Freedom on a Budget

Freedom on a budget? Can that really happen? Freedom is supposed to be liberating; while budget indicates restriction! So how is freedom on a budget possible? Real freedom comes with the responsibility of self control.

At the start of 2010, I had a huge amount of credit card debt.  Honestly, the mountain seemed impossible to remove.  I thought I would have had to "penny pinch", eat ramen noodles and stay in my house all the time.  Well, with a little wisdom I was able to travel, buy some new shoes (my favorite thing), and pay off all of my credit card debts and save some money.  Using a few biblical principles, I enjoyed life and paid my bills.   The Bible gives us many details on how to handle our finances; it instructs us to give (See Malachi 3: 10, Luke 6:38 and Proverbs 28:27) save (see Proverbs 21:20,13:11) and spend (Romans 13:7).   Here are few suggestions that I personally used to enjoy freedom, while living within a budget.

  1.     {C}Write a list of your expenses including your tithes and offerings.

  1.     {C}Ask yourself after you have paid your bills, how much money you can realistically save. (ex. 10% of your net income)

  1.     {C}Make a list of your debts.  Set a realistic timetable to get out of debt.

  1.     {C}Write down a list fun things you want to experience. Do you enjoy shopping? Do you like to travel?

Okay after seeing your list of bills, debts and goals, you are probably thinking; there is no way to enjoy my life.  Remember self-control is the magic word.  Leave room in your budget for one weekend a month.  Don't attempt to hoard your income by trying to save every extra penny you have earned.   Leave room for a splurge.  If you do not create a fun weekend, most likely you will only end up bored and frustrated; spending the money on something less purposeful.   So go ahead and live a little!   Also, name your savings account.   Is it for something short-term or long term? Do you desire a new car? Do you wish to travel to a foreign land? Or are you thinking of your retirement? Specific goals create a lasting sense of motivation. You will be more likely to save if you can determine a reason for saving.

Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life, (See John 10:10) He wants us to live balanced lives giving, saving and spending money. So go ahead and create your plan for living a life of freedom on a budget.

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