Day Five: Financial Problems

“You may not be aware of how to deal with money appropriately. You may overspend or refuse to spend enough to have the basic necessities for living plus enjoying meeting some wants.”
-Pia Mellody, Breaking Free

I can’t think of many things to say about this one because I do have a problem with finances and that’s about all I want to say about that.

However, I’ll indulge a little bit. Growing up, money was very tight. If we went shopping, it was always to the sales rack. There were few impulse buys and I found myself feeling confined it.

When I got to college, money began to fly from my fingertips. Not in compulsive shopping, but experiences. Movies, concerts, and outings with friends were hardly ever turned down. My bank account was consistently close to overdraft status and made it there a few times. I had to call my dad and have him rescue me from $30 in debt, every once in a while.

After college, I began the phase of life where I had a series of random jobs that paid my bills and gave me a meager amount of free spending money (that continues to this day). However, including experiential purchasing, my sights did broaden to impulse shopping. I would go for a while without buying anything and splurge one day at my favorite clothing boutique. It was rough. The deprivation and then free spirited swoosh of my card left me in a roller coaster of financial ups and downs.

It was when I confessed these things to my counselor and went to a debt seminar at my church that God convicted me to the point of change.

I tend to go to opposite extremes – spend no money to spend everything. This hurts me because the cycle I have only creates more debt and less financial security. It hurts others because I’m not able to pay what I owe, I can’t be a generous giver when someone is in need, and my future is unstable with my month to month lifestyle.

I’ve created an expense tracking document and a bills checklist. Both of these things have helped me see where my money is going and how much I have left for the month. My financial habits aren’t the greatest, but they are improving. It shocks me to realize how much money I was spending on impulse buys just a few months ago. Thank God for redeeming our poor habits! My goal is to glorify God with my money and be a generous giver to those in need.

Up next: Extreme Problem Solving

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