Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Home Manager: Part 1

“If you cannot be trusted with worldly riches, then who will trust you with true riches?” 
Luke 16:11 NCV

Among my roles as homemaker, I am the manager of time, activities, and money. In the work world, I could be called office manager, bookkeeper, and my favorite, travel agent. The vacation itinerary falls on my shoulders. I am keeper of the household calendar and schedules. And, the checkbook fits neatly into my hands. But it wasn’t always this way.

Let’s talk about money
When we were married some thirty-five years ago, our income was small and our expenses little, but as our family enlarged and our income increased, so did our expenses. Arguments over money also rose.

There were disagreements over fun money; you know, the selfish pleasure spending stuff. The credit/debit/ATM cards brought on a flurry of new squabbles. We even fought over whose responsibility it was to actually keep track of our money.

As I grew as a Christian, I felt it was my husband’s job, but because he worked full-time and I was home, he wanted me to take care of it…and my personality and skills fit the position better than his. As a budgeter of my meager high school allowance, my personality to do it was proven. With high school bookkeeping and community college intro-to-accounting classes under my belt, I was equipped. Still, I wrestled with the idea of me being our financial manager, so I:
  • became a smart shopper—using coupons and shopping sales
  • cooked from scratch instead of eating out
  • cared for our clothes—laundry, ironing, mending
  • planned my errand running days to minimize the use of gasoline
  • and I watched my husband struggle to do something outside of his personality and skill sets

Around and around we went about whose role it was. Then, about ten years into our marriage, I discovered Crown Financial Ministries on the radio (at the time, it was called Christian Financial Concepts) with Larry Burkett. He taught me God’s principles for managing money, a concept I hadn’t learned in any of those classes. Burkett explained how couples could manage their money together with communication being the key, along with what should be done rather than who should do what.

I shared—maybe annoyed—what I learned with my husband. I contacted the ministry, received a copy of the budget plan, and together we determined to follow it. As we settled into our roles and adjusted our lifestyle to live within the budget boundaries, our money arguments lessened.

In the weeks to come, I will expand on what my husband and I learned about being godly stewards of worldly riches, as well as those I learned of a 
travel agent and office manager.

Be a winner: Because I believe everyone should experience financial freedom, I have two copies of “The Financial Stewardship Bible” to give away March 31st to Fellow Sojourners of this site. Leave a comment to one of the March 2012 posts and tell why you wish to receive a copy.

(Simple rules: You must be a Fellow Sojourners of this site AND leave a comment to one of the March posts. One comment per post will be counted, but commenting to each March post will increase your chances of winning. If you are a winner, I will leave you a message with further instructions.)