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keeping track

Hey y'all! So I'm sipping a peach milkshake from (my favorite) Chick-fil-A! Ever had one of these fresh, creamy, summery scoops of goodness in a styrofoam cup? Oh boy, if you haven't you are missing out, my dears! Treat yourself with one today! (wink wink) I had a coupon for a free one, so it makes the milkshake even better tasting. Moving on, though, even though it's a holiday week, it seems so busy despite the Monday off! Ya know, laundry really creeps up on's like I just did it yesterday...but according to the pink laundry baskets neatly labeled in our laundry room, it was quite some days ago... Anybody? Yes, this week is busy because May usually is, but I did want to connect with you again today!

My husband and I recently began looking at buying a house for the first time. Wow! What an undertaking! We have learned much about credit and all kinds of financial stuff. We are praying to find one that is affordable that we love. On the hunt we are. Well, we are currently using a family budget binder to keep track of all our bills, financial goals, and how we can get better each month. I had fun creating these papers, making them colorful and fun (because, really, are you going to stick with something that is not easy or cute?) so we can actually implement them into our lives. I am going to include them here for you as well.

When I was young, perhaps six or seven, I was horribly messy. I mean, I was homeschooled and my mom would get frustrated because my text book was in my toy box while a sock was in my duck bookcase. This is difficult for me to remember as the type-A freak I am today, but nonetheless, that was me back in the 90s. (Sorry Momma!) She would always remind me to "be a good steward of what God has given you." I did not understand what being a good steward had to do with keeping my clothes off the floor of my room and putting them away. She explained I needed to take care of them and not tear them up by scattering them all over creation and actually hang them up or put them in the dresser drawers. I just knew I hated putting clothes away. I used to hate haning clothes up but now it has reversed and I would rather hang up than fold and put them in drawers. Anyway, that was teaching me at the time to be faithful with the clothes God had given me, even though I did not understand. That was important though, because later on in life, it clicked and I DID get it! It is important to be good stewards of what our Lord has given us! No matter how much or little we have, what we have is a blessing. After all, if He chose to never bless us with anything else, He has already done more than we deserve because He sent His Son to die for us and we are forgiven of all of our garbage! Thankfully He blesses us everyday with, if nothing else, another day!

So, what I have as examples are several sheets to help you at your home with your budget. Even if you are reading this as a student with a part-time job, it should apply to you as well.

Recurring Expense sheet: I track each expense I have with how much, when it is due, and how frequently it is due

Our Monthly Expenses sheet: for a closer look at each month's expenses, it is a place to track monthly bills

Our Monthly Check-In sheet: to look at each month's beginning balance, ending balance, what was done well, and how to improve next month

Our Financial Goals sheet: to keep track of specific items to save for to be purchased in the future and specific ways to save for them

On the recurring expenses sheet, you may have bills or student loans you are paying on, so it's really fun to pay them off, and cross them off the list. How great to keep everything in one binder, so as to avoid papers scattered everywhere, wondering when bills are due, or being surprised when an autodraft hits your account! It is not fun or easy to live that way, so I hope these can help you or someone you know. Just remember, it doesn't do the work for you! So, get in there, be commmitted, write your bills in it, and use it! Grab some colored pens, stickers, and highlighters. You can do it!

When we look at Luke 16, Jesus tells the disciples the Parable of the Dishonest Disciple. In Luke 16:10, He says, "whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much." Here we learn to be faithful to God for whatever He gives us. When we can be trusted with just a bit, He may give us opportunities to be trusted with more. God bless your day!



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