I have so often been the frustrated budgeter, but today I am feeling very encouraged as I think about things. I just finished our July budget, and here are some thoughts I had in case you need to be encouraged in your frustrated budgeting, too!
I’m encouraged to do our budget today! We’ve been strict budgeters for a few years now, but we’ve never been perfect – we buy things that we shouldn’t and we keep having very expensive life events. Even after forking it over to pay off all our student loans, we have accumulated debt again because of the roof, AC/Furnace replacement, having two kids, and a couple of other things. I’ve been so discouraged and frustrated about how we just can’t break even! But today as I completed our July budget, I had a couple encouraging thoughts about budgeting that inspired me to suck it up and keep trying! GAZELLE INTENSITY! (That’s a Dave Ramsey phrase, in case you were wondering.) We are Dave Ramsey people!!!
1. It sucks at first to buy basically nothing, but after a while, you just get used to it, and it doesn’t suck that bad anymore. A bit of sacrifice becomes normal. Discipline with how you spend is a good thing, and you start to appreciate the things that you need instead of always dreaming about wants. You still have the wants, but they just aren’t so prevalent anymore. When you are able to find contentment and joy in what you are doing, you don’t ache quite so much for other things (although I’m still working on my desire for new carpet in the living room – it’s just the worst! But I have to wait. Waiting is good for me.).
2. You learn that you can afford a lot on a little bit of money when you plan well. This is a big one for me! The planning is key! We put money into savings each month for our yearly purchases (like our home taxes, auto and homeowner’s insurance, amazon prime, my blog fee, yearly eye doctor appointment, life insurance premiums, car license renewals, etc) even if they are really small ones, and then it doesn’t seem so frustrating when the bill comes after a year.
3. I realized today that once we’re out of debt, there is a very large amount of money that we’ll be able to use for other things. This probably seems like a duh statement, but think about it this way: we are living off of one income and still paying all our debt down little by little. This means it is possible to live off one income and have extra left over because once we’re out of debt, all that will be extra! So imagine how great it’ll be with two incomes and no debt! WOW!
Sometimes, it just gets so discouraging to have so much debt. I feel hopeless a lot of the time, like there will never be a point when we can afford anything. But then I remember that God provides. I remember that He has never failed us! I remember that His will doesn’t require us to have so much junk anyway, and I am able to refocus on what’s eternal instead of what fades away. I hope these words can encourage you today!