Purpose of Budgeting

Proverbs 22:3

Americans in their affluence have forgotten about the whole purpose of budgeting. We can have just about anything we want almost any time we want and we continuously want more. We have been sucked in with easy credit terms, looking only at the monthly payments, not understanding the total cost, principle plus interest. If, on the other hand, we would have saved up for the purchase of an item, there would be a whole lot less stress and greater financial peace.


Why Budget?
The purpose of budgeting really comes down to three main reasons: debt free living, financial margin and Christian giving. Debt has become so ingrained in American society that we have lost sight of our purpose, to glorify God. We have been hypnotized with the bigger, better, faster, newer, shinier, things and have mortgaged our future and the future of our kids by going deep into debt. The massive indebtedness continues on a personal level, a family level and continues on a national level.

Debt Free Living
Of the three purposes of budgeting, this is probably the one that gets the most attention. Payments you thought you could manage now seem overwhelming as you face the prospect of losing a job or as the credit card companies raise your minimum payment. By creating a budget you have the ability to set aside money for future purchases. The great thing about that is you get to pay yourself the interest you would other wise have paid to a creditor. The interest that you pay is just free money to the banks. By living on a balanced budget you get to maximize your income.

Financial Margin
Along with maximizing your income through not paying interest and living debt free, the second purpose of budgeting is creating financial margin. Spending everything you make on living expenses and not saving anything for emergencies is not a wise strategy. When you budget you have the opportunity to set aside a little money every month for those emergencies that are bound to happen. Things like the water pump in your car going out or you find that your water heater has gone kaput or you find yourself with some unexpected medical bills. Many of life's little emergencies come at us unexpectedly but they don't have to catch us unprepared. Your budget helps you to be like the prudent man who sees the danger ahead and takes precautions, creating a financial buffer.

Christian Giving
The third and perhaps the most important purpose of budgeting is to maximize the amount Christians can give to support ministry. Living on a balanced budget allows you live debt free and will create financial margin. That is just good stewardship of the resources that God has given you. When you have a budget you are able to prioritize your spending and make God's spending priorities your own. You might decide to eat out less often in order to support some missionaries around the world or help out less fortunate children in other countries. When we realize the opportunity that God has extended to us to cooperate with him in accomplishing his purposes and we plan our spending accordingly, then we have accomplished the highest purpose of budgeting.

Faithful Stewardship
God has blessed The United States of America with abundance and I think that too often we have been guilty of chasing after the gifts rather than the giver of the gifts. Whether God had blessed you with a little or he has blessed you with much, the point is to be faithful with what he has already given you. After you have been faithful with what he has already entrusted to you then you may find that he will entrust you with more because he has found you faithful. Then you can look forward to those much anticipated words of Jesus, "Well done good and faithful servant! Come, enter into the joy of your master."

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