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On a Budget: Not Letting Money Control You

We've been in this series about budgeting and discussing different ways to save money. Saving money is a passion of mine- it's something I love doing, something I love learning about, and something I love helping others with. Just as I have had to learn how to save money, I have also had to learn how to not let money control me. Sometimes, I get so passionate about money that I forget that it's just money. 

If you find yourself constantly thinking about money, stressing over it, and maybe obsessing about saving it (or spending it), you may be letting money control you. Read on to find out the 3 main ways I've developed to not let money control me. 

Keep money in perspective. 

In today's world, money is power and money controls things. You need money to survive in the world but it doesn't have to control you. Perhaps the best way I keep money in perspective is by remembering that my money is not my money

The Lord has given me the money in all my bank accounts and funds to steward and watch over. I believe the Lord wants us to save, live within our means and not be a slave to the lender (see Proverbs 22:7). I think we are also called to tithe, to give generously, and to use the money he has entrusted with us to enjoy our family and enjoy the life He has given us. 

When I see my money as simply money I was given to manage, it's a ton easier to give, spend, and save freely without losing perspective. 

Allow yourself a measure of grace 

Sometimes, Alex and I get so intensely focused on saving money that we won't spend hardly any money on doing fun things (a large part of why we instituted our monthly date night challenge). 

I (we) have had to learn that it's okay to go over on our entertainment budget by $20, or it's okay if we spend a little more than we were anticipating at dinner out with friends. Alex and I have both stressed over money so much that it gave us physical symptoms- stomach pains, headaches, back aches- you name it. 

When we release our money stress to God and allow ourselves a measure of grace (AKA "wiggle room") in our budget, our physical symptoms go away and we feel the weight lift off of our shoulders. 

Now, if you are a chronic spender and/or trying to pull yourself out of debt having a mentality of "spending an extra $100 is no biggie" can be dangerous and very unhelpful. However, if you are genuinely trying to curb your spending habits and slip a little, don't forget to give yourself grace in that situation. It's never too late to get back on track. 

Remember what is important 

Tying into the above idea of keeping money in perspective, it's also vital that you keep in mind what (or who) is important. Remember that it is often the who and when (as opposed to the what) that is important in life. 

Money does not make memories- people make memories. Is an expensive vacation more important than the people who are on vacation with you?   

Time is so much more valuable than money. Some of my favorite things that Alex has done for me have been gifts of his time and not his money.

There is incredible value to being on a budget and being wise steward of the money God has given you. But people, experiences, and simply life are so much more valuable than money, and money should never take priority over loving people, experiencing memories, or enjoying the precious moments of your life.

Not letting myself be controlled by money is a still a fairly consistent struggle for me- one that I am getting better at and praying through. 

Have you ever found yourself controlled by money? What are ways that you don't let money control you? 

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  1. I completely have this problem. Budgeting is such a bummer, but it is a blessing too. I get stressed out about money really easily, but sometimes i realize that it's okay to spend a little extra for a fun date night. Thanks for the reminder! :) It is all about perspective and knowing that our money is not ours at all but God's.

  2. Amen to that- budgeting is totally can be a blessing and a bummer at the same time. I think maybe it gets blown out of proportion so easily because we deal with it (money/budgeting) every day. Glad I'm not the only one needing a reminder to keep things in perspective :)

  3. You make such a good point about not letting your focus on budget and saving get in the way of spending money our yourselves from time to time! I know I've struggled with that in the past and felt guilty when we've spent more than was allocated in the budget. It sounds like you guys are doing all the right things and have your focus in all the right places!

  4. It is SO hard to not feel guilty when you go over- glad I'm not the only one that struggles with that! We're getting better at it though :) thanks for stopping by!! :)

  5. Girl, this is such a tough one for me. I'm SO bad about spending money, meaning it's hard for me to do! Something that I still need freedom from!!

  6. You and me both! Glad I'm not the only extreme saver out there that has to work on loosening up!


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