Friday, May 16, 2008

I can't remember...oh wait, MARGINS

Why is it that throughout the day I think of a variety of things to post about...and when I sit down at the computer, my mind is empty? That's exactly what's happening right now. I even had a title in mind...but now...nothing! AH--I think I've got it. Margins.

We're doing a small group study right now on creating margins in your life. The main principle being that we (humanity) like to push everything to the limit and we don't leave any space for the unexpected--or we just get burnt out.

Wednesday it was on financial margins. Perfect since that morning Bean and I got word that our car repairs were going to run us $3000! We were stressing. We had decided to use our "economic stimulus" to stimulate Saturn, but that bill was almost 2x what we got. We are really working towards some financial goals--the the first being getting of credit card debt, and buying a home in the long run. We just finished paying off new tires for my vehicle and now this. It seems like just when you catch up---you fall behind again.

So, financial margins... the idea that there is space between your expenses and your income. Most of us pretty much spend whatever we make--even if it's going to the "right things," we spend it. Bean and I make a good deal more now then we did when we were first married. But now we have 2 children, need a larger home, pay for childcare etc. Like us, you probably say "if only we made more." I find myself thinking that a lot.

However...our discussion on Wednesday made this statement "it's not about income, it's about lifestyle." Andy Stanley says if don't have margin, it's not because you don't have enough income, it's because of the lifestyle you choose. So I started thinking about it.

We have a cable/phone/internet package. It's a "good deal" for the services we recieve, but it's a lifestyle choice to have digital cable, high defintion service, DVR (like Tivo) and high speed internet. (I know, I know. Please don't judge!) It's a lifestyle choice to eat out a few times a week. It's a lifestyle choice to buy a few cartons of ice cream a week or soda or favorite snack items. It's a lifestyle choice to have unlimited Blockbuster rentals.

We don't have a lot of margin in our finances. Perhaps a little bit, but not enough. When I get frusterated from now on, I'm going to remind myself--it's about lifestyle, not about income. We CAN make choices to increase our margin. Honestly, it's going to be a bit of a process I think. Bean and I need to talk about it. See what lifestsyle changes we can make to maximize the income God has blessed us with.

1 comment:

  1. Our pastor did a sermon series on Andy Stanley's book about 2 months ago. It really stuck with me, especially about creating a margin in your life with time. I have been trying to create more "margins" so I'm not always running late, stressing out. His message really inspired me to even start by going to bed earlier. It has made a big difference.


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