I had the absolute joy and privilege in sharing my story and teaching some budgeting tricks at this morning’s I Can Adult Brunch. It was a big turnout and I had so much fun. Thank you to those that organized it, ran it and came. You made it easy, fun, and seamless. It’s been quite a journey over the past 4 years and so to extend any bit of help, encouragement and wisdom feels incredible. I see you out there, striving for your dreams and having things thrown at you. Life is challenging and the devil wants to do whatever he can to distract you, destroy your dreams, and distrust God’s truths. So I’m sharing my teaching notes so that anyone can have access to this stuff and get started. Message or comment with questions!
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him,
passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
So we all love the idea of the Good Samaritan, and I know we’ve all had times we’ve seen a need and wished we could do something about it, but what about actually getting to the place where we can do that? We have the ability to be in a position to be a powerful impact in the lives around us and so many times we feel helpless, discouraged, and worn out. That’s for sure where we were for a very long time…
My husband and I both have bachelors degrees; mine is in Accounting even. We graduated with around $80K in student loan debt between the two of us, plus $30K+ in vehicle loans, plus medical and unsecured debt. We felt like we couldn’t catch a break. A little over 3 years ago now God really laid in on our hearts to sell our house and for me to come home full time. We had just had our son Isaac, so now a family of 5 we were feeling the strain of working full-time plus trying to raise our family well. I felt selfish for wanting to be home full-time and I know my hubby felt the attack and weight of not being able to fully provide and in checkmate financially. We are so grateful to our friend Dave-O that really bore with us and spent countless hours going over budgets and numbers, talking about struggles, frustrations and dreams. Those conversations lead us to acknowledging what God had laid on our hearts, coming face to face with those dreams, and deciding if God’s word was going to be higher than our current reality.
Just a short few months later we had sold our home, were living in our friend’s basement, and I had given my two week notice! On paper the budget was balanced but it was suuuuper tight! No wiggle room at all. But I can tell you we hadn’t felt that excited about our future and hopeful for God’s plans ever! And then the Thursday before my last day of work we were sitting around watching a movie after the kids were in bed. My mom calls me and tells me that my older brother Erik was in a car accident and didn’t make it. My entire existence became an awful dream and those months and days became a deep emotional and spiritual struggle. I can’t imagine going back to work during that time. God was totally preparing us for not just our future, but for this time. I was able to walk away from everything and just hold on.
In the meantime Nick was given the chance to take on some incredible projects with his new venture and while we settled into this new budget and simple standard of living, God set us up in later months to put everything additional that came in entirely on debt! God completely eradicated our debt. The mountain that we thought would overshadow us for our entire lives was brought down into the depths of the sea in the matter of months! It was impossible, inconceivable and completely miraculous! Looking back our biggest starting points were just even believing in those dreams initially and then being willing and obedient to follow God’s promptings and leadings.
So what’s your biggest goal or dream?
What’s your biggest hurdle?
Proverbs 21:20 “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.”
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
So let’s look at what a sample budget could look like. This is how we do it and what works well for me. There’s various apps and such but I work the best in excel. If you message me I’d be more than happy to email this to you in excel so that you can take it and use it and tweak it to whatever you need.
Budget Directions and Tips:
1. Track all your income coming in. It’s your responsibility to track and know.
2. Track all of your giving, spending and saving. It’s your responsibility to know and decide.
3. Do your budget monthly and think big numbers. Maybe $10 or $20 bucks here or there isn’t a big deal, but if you add it up you’ll care where that $200 is going every month.
4. Save for emergencies.
5. If you do your budget monthly it will lower so much stress! If you keep extra leftover each month then after a while you’ll be able to pay all of your bills and have cash on hand for everything you need for say January. Then as all of your paychecks come in January just leave them in your checking and don’t touch them. Then January 31st you’ll have a total January income to use for all of February. This helps us that have fluctuating incomes or commission. Then you’re always ahead and you only have to look at your budget once a month. It also gives you a better chance to sticking to your budget because then you decided all at once what to do with that January income and then paid the bills and took out cash and decided what you were going to spend everywhere and then that’s it!
6. It takes time. Be consistent. Stay positive. Reach out for help and encouragement.
7. Focus on your goals. It’s often easier to say no to the things that hang you up or distract you when you’ve got those amazing goals you’re working towards. Share your goals with friends that speak life and keep you on task.
8. PRAY and pursue God’s heart and plan for you. Be faithful and obedient.
GOD IS BIGGER THAN YOUR FINANCES!
HE’S BIGGER THAN THAT MOUNTAIN.
He didn’t put those dreams in you to frustrate you. He knit you together to love you and be with you. He wants to walk with you and show you his heart and plans for you. He will go before you and fight your battles and prepare your way. Be willing. Trust Him. Stay faithful and believe.
We live completely different now. Our mindset is different and it’s incredible being able to make decisions based off of what God is leading us to do and what’s best for our family rather than based off of needing to go to work or not and pay those bills. And then that Good Samaritan? Well, that’s you and me. There’s a hurting world out there that needs the heart of the Father.
Romans 8:19 “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.”
So it’s just like getting up and dressed in the morning. Let’s be ready and prepared. We can’t move and shake the kingdom when we’re up to our ears in our mess and chaos. This money stuff must be submitted to the will of the Father so that we can go where he calls us, and be ready to be his hands and feet.
I hope this encourages you. Message me with any questions or comment. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you want a copy of the sample budget sheet. It’s all formulated to get you started.