by Michelle Jones
Starting a budget may seem like an impossible task, especially when the numbers just won’t balance and you have a shortage (meaning you have less money coming in each month than you have going out) and even worse, if this continues year after year. Our family faced the same challenge for many years due to an unfortunate combination of job losses and a never ending pile of medical bills which started when I was only 19 years old. I was diagnosed with cancer, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, just a year after graduating from high school and moving out on my own. It took many years to pay off those bills and by the grace of God, I'm still here to tell you... it is NOT impossible to recover from financial difficulties, no matter how bad they get!
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Our family is living proof that even when your numbers don’t add up you can not only SURVIVE it, but you can also get out of debt, get back on track and finally start building your savings. That old saying we dread to hear... "What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!" is very true. The struggling part isn't much fun, but being stronger is a GOOD THING.
We relied heavily on our personal gifts of faith, patience, and determination to persevere when we could have easily given up and thrown in the towel. If you're facing difficult times of any sort, or have in the past, you can easily relate. I think these virtues are not to be overlooked and can make the difference between success and failure. You have to hold on to your faith and know you can make it, giving up is just not an option. Accepting that things are never going to get better, is not an option either.
Your finances can get better, your life can get better, and YOU can help make it happen!
What's that other saying... when you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on? That's not a very positive outlook but maybe you feel like that's where you're at right now; like you have to just hang on and survive. We understand. We've been there. But while you're hanging on, you can also do something about your situation to make it better. Start planning, start making changes in your life, to get your finances back on track. And pray. Pray a lot!
If you don't know what to pray, you might want to start with the Lord's prayer. It's pretty awesome...
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
Matthew 6: 9-13 (KJV)
Everything you think, say, and do (no matter how small it may seem to you right now), can make a difference.
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams
If you’re experiencing a monthly deficit (more money going out each month than what's coming in), we're here to help. Don't give up on your finances, and don't give up on BUDGETING. It may be the very process that shakes you up and helps you realize that you indeed need to make some serious changes in your life. Whether it’s earning more income, spending less money, or both.
Once you begin to create a budget that works for you either through our free worksheets, our Better Budgeting Class (a 5-week course that I teach throughout the year), our recommended budget planners or any other system you may choose to use, it will help you begin the process of really turning things around. Depending on how off track your finances are now, it could be life changing!
"The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty." - Proverbs 21:5
Managing your money well does not happen overnight. It is a process that can take many years to work through, but one that is well worth the extra effort, commitment and determination that it takes to succeed.
The changes that each family will need to make to get their budget balanced may be different, but one thing that will likely be the same is the need to take things one day at a time... ONE STEP AT A TIME.
And all you have to do right now is begin!
"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot
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Copyright © 2007-2015 by Michelle Jones. All rights reserved.