Thursday, February 13, 2014

Doctors and Taxes






Tonight, I’m doing something I absolutely hate.  My husband and I are working on a budget.  I imagine that most of you feel the same way. It’ kind of like taxes and doctors, we dislike them and breathe a sigh of relief when they are done. Truth be told; we really don’t enjoy working on a budget at all.  Yet it is one of the necessary components in knowing exactly how much you have and what you can spend. If indeed we are responsible to God for how we handle the resources that God has given us, then we need a clear picture. One piece of the puzzle that can bring the whole puzzle into focus is a budget.  It allows you to see and compare what you spend with what you have.  Sometimes as I’ve done a budget and looked at what I saw, I could see that the problem was little things that add up.  I realized that the problem was that I forgot the advice I had been given long ago, little things add up.  As we do a budget, we often see little things that we miss because we don’t think about them or we fail to see the correlation between income and outgo. If a budget is so great, why don’t more people make a budget?  I imagine that, for some, it’s the same reason I don’t go to a doctor too often and I cringe when I walk into the tax office.  I’m afraid of what they’ll say.  As I write this I would love to tell you that my husband and I always do a budget and we stick to the budget, but we don’t.  We do a budget from time, and we are not always disciplined enough to stay with it.  We still do a budget because we need to get a complete picture of our finances from time to time.  Even if we aren’t disciplined enough to stay with a budget; it allows us to “fine tune” our spending. We can’t possibly be good overseers of what God has given without a complete picture of our finances.  Not only will a budget allow us to be faithful with the resources God has lavished on us, but it may alleviate the money stress by helping you to take action rather than simply seeing a problem.  God wants you to manage your finances, so they don’t manage you.