Surviving the Ice

I don’t know about you, but making it to the end of January without going over budget has been challenging. When you are paid bi-monthly, the months with 31 days can seem especially long. However, I was talking to a friend yesterday who is paid every two weeks, and I think that can be hard as well. We both sat talking about our budgets and to tell you the truth, we were whining a little bit.

Now in our defense, it has been a difficult week for stay-at-home Moms this week. The ice and snow have meant long, long days trapped inside. Our homes are destroyed by toys and goldfish, our children are fighting because they just have too much energy to be contained inside for that long, and every Mom I know is ready to go somewhere, anywhere.

However, since it is the end of the month there is a lot of desire to get out to go, but not much money to go on. As I was talking to her, I found myself wanting to complain. It was then that I remembered that I don’t budget because I am poor. I budget because I want to be purposeful with my money. I could take money out of savings for groceries. I could spend money from other categories like gas money. It is not that we don’t have money, but rather that we don’t want to waste what we do have.

As my friend and I started reminding each other of why we do what we do, I felt such renewed strength to keep going. It occurred to me that many of you may need the same reminder.

This is what has been in my heart for you and for me: God in His divine power has given you all things that you need for life and Godliness (2 Peter 1:3). What does this mean for you? It means that you already have everything that you need for your life today. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t walking through a very challenging situation in your finances and life. It doesn’t mean that you will have everything that you want. It means that whatever your need, God has already made provision for you. You have His strength to face your giant. You have His wisdom to help you stretch your dollars further than you could see. You have His provision in His promise that you will not lack.

If your budget feels tight and restrictive, I would like to remind you of why you budget. Your budget is not a prison, it is more like a funnel. It helps you to take what you have and be purposeful with those resources so that they can get you where you want to go.

Have you ever tried to pour water from a bucket into a bottle. It is a very frustrating and wasteful endeavor as you inevitably spill more than you save. This is also true of your finances without a budget. You will waste more than you save and end up not being able to do the things that you really want to do because you simply won’t get enough of your resources into the bottle.

However, when you place a funnel on that bottle, you will likely not waste even a drop. You have to pour a little slower, and you may resent the restriction, but it would be foolishness to remove the funnel just so you could pour faster and without restriction. The funnel isn’t your enemy, it is merely a tool to enable your purpose. This is exactly the function of your budget.

I hope this analogy helps you at the end of the month as you press through in budgeting. You may even need to repeat these points to yourself:
~I have money, but I am CHOOSING to be purposeful with it.
~I have everything I need for life and Godliness.
~God has promised that I will not lack.
~My budget is not the enemy, it is a tool to enable my purpose and dreams.

The truth is, as difficult as this week was for me, I saved a lot of money by not being able to leave my house. Of course, it also drove me a little stir crazy, but I think it may of helped my budget. Yet at the end of this week it is so good to get out, it is so good to renew my mind in my purpose for budgeting, and it is really good that payday is almost here. However, if you still have another week until payday and you are at the end of your budget (and if you don’t live anywhere near me!)… may I suggest praying for ice?

God bless.