God wants us to be good stewards of everything He gives us – our families, jobs, homes, and, yes, even our finances. Matthew 25:23 reads: “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
Can you imagine God saying that to you at the end of your life? Creating and following a budget can be a way to honor God with our finances and manage our money well, and who knows, maybe He will say those words to us one day!
Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. For those of us who struggle with overspending, budgeting allows us to measure areas where we spend too little or too much. We can actively practice self-control by choosing not to spend more than we allocated for specific line items.
It’s easy to pay your bills and then spend whatever is left. However, what about car repair, home repair, or other parts where we might have to use the money allotted towards those problems? Budgeting gives us peace of mind to know that we have money saved for life’s challenging circumstances and still have enough to purchase things we want. Proverbs 21:5 tells us, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit,” so God wants us to have a plan in case things go awry.
With any budget, we’ll have to pay utilities, home bills, and other things. Budget line items can include a tithe that should be part of giving to the church. Additional line items can consist of grooming, haircuts, nails, etc. You could also have insurance, vacations, and other overlooked aspects. First Corinthians 14:40 reminds us that “all things should be done decently and in order.” By keeping a budget, you can keep your monthly expenses in order so you won’t forget about a bill on its due date and keep everything in order.
Teaching children how and why you use a budget early on can help potentially stop future financially poor decisions or problems with debt and is part of being a good parent. Plus, talking with even young children about why your family said “no” to one expense so they can say “yes” to something else teaches them the value of patience and saving.
When teaching your children financial responsibility, a piggy bank is a good idea, but it doesn’t give your children a visual. However, if you use a clear jar, they can see the money increase. Yesterday, they only had $1, but today, they have $2! Talk through this with them and celebrate their growing money. It also helps if you set an example. Children’s money habits are formed when they’re 7 years old, so their eyes watch you.
For example, they’ll eventually notice if you consistently pay with a card when going to the grocery store or dinner. They’ll also see if you and your spouse argue about finances, so it would be best to set a healthy example for them, and they’ll be more likely to follow it as they age. Teaching children about financial responsibility is essential, but teaching them how to give is also important.
Once they start making money, teach them about giving. They can choose a charity, church, or even someone they know who needs help. Eventually, they’ll see how giving affects the giver and the people they give to. Teaching your kids about money at any age will take time as a parent. Still, if you want your children to know how to successfully manage money as they age, taking the time now will be worth it.
Budgets make good financial sense for everyone and help us better steward the money God placed in our care. By staying financially faithful, we show God that we can be trusted with His blessings and will put them to good use. Commit to reviewing your budget every six months to ensure your finances are on track.