Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Big Dreams On A Small Family Budget?

Is it possible to have big dreams on a small family budget? I am not talking about charmed couples who stay in mansions and jetting off on romantic vacations to Europe every weekend.

For most married couples, their first few years are usually marked by cramped rental apartment and eating instant noodles or cheese burgers while struggling to pay their bills.

Isn't our marriage supposd to be the culmination of sweet love and courtship? But yet it seems that every dime is paying off the past or saving for the future.

Indeed, living debt-free during the "just married" moments is an immense challenge. However, we can still be financially secure by prioritizing our spending based on the three C's below:

Big Dreams On A Small Family Budget?

1. Consider what matters most

Examine your activties and consider what really matters. Then explore how to have fun without breaking the piggy-bank. As an example, why do you go to the movies? If you love the atmosphere, plot or special effects, then attend an off-peak (cheaper) show. Else, just rent a DVD or borrow it from the library.

2. Cherish the simple things in life

When your neighbors are are driving a new car or buying big screen TVs, it's tempting to reach for our credit cards and improve our living standards too. Americans love instant gratification and keeping up with the Jones.

In this recession, I am humbled to learn that our wealth is actually illusory. It is the simple things in life which ought to be cherished. We should thank God for our hot showers, clean water, food on the table and cosy homes, instead of focusing on our neighbor's latest toys.

Try it out and you will be more contented with your marriage rather than lament about the meagre family budget.

3. Commit to God what's His

The Israelites gave to God the first 10 percent of everything they harvested as they trusted Him to provide the rest. The New Testament remind us that all we have is God's.

The lessons is to give generously and spend wisely. When we invest our time and money in Him, we further appreciate God's abundant provision on earth and learn to share without thinking about rewards.