One of the best things Brandi and I have done since day one of our marriage (we’ll be married 15 years in December) is keep a budget. Man, this has saved us from making so many stupid financial decisions over the years and relieved us of a ton of financial stress.
In fact, one of the main reasons we get to support so many different Kingdom ministries these days is because of this discipline. I can brag on this one because, honestly, I’ve had very little to do with it. Brandi is brilliant with our finances. I don’t even know how much money I make.
But change doesn’t just happen. If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, then you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting. Change starts with a plan.
In Luke 14:28-30, Jesus makes it pretty clear. He says, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”
Proverbs 27:23 puts it like this: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds.” In other words, have a clue!
That starts with a budget. Whether you’ve got a lot of debt or you’re cruising through life debt-free, you’ve got to have a plan. A budget is simply telling your money what to do instead of wondering where it went.
A lot of people get into financial trouble because they don’t keep track of what’s going in and coming out of their checking account. They just wander through life without a plan, until one day they get smacked in the face by a bunch of crazy collectors on the phone or a foreclosure notice from the bank. That’s not a situation you want to face.
With a budget, you’re spending everything on paper, on purpose, before the month begins. And if you believe you are simply a steward of everything that passes through your hands—that it all belongs to God anyway—then you understand budgeting really isn’t an option. It’s a necessity.
So, do you have a budget?