Since we embarked on this budgeting journey, there have been moments that I just simply did not want to live by our budget. Perhaps I was too lazy to cook or found something that I decided I wanted that wasn’t in the budget but regardless, it equaled credit card debt. I am very strong-willed and my hubby likes to make me happy. Therefore, usually, he would cave to my desires and we, as a family, would pay for my desires.
That cycle changed about a month or so ago. I was craving (CRAVING as only a pregnant woman can crave something…) some Buffalo Wild Wings. I knew that we hadn’t budgeted to eat a $35+ meal for lunch that day AND I knew that BWW was 30+ minutes from our house. So, my desires would cost us the $35+ meal AND the gas to drive over 60 miles round trip. Tough love, in the form of my hubby, stepped in and put a stop to the cycle. He said, “No. I love you and I know you’re pregnant and I know you want this but… No.” It was not a pleasant moment for me as I really don’t like the word “No.” However, he was right. We didn’t have the money and putting the cost of that desire on our credit card was going to set us back financially.
After some sulking, I got over my mood and we went on with our day. After that confrontation, I had to come to a realization about my desires. I allow my desires to dominate the direction that I know that God has given our family. I know that God desires for our family to be debt free. It’s scriptural (“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. Proverbs 22:7 and many more!) and God has shown our family repeatedly in our circumstances that this is His will. So, if I allow my own desires to overrule the way God has shown for us, what am I doing? I’m sinning. When I accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of my life, I surrendered my desires and gave Jesus the decision-making position in my life. To take that control out of His hands and try to decide my own way in life based on my desires is sin. I needed my hubby stepping in and giving me tough love. I needed to hear “No” and re-evaluate who was actually controlling my life. It hurt to hear the tough love but it was necessary.
So, here’s some tough love for you. Are you having trouble surrendering to following your budget? Do you find yourself unwilling to give up something that is a luxury but is busting your budget? Ask yourself: Do I need my iPhone? Or my satellite tv? Do I put my desire for fast food in front of God’s desire for us to live without the slavery of debt? And, ultimately, do I struggle with giving God complete lordship over my life? Over my desires? My finances?
I’ve been blogging about how I stretch our monthly budget and you can read more in the following posts:
BTW. Please note: I’m not a debt counselor or any type of professional who is qualified to give out actual financial advice. I’m simply telling you some of the ways that I am helping stretch our monthly budget. If you want to read actual advice from a qualified debt guru, I recommend Dave Ramsey.