5 BUDGET BENEFITS
The word budget often conjures up thoughts of oppressive restrictions and unattainable goals. For those who have practiced the art of budgeting they understand budgets are actually liberating and very attainable. Initially you may have to take small steps but you can get there.
Budgets are simply a written plan to track income and expenses in order to ensure that we don’t spend more than we take in. Proverbs 27:23 instructs us to know well the conditions of our flocks and to give attention to our herds. Translation, we have an obligation to know and to manage the resources we have been entrusted with.
Let’s look at 5 reasons we should budget.
- 1- Budgets offer security and peace of mind. Not having one is like walking on a financial high wire without a safety net! While we understand God has the ability to supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19), 1st Corinthians 4:2 clearly states that it is required of stewards to be trustworthy. Financial stress is consistently among the top reasons cited in divorce cases. The burden of debt often steals the peace and joy from everyday life and causes us to be held captive. Proverbs 22:7 puts it this way; just as the rich rule over the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
- 2- Budgets allow us to set goals and priorities. Do you want to own a home, send your children to college, travel and enjoy vacations, be generous to God and others, and retire comfortably some day? These things will not happen by accident. A budget can help you set goals and reach them by establishing discipline and healthy habits. Proverbs 15:22 tells us that without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Aim at nothing and you will hit every time!
- 3- Budgets prepare you for emergencies. They happen to all of us at some point in time. Unexpected expenses that seem to come out of nowhere. Often we experience the “when it rains it pours” factor. Budgets allow us to have money set aside to deal with these inevitable issues without throwing us or our money into a tailspin.
- 4- Budgets create margin for generosity. It is more blessed to give than receive (Acts 20:35); the generous themselves will be blessed (Proverbs 22:9); oil and treasure are in the house of the wise but a foolish man devours it all (Proverbs 21:2) and the list goes on and on. In 1st Timothy 6:17-19 we are told not to trust in riches but to use money to do good, to be generous and to share with others. We can’t give what we don’t have including money.
5- You owe it to your children! Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). This certainly includes the training of how to budget and manage money. Our children’s greatest influence and example in this will come from watching us. Good or bad. 1st Timothy 5:8 warns us we are to care for those of our own household (including financially) if we don’t we are worse than unbelievers! A budget allows us to demonstrate discipline and self-control to our children. Dave Ramsey says, “Learning to delay pleasure is a sign of maturity. Adults devise a plan and follow it. Children do what feels good.” As parents take the lead and set the example.
Budgets can reveal poor spending habits and help create discipline in order to meet current obligations and to achieve future goals. Proverbs 21:5 says that good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. Budgets are an essential tool to help us be the good stewards of what God has entrusted to us. It is never too late to get started on your road to financial freedom and a budget is a great place to start!