August 13, 2011

finances and firstfruits


oh the dreaded word. i tense up every time of the month when we have to pay bills. as a newly married couple, we are still learning each other rhythms and what things actually cost. we have been doing well by staying within our means, but we have been convicted lately to look at how we can be more generous. here are a few things my God and my community are teaching me.

first of all, we have not been tithing regularly or in any kind of consistent way. actually, i've never done that since coming to soma. when i arrived, i was digging myself out of debt and not making very much money. i always gave more of my time than anything else, and you know, some money here or there with whatever was leftover after bills. after we got married, we began to do this out of whatever was leftover.

if you spend time in the old testament, you hear alot about 'firstfruits.' this refers to sacrifices people made to the Lord. firstfruits means they gave first to the Lord, the best and biggest of their crop or herd. this was first, and then they took care of themselves second. dan and i want to give from our firstfruits too. so when we sat down to make a budget last night, the first several blanks we filled in were around tithing and giving.

i know. radical, isn't it?

by taking this approach, several things happened. first, our perspective on our whole budget changed. giving back, was our central point of how everything else fit into place. Christ is glorifed  in this. matthew 6:33 reads, "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." imagine that...He actually tells us to put him first and he will take care of 'all these things' we need. awesome!

another thing that happened, is that we had to ask for wisdom. that's something i forget about, a lot. i forget that it's something you have to ask God for. He was faithful to provide a way for us to make everything fit, and encouraged us through our community and His word, to not be anxious. He is in control and has a plan, and a lot to teach us.

so what all did we budget for? i wanted to share with you, in case you want to make a budget of your own. here's a comprehensive list. we included everything we could possibly think of. i know it's healthy and life giving to be able to be transparent about where our money is going, so here's our list so you can copy, paste and get going!

Mortgage, Insurance and HOA Dues
Utilities (Electricity)
Techy Things (Internet, Netflix, TV)
Cell Phone (I actually wrote 'cellular telephone' in my spreadsheet, haha!)

Daily Living
Extras (Toilet Paper, cleaning supplies, etc)
Dining out and Date night

Car Payment
Car Insurance

Birthdays and Treats
Christmas (We decided to put money aside each month so we don't spend a ton at once.)

Dry Cleaning
(You could also add gym membership here)

Our Church
People we Support
Mission (coffee's--anything that's intentional)

thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I need to put the budget that's in my brain down on paper and this helps a lot!! :) Thanks, friend!