It's been a fun season of birthdays, Christmas, visitors and vacation. A little bit of extra spending here, a little bit there. It all added up. Nothing like January than to tighten the reins and get back on a strict budget. Not only will it help us enjoy a fun summer later, but it also helps us focus on gratitude again. Gratitude for all of our new toys and gadgets. Gratitude for the memories we made. Gratitude for enough money to provide for our daily needs. Gratitude for each day we spend together, even if we can't spend more money to eat out, play, go to the movies or go on a trip.
I'm doing a really cool study on Proverbs right now, and it's funny how it seems to speak so directly to my thought pattern each day. If I'm struggling with avoiding gossip, that's the topic for the day. If I need wisdom with parenting and discipline, that's the topic I find for that day. So, you guessed it, when I started cringing this morning over the need to get back on track financially, I opened up to the topic of money! God wants me to know He can read my mind, I guess. Lol.
I asked God to help us use the need to tighten up the budget as a good teaching tool for the boys. Rather than just pay for their upcoming soccer registrations and Disciple Now registrations (both due within the next few weeks), I told them they'd need to sacrifice their allowance for the next two months to help us cover the costs from their second soccer team expenses (high school and indoor). Neither one seemed to have any problem with that. Rather than run to the store and use my debit card to buy the dish soap I forgot to get at the grocery store, I sent the boys walking to the store with not much more than a dollar in change to bring me back the cheapest one they could find. Rather than pay for David's choir skating party, I said I'd pay half and he'd have to come up with the other half.
It's the little things that add up, and it's a family effort to get back on track. Now that we have a year under our belt and can foresee more of our expenses with two teenage boys, I feel better prepared. I'm all about debt-free-living, and I look forward to planning wisely enough so we can enjoy several of those things on our wish list for the year. I'm also thankful for the Money Matters class that Juan David is taking at school this semester. Maybe it will help solidify the things we're teaching him at home. Maybe by the time he finishes the course and has had two full years to be part of our family, he'll be ready to start working part-time. The mom in me keeps holding that part of life off for as long as possible, wanting to give him as many fun life experiences as we can before he has to "grow up".
We'll see. :)
Besides feeling better prepared to budget for the year financially, I also feel better prepared to budget my time and plan ahead for busy weeks. Here goes, since soccer goes into full-swing this week. Juan David has four games and David has one indoor game, plus both of them have a separate youth night at church, Mike has a men's night at church, I have a writer's group meeting, and Mike and I have a couple's event at church.
Looks like blogging will have to go back to once each weekend. :(
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.