I have been taking a class at a church in the area. It's called Moneywise 1 and I have really been learning a lot. Before you tune out, because "blah, blah, money, blah, blah", I get it! Money is hard to talk about, think about, act on wisely.
Maybe you're an accountant, and it's not hard for you. Maybe you don't have a brain like mine (blessings to you!) and you can create excel spreadsheets with inflow/outflow columns. I can create an excel spreadsheet. Heck, I used one for years as my gradebook. Love it! But, in all honesty, and this is admitting my naivete, I didn't even know where to start with the titles of the columns for a spending plan. After coming up with what I THOUGHT I should be spending each month, I didn't know how to keep track of it.
When I moved to Plano, I immediately began visiting a church with a friend of mine that moved here about a year before I did. The Tuesday night Bible study had just started a series called $30k Millionaire (30 thousand dollar millionaire), and it was AWESOME. It wasn't just about how to spend or not spend money. Instead, it was about what scripture says about money. The Minister of Stewardship (yes, they have a Minister of Stewardship...I LOVE that!) was leading this series and he mentioned he teaches a Moneywise 1 class a few times a year. The next one was beginning mid-September. We both felt convicted multiple times in the series and decided to sign up for the class.
I admit, I was taking the class because I wanted to learn a budgeting system. I wanted to figure out this whole "budget" thing. I know it's not a four letter word, but it is, you know?
The first week, Adam led off with how a budget is not just about spending money. We read several scriptures about stewardship. If you've grown up in church, or if you haven't, you probably hear the word stewardship and think "giving money to the church", but that's not it AT ALL. Listen to the definition of a steward.
Steward: a person who manages another's resources and seeks to manage those resources according to the owner's vision and values.
It's not just money, people! "Hey, Alyssa! It's not JUST money!" It's treasures, yes, but it's TIME and it's TALENTS, too. "Ok, but I'm better at giving those away. Well, in fact, now that I think about it. There's times I give those away too freely, then I'm exhausted and run-down." Hmmm, tapping chin while talking to myself. Maybe I need to become a better steward of God's resources all the way around...
A Budget, first and foremost is a HEART issue and THEN it's a math issue.
Read that again.
God and I have some work to do.