There is a lot happening in the world. I do mean A LOT! It is hard to focus on just one thing or a few things anymore. If we are not trying to avoid becoming sick with a potential deadly virus, we are trying to find another job or hope that our current organization will rehire to full staffing soon. Financial hardship is being felt all around for most. Even those who may be financially wealthy are starting to empathize with others who are not as financially wealthy. This is why I encourage many people, including myself, to strive at focusing on daily essentials.
The essentials are those overall items that helps to maintain a less stressful life. Stress is inevitable. Some may categorize stress between good and bad. Either way: stress will always be around. When we can focus on the essentials, we can help lessen the pressure that stress causes. From the financial prospective, money management can be stressful. Especially if none is coming in. During this pandemic, my husband was furloughed so we had to review our household budget and reorganize how we would manage our money. We took the time to not become angry with certain circumstances and actually see them as a blessing! For example, I still worked but our daycare closed. Luckily, my husband was able to watch our baby (who was just 3.5 months when all shut downs began) and we still maintained a peaceful home. He did sign up for unemployment but for our household, it was not comparable to what my husband was making before. That is not a complaint. His unemployment helped with paying the essential bills, e.g. utilities, food, etc.
The truth is: we knew what our essentials were because we had a household budget. I manage our household budget and while no one plans for a pandemic, I must say the financial stress of all this has not been overwhelming for our household. This is not to brag. I am sharing because I hope to offer some tips and encouragement to others to become more financially stable, accountable, and responsible. Become great stewards of what we temporarily have while still alive. Also, let me drop this truth bomb too: I am a Christian and strive to be a better Christian daily. I believe in tithing and I believe if you can manage to tithe the full 10% or more in this season, do so. I also believe if you cannot maintain that full 10% or more in this season, do NOT feel ashamed! Do NOT feel guilty! In fact, pray even the more in this season and seek God in ways that you never considered before. I do believe God has a unique message for every single person in this season. It could be that being the "top tither" was blocking you from receiving an important lesson from God. I am not saying the tithing was wrong. We just have to remember the intent or motive behind what we do. If we are tithing to be known as the best tither or the perfect record tither then that is the wrong motive.
Know what your essentials are. Do not overthink. Essentials are simple. As a woman who actually likes to budget (weird, I know...LOL), I strive to not overthink when it comes to money. I am grateful for all that God has given us! How He has sustained us in this season! I encourage anyone who does not know what their essentials are, take the time and figure it out. Essentials can change over time. When you are retired, you may not consider having 3 or 4 cars essential. Or living in a home with more than 2 bedrooms as essential. Do not be afraid to budget because the budget is what helps identify what is essential.
--The Personal Budget Lady
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Question: How are you focusing on the essentials during this season? If you had a budget, do you think it helped? If you did not have a budget, do you think it would have helped?