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Back To The Basics: Budgeting

by Tim on January 31, 2011

What Does The Bible Say About Budgeting?

Now that we’ve covered what the Bible says about income and savings, let’s take a look at what it says about budgeting.  From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the scriptures repeat the wisdom about planning ahead and budgeting our resources so that we can live a blessed life.

We Budget Because It’s Wise

Proverbs 27:23-27

23 Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, 24 for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.  25 After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in, 26 your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field. 27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.

It’s interesting to read this passage and see that the writer isn’t saying “it might be good if you plan ahead” or “if you find it convenient, plan ahead with your resources.”  It’s actually a pretty clear set of instructions to apply a budget to your income and watch your resources carefully.  I see two basic principles that come from this passage:

1. If you budget you will have enough to cover your expenses.

2. If you don’t budget, you’ll struggle to meet your obligations and won’t pass on an inheritance to your children, grandchildren, or anyone for that matter.

Straightforward? Yes, it is.  But that’s the beauty here – it’s simply wise to plan ahead and make a budget.

We Budget So We Can Prosper

Luke 14:28-30
28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’


Jesus was addressing the cost to be a disciple and wanted his followers to know what it would mean to follow him.  They would need to consider all costs and commit to him 100%.

Interesting how he explained his point by using an example of people budgeting and planning their resources before committing to a building project.  The concept of budgeting isn’t new and was a well-known financial principle in Jesus’ days.

We Budget So We Can Give

1 Corinthians 16:2
On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.

Even Paul gives a reminder to the church in Corinth about budgeting.  His approach was to budget so that you are able to bless others without trying to scrape together something at the last minute.  You see, Jerusalem was under great stress and the people were suffering for lack of food and other provisions.  Paul was urging the church to bless them and the best way was through setting aside resources that could be collected when Paul came.

I think it’s important to understand why we need to budget – and having a Biblical perspective on the topic is a solid way to approach the subject.  For more information, read this article on how to make a budget.

A Simple Question For You: So Why Do You Budget?

Back to The Basics Series…

Part One: Income
Part Two: Savings
Part Three: Budgeting
Part Four: Debt
Part Five: Investing
Part Six: Giving

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Derrik Hubbard, CFP January 31, 2011

Good article, Tim.

Some other thoughts….

We budget because the money does not belong to us. It’s God’s money and so as the manger of another’s resources we make an accounting of what we’ve been entrusted. (Note the in the parable of the talents the master comes back to see how they’ve used the money….in other words, we wants to see the checkbook)

Also we budget because it helps us to accomplish our long term goals. When we know how much is enough for our giving, living, debt, and income taxes, we’ll have an understanding just how much margin we have for the long term and compare this to how much is enough to save. If we’re off, we can adjust our spending plan to accomplish the long term.

Reply

Tim February 1, 2011

Excellent points Derrik! I love the example of the talents and the fact that it isn’t our money to begin with!

Thanks for you input! Great insight

Reply

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