How to Spend Money without Guilt

How to Spend Money without Guilt

Have you ever arrived at the end of the month wondering where all of your money has gone? Surely, you didn’t mean to overspend, but the money has literally vanished from your bank account. Where did it all go? Is it even possible to spend money without guilt?

 

Our single income family has experienced years of living paycheck to paycheck, and large chunks of time without even that (lots of God miracles in those years!). After paying all the bills, we operated on a “spend as needed” basis.

 

The problem with this is: You can always spend money.
A “spend as needed” basis just invites need.
Sure you don’t have a donut maker, the money may be there, but do you really need it?

 

Needs end where the money ends.

 

If you have no plan, you’ll have no money.

 

When it came time to buy the kids new clothes, or when my husband and I just wanted to go out and have a coffee date together, it was always seasoned with guilt. I constantly felt the nagging lack of money.

 

In part, this feeling came from my childhood  where money was sparse. But there was another problem which we’ll look at next.

 

Who Does it Belong to?

 

At some point, I just got sick of living from paycheck to paycheck and was wondering if God had another way. I felt convicted that we were not stewarding his gifts wisely, but squandering them instead. After all, the money didn’t really belong to us, but God!

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Ps. 24

 

So we see the heart of it here, the problem is realizing our responsibility and lack of vision and overview.

This is incredibly important if we desire to take care of something we have received (which in this case, is money). This is one principle of biblical stewardship. The money doesn’t belong to us, it’s God’s, and we’re to use it in a way that honours him. And finances are important to Jesus!

So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:11

The money in our bank accounts is not the true riches, but what we do with it has eternal importance!

No Purpose = No Money

One major culprit of spending guilt: The absence conscious spending and saving.   Without a plan, our family just spent the money as it came.

After feeling convinced that we needed to change our financial habits I browsed Pinterest and looked for different money solutions. I came across a cash based system using envelopes. I believe that this method was made popular by Dave Ramsey. My husband and I watched a few of his teachings via Right Now Media. I would really suggest  anyone interested in a biblical perspective of finances to check this out.

This got me started on writing out every single thing we bought and setting up my envelope system.

Three Ways to Begin Controlling Your Money

Get an Overview

Write every single thing down that you spend for three months. To the penny. Though this takes effort and persistence, you will get an overview of just where your money is going. Eventually, by looking through this list you will get a good idea of where your money is going. Where can you cut back? Where should you save more?

Cast a Vision

Then, you can think about the things that are missing. Are there goals you’d like to reach? Perhaps things that you want, or want? Check out the free budgeting resources here.

Fill up Envelopes

The benefits to having all your budgeting categories separated into envelopes, is that it’s incredibly satisfying to fill them up with cash. And when it’s empty… it’s empty. There is something much more impacting when you’re faced with an empty envelope, compared to an empty online bank account. Oh, that novel feeling of physical money. We put more thought into whether we should actually hand over that 20, than when we flippantly swipe a card.

Planning for the Unexpected

Before our financial shift, when the unexpected happened, we scrambled!

Here’s a little secret though: the unexpected always happens!

This was a critical change in our spending habits. Once I realized that you can plan for the unexpected I started setting aside money for new appliances, car repairs, and house repairs.

I have to tell you, this has made life SO MUCH EASIER! We always have at least a bit of money set aside for those emergencies, so they are no longer emergencies.

Spending without Guilt

Before my envelope system, I struggled every time I spent money on something that wasn’t absolutely “necessary”. After reviewing my budget, I saw that I wanted to be able to buy clothes for my kids and myself.  We wanted to go away on vacations as a family. We didn’t eat out that often, but when we do I want it to be a nice experience. Therefore, I budgeted for that.

I budget for all of those things.
That means, I have a monthly budget for clothes, entertainment, and savings for vacation. When I need to buy some clothes, I do it, the money is there, it’s for clothes.

NO MORE GUILT!

 

Because I have an eye on our spending, and saving, I feel a lot more freedom.
Freedom to be generous, freedom to plan for our future, and freedom to purchase what is needed and what we would like.

Ultimately, my desire is that God looks at that all and says, Yes! Well done, good and faithful servant!

How do you feel about your spending? Do you have other methods that have worked for you? Comment below and tell us about them!

 

Why God Loves Food

Why God Loves Food

Kingdom around the Table Part 1Why God Loves Food    I love food.   Everyone who comes to my house and sits at my table often gets a pretty darn good meal (not my own words). After their satisfaction, they tend to ask me if I like cooking.   My response is always the...

How to Spend Money without Guilt

How to Spend Money without Guilt

Have you ever arrived at the end of the month wondering where all of your money has gone? Surely, you didn't mean to overspend, but the money has literally vanished from your bank account. Where did it all go? Is it even possible to spend money without guilt?   Our...

Frl.Blanka | Being Creative for God | Hand Lettering

Frl.Blanka | Being Creative for God | Hand Lettering

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Frl.Blanka (or Isa) and I met a couple months ago in beautiful Heidelberg. She is credited to introducing...

An Awkward Photoshoot and Revealing God’s Heart

An Awkward Photoshoot and Revealing God’s Heart

Have you ever stood in front of the camera and tried to smile naturally? Yeah, it doesn't work. At least not for me. The pictures my hubby takes of me always seem like I have plastered a smile to my face. He always tells me to stop it, and smile properly. My body and...

The Work at Home Super Bundle

The Work at Home Super Bundle

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.     Are you like me and want to stay home and be with your family as much as you can, but you want to...

Stewardship of Time, Talents and Food

Stewardship of Time, Talents and Food

Welcome to the first of my Spotlight Series. Where we get to meet Jesus loving, inspiring, and creative people.   I'm really happy to introduce you to my first guest of the series, Amanda from Maple Alps. She's a fellow Canadian, and also married to a German speaker...

Stewardship of Time, Talents and Food

Stewardship of Time, Talents and Food

Welcome to the first of my Spotlight Series. Where we get to meet Jesus loving, inspiring, and creative people.

 

I’m really happy to introduce you to my first guest of the series, Amanda from Maple Alps. She’s a fellow Canadian, and also married to a German speaker (Austrian to be precise), and seeks to live an intentional, simple life that glorifies God.

 

Today, she will give us some insight into how cultural differences impacted her life and  how she is intentional in the choices she makes with her time, food and talents.

 

The Spotlight on: Amanda from Maple Alps

1. What are you reading right now? How did it get into your hands?

 

I have always loved reading and it seems that I always have something new to pick up to read. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books because I have a long commute during the school year, and listening (I still make time for the physical ones, of course) to books is the only way my busy life can accommodate more of them! I am currently listening to Radical by David Platt. I actually read it a while back, but my husband, not knowing we had the book, grabbed it on audible, so it’s been fun to “read” it again.

 

The most recent completed book was called The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy by Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC. It really inspired me on my plant-based journey. Of course, I daily read my Bible, which is a book of books and the ultimate love letter that I highly recommend!

 

2. You’ve traveled quite a bit! Could you share with us one cultural difference you’ve experienced that has impacted you for the better?

 

I do love traveling and I’m still working on my bucket list! I think growing up in a home where two different cultures were dominant helped prepare me to be open-minded about all of the different ways of life I’ve encountered. I’ve met people on my travels who didn’t seem to have a desire to embrace other cultures and instead resisted or complained. I always felt that they had somehow been robbed of a truly amazing experience because of that.

 

I suppose on a practical level, moving to a country and having to get used to a completely different political situation has opened my eyes to a lot of different things and has made me an advocate for things I used to take advantage of. Things like affordable healthcare or even simply recycling or knowing exactly what goes into the food we buy. Most importantly, I’ve learned that despite cultural differences, we are all human and we are all in need of a Saviour! It has made me take Jesus’ command in Matthew 28 to take the Gospel to the ends of the world more serious.

 

3. How do you understand the stewardship of your time and talents?

 

I believe that we were placed on this Earth for a purpose. That purpose is to show and tell others about Christ and His love for us! Everything that has been given to us is actually more or less on loan.

 

We cannot create time – we can only use it to the best of our abilities.

 

We do not choose our talents – instead, we can develop them to glorify God!

 

I think that it is really important to use our time and talents wisely. Our time is precious; our days are numbered (see Psalm 90). Once it is wasted, we can never get it back.

 

 

4. How does this look practically in your life now?

 

Filling my time with family and doing good and ministering to others is something I prioritize. There are so many distractions in this world that take up our time. All of the mindless entertainment (think: Netflix, video games, etc) that does more harm than good is something I believe is better off left out of our time slots!

 

As for talents, I try to develop them so I can reach others in different ways. For example, I play the piano for church and enjoy having people over! I also love using and developing my talents for photography and design for my blog. I also see my teaching career as a ministry (I teach in a church school) and I feel called to pour my heart and talents into that as well.

 

5. How do you understand food and intentionality?

 

I think that God gave us a design for a diet we should eat. When He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He gave them all sorts of trees with fruit they could eat of. There was no death there. Because of this, and because I believe that our bodies are a living temple for the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6), and for many other reasons, I have chosen to adopt a plant-based diet. I think what we put into our bodies is very important and affects our entire lives. We should not live to eat, but eat to live! Being healthy in all areas of life are important!

 

 

Thank you Amanda for your time, your thoughts and experiences!

 

 

 

Amanda Walter is a teacher, writer, wife to a pastor, and mom to a cat. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, sipping tea, and trying to keep succulents alive.
Why God Loves Food

Why God Loves Food

Kingdom around the Table Part 1Why God Loves Food    I love food.   Everyone who comes to my house and sits at my table often gets a pretty darn good meal (not my own words). After their satisfaction, they tend to ask me if I like cooking.   My response is always the...

How to Spend Money without Guilt

How to Spend Money without Guilt

Have you ever arrived at the end of the month wondering where all of your money has gone? Surely, you didn't mean to overspend, but the money has literally vanished from your bank account. Where did it all go? Is it even possible to spend money without guilt?   Our...

Frl.Blanka | Being Creative for God | Hand Lettering

Frl.Blanka | Being Creative for God | Hand Lettering

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Frl.Blanka (or Isa) and I met a couple months ago in beautiful Heidelberg. She is credited to introducing...

An Awkward Photoshoot and Revealing God’s Heart

An Awkward Photoshoot and Revealing God’s Heart

Have you ever stood in front of the camera and tried to smile naturally? Yeah, it doesn't work. At least not for me. The pictures my hubby takes of me always seem like I have plastered a smile to my face. He always tells me to stop it, and smile properly. My body and...

The Work at Home Super Bundle

The Work at Home Super Bundle

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.     Are you like me and want to stay home and be with your family as much as you can, but you want to...

Stewardship of Time, Talents and Food

Stewardship of Time, Talents and Food

Welcome to the first of my Spotlight Series. Where we get to meet Jesus loving, inspiring, and creative people.   I'm really happy to introduce you to my first guest of the series, Amanda from Maple Alps. She's a fellow Canadian, and also married to a German speaker...

Reusable Eco-Friendly Swim Diapers

Reusable Eco-Friendly Swim Diapers

I have a secret that I want to share with you. This was an absolute diaper game changer for me. And I feel a little stupid for not realizing it before.

There is something that shocked me last year. It’s actually silly how shocking it was to me, because if you really stop to think about it, it makes sense.

 

At the Pool

 

Last year I was at an outdoor pool with my nine month old who was splashing around in the baby area when I noticed another mama and her baby. The baby had a cute swimming diaper on, and I casually commented on it.

 

She dropped this bomb on me.

 

“Well, it’s really only a cloth diaper cover.”
Taken aback, I guess I looked puzzled.
“The store-bought swimming diapers don’t actually retain the urine, they’re just there to catch the ‘big stuff.”

 

 I pondered for a moment, slightly grossed out, but after thinking about it I gathered it must be true.

 

“What a great idea!” I said. Remembering all of the cloth diapers I had from my last two babies.

For me, it’s important to be mindful of the waste we produce, and I’m always looking for new and better solutions for our large family to reduce waste impact. With this in mind, I had tried very briefly to cloth diaper baby #4, and then packed the cloth diapers away. But alas, The laundry was already overwhelming without the diapers. I gave up.

 

Cloth Diaper = Swim Diaper

 

I was super thankful to this woman for pointing out something I had never thought of. The swim diapers we buy at the store actually don’t retain any of the urine. With that in mind, I was excited to bring out my cute cloth diaper covers and give it a try for myself.

 

Reusable Swim Diapers Eco Friendly

 

 

 

No more throwing all those swimming diapers in the garbage!

 

When we go swimming now, I just pack up three of them (just in case), and off we go. They’re cute, and they do exactly their job.

This season we have a little pool on our patio, and these diapers are totally practical to take on and off at will. I’m really excited not to be “wasting” diapers on his sometimes short bouts of water play.

 

 

You can find these diapers super easy on Amazon, and they come in a variety of different patterns.

What I love about these is that the diaper grows with your baby. So if you have babies with big chubby tummies (like mine), you don’t have to go out and a buy another size.

 

I hope you find this simple little tip as helpful as I did.
It’s one small way that our family can reduce waste. And it’s super easy!

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest