Luke 14:28 – ‘But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?’
It’s time to take a closer look at your budget. At the end of the day, most people have financial goals in life. We can make better choices and more informed decisions if we use our budget to guide us.
Perhaps we want to save more. Our budget shows us where all our money is currently being spent. We may be able to make adjustments – buying a cheaper brand, buying in bulk or paying with cash to get a discount.
Maybe we would like to give more at church. Our budget shows us how much we are currently giving and if there’s room to increase our offering to God and how much by.
Perhaps we want to organise a family holiday or invest in a house. The budget we have can indicate how much we’re currently saving and on what basis, i.e. $100/week. This can help us to calculate what amount of savings we can anticipate after a 12 month period.
Now that you’ve filled in your budget, don’t just leave it. Perhaps every quarter, or at least once a year, reassess. Living costs can increase over time; this may mean you need to put aside that little bit more for expected bills the following year. Your typical costs over the years will change too. For example, when you have young ones, nappies and wipes are consistent needs. As kids grow older, the focus will turn to education, text books and uniforms.
Your family income is bound to change, too. As you learn how to save more, interest earned increases gradually over time. A raise or a new job may result in higher earnings.
Whenever you desire to make a big investment in your life, go first to God about it. Following this, assess your budget and see if any sacrifices need to be made to increase your capacity to earn or save. Be sure to count the cost before you invest for the long term. After all, buying a house often results in an ongoing debt for a 30 year term – it shouldn’t be taken lightly! Likewise, renting a house will be a consistent cost to your budget.
It is my prayer for you:
- That you will consider the costs before buying or investing. Be wise about the debt you acquire.
- That you will consistently seek God’s guidance about how to best utilise your finances.
- That you will be willing to assess your budget and adjust it as time passes.
Lord I thank you that you have provided me with tools to get a snapshot of my finances. Help me to open my eyes to unique ways I can cut back on spending, increase earnings and save more for my future.
Set yourself financial goals; be sure to list steps to achieve these (e.g. go on a family holiday in 12 months time. This will require saving $100/week on top of my usual savings). Share your goal with one or two trusted friends who will keep you accountable so that you’re working towards the goal regularly.