Does your family keep a running needs and wants list? What for?
When we were in the real estate and mortgage business, and the market crashed, so did our finances. We lost all we had, and it prompted us to write up a new family budget.
We purposed to live within our new means, by making it simple. We eliminated everything that was excess of what we could afford. Everything was paid in cash, or paid with our debit card. We either had it or we didn’t get it. And we quickly learned about delayed gratification.
However, because we are children of God that doesn’t mean we go without. All it means is “not right now.” So we got a piece of paper and wrote down two columns: needs and wants.
We have to admit when times were tough, we learned real quick the definition of a need versus a want.
We had to ask ourselves, do we really need this for our survival? Is this a necessity to our livelihood and our children? If the answer was yes, it went under the needs’ column. If the answer was no, it went under the wants’ column.
In a previous blog, we shared the family confession we created during this time of hardship. We confessed daily that we would see supernatural debt cancellation, unexpected income, blessings and favor given to us. So that we are always regardless of circumstances self-sufficient. (To see the entire confession check out the blog here.)
Well, we not only spoke this confession, we expected to see God show up. And to prepare our field for rain, the needs’ and wants’ list was created. So when God showed up, we were ready to receive.
When we would receive any extra money, we would first pray to thank God for the blessing, then follow what we learned in Becoming a Millionaire God’s Way, as we’ve shared in a previous blog. We would tithe, give, save, and lastly, spend according to what was the priority.
We have to admit that wasn’t easy. We would usually argue about what we thought was important. However, after doing this for over eight years, we have become experts at looking over the list, praying about what God would have us do, and then come to an agreement about how to use the funds.
To explain what we mean, we would look at the needs’ list and take care of any immediate needs. Then, if there was anything left over, we would look at our wants’ list and decide together what we should do.
We serve an and / also God. He doesn’t just want to give us our daily bread. He wants to bless us so that we can be blessing. Sometimes we don’t dream bigger because we are to focus on looking at what we don’t have, instead of focusing on who our God is. He is our ultimate provider. He will give us bread for our food and seed to sow!
Identifying the needs your family has that can’t be met right now is practicing good stewardship. You are choosing not to go in debt, or stress out about what you don’t have. As a result, by writing it down you are showing God that you trust Him to do his part. Then when He shows up, because He always does, you know exactly what you need to do. This is what we call handling our finances decently and in order.
Living within our means, displays good stewardship and we are told in scripture that God rewards those who are faithful with the little things. So if the needs of your family are weighing you down. Don’t let it. Pay what you can, make a list of what you can’t, and seek God. Then watch God show up and show out.
We no longer fret over needs; we simply smile at each other and say: “add it to the list. God has it!”
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,”
~ Ephesians 3:20 KJV
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~ André and Timberley Gray