I hate bills! I hate doing accounting! I hate spreadsheets! I hate number crunching! I hate bills! This has been the story of my life since I left university! Number crunching was easier when I was in school, as I was still a student. Budgeting was easier, as my funds were my funds; rent, tax, insurance and never ending payments were not an issue. But lo and behold, here I am complaining about bills!
It’s funny how I have a budget, and a savings allocation monthly, but saved money is not really saved when sudden expenses come knocking and you just have to pay. The car needs fixing! Petrol price has increased! I have an exam to study for! I have an exam to pay for! I have to travel somewhere! It’s too many birthdays all at once! I need to go to a conference. I need to go to two! Should I really be going to two? The never ending considerations that go into budgeting and number crunching are mind boggling at best. As a single woman living alone and managing my numbers, I do not envy homemakers who do it all alone.
Each time the middle of the month approaches and that dip in the bank account manifests, I often ask myself; should I be saving that much? After all I put it aside just to bring it out again. However what happens if you don’t put it aside. What happens when you don’t have a fall back option. A money pot for rainy days? I have no credit cards at present as I know the bottomless pit that debt is. So it is more number crunching and extra shifts for me as I continue on this quest to attain the perfect budget. After reading a post by Arese Ugwu a while back, I was encouraged to find that I wasn’t alone in my desire to maintain a balanced budget. Each time I think of giving up on budgeting, I think; ‘What would Arese Do?’ and instantly I have my answer.
Being a good steward of our gifts is important. Being a good steward of money is very critical. I’m not talking about becoming the double whammy that is an Ijebu accountant (no offence). But understanding how bills and money works is essential to living a financially stable life and ensuring a financially stable future! I attended some budget workshops at church earlier this year, and the pastor leading it was clear that giving tithes and offerings was Gods instruction. Many people seemed bothered about giving 10% of their post tax earnings to God and the Kingdom. I wasn’t. It was something I’d seen my parents do growing up, and it was something they encouraged me to do with my student allowances, it’s a no brainier. However, now I’m working on being a good steward of the sanctified 90%.
So following my analysis of my last budget, actual spending and balances, I find myself asking the following questions;
1) Is there such a thing as being over generous. And if the there is, where do we draw the line?
2) Is the focus on financial stability and security bad or good?
3) At what point does the desire for financial security become the love of money?
And a prayer;
4) Please God send me a husband who is financially responsible 😜