Timothy Siburg: Is it time for a “budget breakfast” with your spouse or a friend?

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“I like to claim that I always live abundantly and gratefully. I strive to give thanks often and to show appreciation and gratitude. I find that life is always richer when I take the time to say thank you to someone, to write a thank you note, or to acknowledge the good work someone has done. That said, it’s not always easy.

What happens in life can sometimes distract from living abundantly. Job and income situations can change…I would be lying though if I said there weren’t times when I was a bit nervous about if we could make ends meet, pay student loans, and still give financially to our faith communities and to those causes and organizations we love to support. These hard times can lead to a feeling that we don’t have enough: that our resources and means are scarce.

When this is the case, I have found it important to take a step back. Yes, looking over our budget and finances helps ease my mind, but more importantly, having a conversation with my wife about our finances usually helps. She reminds me, and I her, that we’re okay. In creating a practice that works for us, we review our finances and budget together over a homemade pancake breakfast on a Saturday morning at least once a month. We call those our “budget breakfasts”…

Timothy Siburg in Ecumenical Stewardship Center blogpost on 11 November 2014. This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances.

Some might jump at this idea just for the homemade pancakes. My wife is wonderful to discuss the budget whenever and wherever, but she would jump if I offered her a venti skinny cinnamon dolce latte. For those who are married, the point is to create a regular routine to talk about the budget. Singles can try this with a trusted friend.

Budgets are nothing more than financial plans for allocating faithfully the resources in our stewardship. We have learned to budget some flexibility both in the “living” lines and in the “giving” lines so that when spontaneous needs or giving opportunities pop up, we are ready to spend or share (cf. 1 Timothy 6:18). Is it time for “budget breakfast” with your spouse or a friend?