“Have a written budget, and stick to it.”
You have probably read this advice at least a hundred times. I have. It is good financial advice. If you have a budget, that’s wonderful. Stick to it and enjoy it!
We do not budget and never have.
That used to really bug me.
I’ve always been the nerdy-type when it comes to money. I love excel spreadsheets and knowing exactly how much money we have in the bank, down to the last penny.
Joshua is not a money-nerd. If we have money to tithe faithfully, save for our goals, and take care of our needs (and many wants!), it doesn’t bother him if we have $3.58 less left over this month than last month.
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve come to realize that my guilt over not having a budget is misplaced. You can obey the Bible, have a happy marriage, and be a faithful steward without a written budget.
You can obey the Bible without a budget.
The Bible has a lot to say about money. Proverbs is full of warnings against the pitfalls of greed, about the dangers of wantonness, about the need to cheerfully give and diligently provide. Not a single verse anywhere says that faithful Christians must have a written budget.
Budgets are never once commanded (or even mentioned) in Scripture.
You can have a solid marriage, financially, without a budget.
An author I admire once wrote (I paraphrase), “If you don’t have a budget, and your spouse refuses to make one with you, you have serious marital problems.”
I’ve thought about this statement a lot, but think she’s wrong (at least about many marriages.)
Budgeting is not a requirement of a good husband or wife. If I were to insist on having a written budget, I would almost certainly be the one writing it and policing it. I would basically be telling my husband when and how he could spend the money he earns.
In my opinion, that would be detrimental to our marriage and contrary to my wedding vows. After all, when we married I promised to trust him (even with our money), and he’s never once proved unfaithful.
You can faithfully use money, without having a budget.
Money has three main purposes. Each of the purposes of money can be fulfilled without a budget. When you get a paycheck, you can set aside money for tithe/giving, pay your bills and put money into savings for future needs, and enjoy the leftovers with a grateful heart.
All without having a budget.
Hope for those without budgets
If you have a budget or are thinking about making a budget (and your husband likes the idea!) that’s wonderful. Budgeting often makes it easier to faithfully use money.
But I’ve talked to moms who are discouraged because they don’t have a budget. Sometimes, budgets get pushed so hard these days that it’s easy to get the idea that “budgeting is next to godliness.”
Budgeting may be a good and wise thing for your marriage. It might not. And that’s perfectly okay.
You can obey Biblical commands about money, have a strong marriage, and spend your money faithfully, all without a budget.
What about you? Do you have a budget?