Your country has a budget. Your state has a budget. Your town has a budget. Ask your mom and dad: Do they have a budget?
WHY all the budgets? That’s simple. Money is hard to earn and easy to spend. Keeping careful track of where it goes helps it go further.
And God cares where our money goes. He owns all the wealth in the world . . . plus the world itself, of course! He entrusts nations, states, cities, families, and individuals with just a little of His treasure. Their job is to steward what He has given in a way that blesses others and gives Him glory.
Nations. As much as possible, a nation’s government needs to keep its people safe. It also has the task of basic levels of care for everyone. A national budget answers these questions: How much money in taxes will be collected? How will that money be spent? How much will go to the military for people’s protection? How much will be spent on highways? How much will help pay for health care? How much will help support people in need?
States. States collect taxes too. This money is spent on schools, health and hospitals, highways and roads, police, courts, and so on.
Cities. Arlington is a good example here. Cities help pay for some of the same things states do: schools, hospitals, and roads. They also pay for commonplace things that make life safe, smooth, or fun. This includes fire departments, water, sewers, and parks.
Families. Your family keeps track of earned money. This is used for electricity, heat, internet, food, giving to church, clothes, doctor visits, insurance, cars, house payments or rent, vacations, savings . . . and much more! Good budgeters notice where every dollar goes.
You. Imagine something you would really, really like to buy but don’t really need. How do you know whether you can afford it? You have to know:
- How much money do I have?
As soon as you know that, you can subtract three other numbers:
- How much money do I need to spend on necessities?
- How much money should I give to church or others in need?
- How much money do I want to save?
Can you afford the thing you want? Yes—if it costs as much as or less than the amount you have left. If not, keep saving up!
Remember: God doesn’t give us things mainly so we can have them. He gives to us so we can share with others—just like He does with us!
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. — Ephesians 4:28