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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor is Lindsay their official spokesperson.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Budgets and Blessings

Dear Friend A,

At the beginning of the year when I was putting together my goals for the year, I decided that our family could benefit from a new budget.  We haven't discussed budgets for awhile, but I've been thinking of you, wondering if you're still doing the same thing with the cash?  As our family situation changes, every so often we change the format of our budget, and this time we had decided to use more cash like the system you were using a few years ago.

This time I decided to see what resources the Church had first, before turning to other sources.  I found this budget worksheet on the provident living website and decided that I would use it as my guide in planning our new budget.  It worked great for several months, and would have continued to work great, if we actually followed it.

You see, I have been very busy the past few months, and especially busy the past few weeks.  I have been buying things left and right, willy nilly, without keeping up to date on all of my finances.  I started to dread having to update our finances and then started ignoring them altogether.  I know this was not a good choice, but then our desktop computer died and so it made it a lot easier to ignore my guilt as well.  The finances are always 50-50 and Husband helped where he could, but we have equally been very busy.

What kind of busy?

We have driven hundreds of miles to dance practices for the upcoming Youth Conference.  We have spent many hours rehearsing the dances, and driving to the dance practices, etc.  I have been involved with the Young Women camp, and helping all of my piano students prepare for the recital.  With our work we do for the Spanish Branch and now for the stake (and the other dancing stake), we have been totally immersed in the building up of the Kingdom of God.  Also, this list doesn't include all of the temple trips we've made, or the service/ mentorship that we've given to youth in the stake, or our home and visiting teaching, and I'm on a service mission here people, etc.  It has been exhausting, but fulfilling!!!  It has been time consuming as we have only been anxiously engaged in good causes.  Deep down in the bottom of my brain, I have just had faith that we would be blessed for our unselfish efforts.

Well, we were.

Finally, Husband and I were able to sit down last night and assess our financial situation.  I knew we had enough money in our savings.  It wasn't a matter of being afraid that we had overdrawn accounts.  Everything was just unorganized with turning in receipts to be reimbursed, etc.  We were able to figure out the things that we needed to and get everything taken care of and updated.  I felt like a big load of weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, because I know that we need to prudent and wise with our finances.  The Church has made that clear (and my sweet grandparents who lived through the Depression).

Ready for the damage?

I did discover that the electric bill hadn't been paid for not just one, but two months (oops!).  The late fee was $1.  Blessing.  We also made a late payment on something a few weeks ago, because the passage of time has been so fast.  No lingering penalty.  Blessing.  The weeks seem like minutes to us.  I think Valentine's Day just happened.

The best part was that we actually had more money than I had thought we should have in our accounts and our student loan debts were lower than we remember (without having made a payment).  Blessing!!!  I know we have been blessed for our service to the Lord!  We have always been faithful in paying our tithing and it is true that heaven will pour more blessings out on you than you have room to receive like the scripture in Malachi 3 says.

I am so grateful that we have been blessed.  I know many people who do not delight to serve the Lord.  I was actually in a conversation recently where there was one member of our Church, one was not a member, and myself.  The other member was saying that we only wanted the guy to convert to our Church because we wanted to have less work to do ourselves.  I kept quiet not sure what to say, because I love to fulfill my temple covenants and build up the kingdom.  I have been blessed.  I know it.

With financial collapse all around our country right now, it is not a time to make money mistakes or become casual in our finances.  Husband and I don't plan to test this out again, even though we have many more hours to serve for the upcoming Youth Conference and beyond.

*** Don't try this at home!!!  I do not endorse this behavior.  I am just sharing my story.

Your friend,
Lindsay

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