The Trick To a Balanced Budget

When I started my Debt Free Do Over earlier this year, the first thing I had to do was start a budget. The scary thing about doing my budget was that I knew that it wouldn’t look pretty. In fact, it was downright ugly!

When I started my budget, I looked at my monthly income and compared it to my monthly outgo – I had a monthly shortfall of close to $500.

My wife and I discussed it.

We fought about it.

We were terrified.

It’s a very scary thing when you see it in writing. When you see that your income needs to increase by almost a week’s worth of income. Through it all,  we had two things that we refused to compromise on when it came to our budget.  We refused to go further into debt and we were going to tithe.  Meaning that we were going to trust God to help us through our budget.

As I mentioned before, I am a Christian, even still, I haven’t always been a faithful tither, but when my wife and I committed to getting out of debt, we also committed to tithing and amazingly something changed in our budget.  We decided to take God at his word – the only time in the Bible that God says to test Him:

Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. Malachi 3:10 (The Message)

God has provided. He has stayed true to His word.  Every single month, since we’ve started tithing, our bills have been paid. Some months we were scraping up our last penny to pay the bills and some months there have even been a surplus!  The math never worked on our budget, how did I go from having a $500 deficit to having everything paid? I was making more headway with 90% than I was when I had the full 100%.

HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!?! I can assure you, it’s not my amazing math skills!

Over the years, I’ve talked to a lot of people about why they do or don’t tithe. Here is the most common reason I’ve heard for not tithing, for what it’s worth, this was the same excuse that I used for the longest time:

When I get done paying my bills, I don’t have anything extra to give! If this is your reason for not tithing, it means your budget is out of order! You need to put tithing at the top of your budget.  Tithe literally means: a tenth of your income.

If you earn $500, that means $50 goes to tithe, and you have $450 to spend as you need to cover expenses.  When you faithfully give, God will bless you and that $450 will work more efficiently than the $500 ever could.

If you’re struggling with your budget, and you do not tithe, I challenge you to start! Give the first 10% of your income to God and see how He blesses you.

I want to end this post with a testimony of the benefits of tithing:

About a month ago, I was speaking to a friend of mine who was struggling with this very topic.  She was working  and barely making ends meet.  She’d been looking for a better paying job, but seems like she was getting closed doors everywhere she looked. She was just beginning to review her own finances and put together her budget. 

When I asked about tithing, she told me would give to her church when she had a little extra – but she was nervous about giving a full tithe – because she did not have enough to cover her expenses. 

I challenged my friend to build tithing into her budget.  I didn’t know if she took my advice or not, until tonight, when I got this message from her:

“That tithing thing is pretty cool. Last Thursday morning, I interviewed for a job and they said they’d have their decision in the beginning of next week. By 2:30 that afternoon, I had a job offer…”

My friend went on to talk about the other perks that come with this new job, including higher pay, a better location and room for growth.  She took a step out in faith, she TESTED God – and He came through in ways she couldn’t even imagine. 

The Takeaway: If you’re struggling with your budget, maybe you’re trying to control too much of it. 

Thank you for reading.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to comment here or you can email me at: debtfreedoover@gmail.com.

 

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