Posted by: spaghettipie | November 26, 2007

Stewardship Living Idea #6: Money

Before I began this intentional journey into stewardship, money used to be my primary association with the word – and saving money at that. As I have continued exploring what stewardship really means, I have found that being a “good steward” in one area sometimes leads to a trade off in another. For example, as many people have already pointed out on my menu plan for the week, choosing to focus on providing healthy, organic meals requires me to give a little in my focus on reducing our spending. Not that choosing one over the other is right or wrong, but it will depend on your priorities.

That said, being a good steward of our money IS an important aspect of stewardship. I found that before we kept a budget and tracked our expenses, we had no idea where our money went each month. What we found is that it went on little things that added up. Many times we spent mindlessly, without weighing options or thinking about whether or not we actually needed that thing (much less where we would put it!). Now being on one income has caused us to revisit our budget with a careful eye. I’ve been amazed at the places we’ve been able to cut back and really haven’t missed. We think about our budget before eating out (one of our main expenses), and I’ve stopped buying random things for my daughter just because I thought she might like them.

If you’re not a numbers-type or struggle with budgets, I suggest starting small. Choose one area to track your expenses for a month. At the end of the month, see if you think that amount is reasonable (one way to check is to divide it by your income to see what percentage you’re spending on that area). If it looks good, choose another area. If it needs some work, come up with one or two things you could do differently. Try them for a month and see what happens. Don’t feel like you have to make big changes all at once. Your budget drives your lifestyle, so changing what you spend in some areas is going to change things like how you spend your time, how much you cook, and what activities you do with friends and family.

This week the spotlight will be on Kacie over at Sense to Save. She’s taken a very aggressive approach to managing her money and offers a lot of insight.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on being a good steward of your money as well.

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Responses

  1. Great thoughts, T. I used to dislike the idea of a budget because it felt too confining. But I like having a limit–it helps me be more strategic with what I/we spend.

  2. A budget sure does control impulse purchases. It makes for choices which makes for a little less regret, I think. But it is challenging to track and I know I culd do better with some of the smaller details.

    Debbie
    aka The Real World Martha(S)


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