Several years ago, a young woman told me that she and her husband were having financial problems. They couldn't pay their bills. I asked her if they had a budget. She answered, "No, how do you do that?" Perhaps some of the things I told that young lady will be helpful to some of you young readers.
Sit down with your husband and write down how much money you have for a "pay period." Decide how much you are going to give for the Lord's work. Divide this amount by the number of Sundays in the "pay period." This amount should be set aside. Put it in envelopes and label them. You have purposed this in your hearts for the Lord's work. It is not spending money. In Matthew 6:31-33, Jesus said to put the kingdom first and we will have the necessities of life.
Next, write down the amount of your bills: rent, utilities, car payment, etc. Bills must be paid. "Providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 2 Corinthians 8:21.
You will need money for gasoline for necessary travel.
What about groceries? You fit your grocery list into what is left. This will probably mean major changes in what you can buy. Plan meals with foods you can afford. Learn to get along with what you have. The apostle Paul said, "Now godliness with contentment is great gain ... And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." 1 Timothy 6:6, 8.
Never cash your paycheck and go shopping before taking care of your obligations. You say that leaves no spending money or money for "eating out." "Eating out" is a luxury. If you can't pay your bills, you can't afford luxuries.
You say that is unreal? It's very real! The good part is that you get your priorities in order. It will take time, but gradually things get better. As things get better, you can give more to the Lord's work; you will have something to give to someone who is in need, as Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:28. You can buy a greater variety of food or buy something new to wear or go out to eat occasionally.
You might say that I don't understand how hard it is, but we experienced hard times too. I remember that I would save a can of mackerel to make fish cakes for Sunday dinner. Rt. 5 Box 1468, Salem, WV 26426.
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