I am in the thick of our 7 day money makeover, and it feels great (in that deep breath, get-to-work kind of way) to face the realities of our spending. And to make the time to reflect on our lifestyle, and set goals for the new year!
I realize how much of our own values around money have come from watching others. My husband and I got married young, and started our lives together while still in university. We were able to finish our education with minimal student loans which were paid off within a year. We both really had an aversion to debt, so we lived frugally. We also know that even though I had the freedom to work as an RN, we wanted one of us to always be home with the kids- so used childcare very rarely.
We also watched many families around us that made choices that we knew we did not want. We saw the stress that was brought upon them by working too much, overspending and basically living beyond their means. The pressure to keep up with expectations around us is huge…but somehow, we felt spared from that pressure.
Don’t get me wrong- we made our share of mistakes along the way too. A few investments that didn’t go the way we hoped, a few purchases that we paid more for than we should have. We don’t track spending as well as we could, we could likely give or save more with a little more planning and follow-through. That motivates us to make some changes and use more diligent habits.
But in it all…the one thing I feel like we have done well, in unity, in faith, and in a head-shaking, miraculous, don’t know how-it-all-works-out kind of way…is give. Out of obedience to His Word, not according to our own perceived ability…and with joy and a sense of adventure!
So let me say that whether you are in a time of plenty, or in a time of need, that God will fully honor your act of giving. And He promises to supply all of your needs. He even commands us to test Him in this- the only area of scripture where a test is invited!
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:10-12
This has been our experience: when we’ve given more, we’ve been blessed abundantly…with prosperity of health, depth of relationships, satisfaction in our work and home life as well as financially blessing. More than enough in every area of our life.
This is really the only “formula” in all of this…give at least 10% of all you have. As you set goals for yourself this year, can I encourage you to make this one of them? It’s the one investment that promises the most lasting of returns.
Laundry Mom~Kali ♥