was a charge there. $0.99 for itunes! What horror! What devestation! No seriously, I think we can handle $0.99. It did suprise Matt though who went to check his itunes records to make sure. However, even if we did put a charge on our credit card, I will make that 99 cent payment with joy because of what it could have been. We are living within our means, saving at least 10% of our income, and debt free. Hallelujah!

It feels so good to have plugged all of the leaks in our financial boat, and to once again see our money working for us and bringing us toward our dreams. I was able today to put our first significant deposit into our 10th Anniversary savings account and it felt wonderful. Without living on a budget that money would have disappeared. We would have eaten it in eating out, or spent it on pricier birthday presents, or just wasted it. Instead, we have started on our way to England for our anniversary.

I started this “Life After Credit Cards” series at the beginning of this month with so much hope, but also some anxiety at giving up my spending “crutch”. However, I have not for one second had to do without. Our budget covers our needs, makes place for fun, and is more than enough if we just live within the comfort of it’s walls. For us, taking away the option to sneak out the window has helped us to once again just relax in what God has given us, and find joy in His abundant provision, rather than being filled with desire for what we don’t have. It has been a very peaceful month so far, and I am actually excited to walk in this place for the rest of the year. Life may be going quickly, but thanks to living within our budget… our money isn’t.