Can you believe it’s already Monday? This weekend at First Steps To Success just seemed to fly by and here we are at Monday again! But, thinking about how our weekends sometimes just zoom by, reminded me of a story one of our team members told me about her childhood.
Growing up in a suburban small town, the child of World War II era parents, one of her fondest memories was something that she really didn’t appreciate at the time, but has now become really a thing of the past. It was the Saturday, or Sunday, afternoon drive.
It seems during that time, when America was building more and more roads in this growing country and gas prices were so low you could fill up the family car for around $5…yep, you heard me right, FIVE DOLLARS, families used to take recreational drives through their areas. No particular destination, no errands to run, just the joy of exploring together!
Well, in her family, her father was the captain of these adventures and her mother acted as the navigator. And this frequently led to some interesting outings! She remembers her father just taking random turns down country roads or highways “just to see where it went.” Now, back in those days nobody had on-board, satellite GPS directional systems, they had something called a road map. If you were REALLY fancy, you had a whole Rand McNally Atlas.
Do you know where you’re headed?
While just seeing where the road leads can be an adventure, if you have someplace you want to go and a specific timeframe for getting there, you need a map! You can continue to “fly by the seat of your pants” or you can take control and create a roadmap for success.
Just folding those maps was a real skill set and reading them required certain abilities, as well. So, while this staffer’s father just followed wherever the roads would lead, her mother would have this huge map unfolded across half of the entire front seat just trying to locate where they were and where on earth they might be headed.
Our team member remembers hearing on many occasions, “Jackson, I can’t find this road on the map…I don’t know where this is headed!” And, her father confidently replying, “Don’t worry, Joyce, we’re headed in the right direction.” Sometimes, the family discovered a beautiful natural treasure off the beaten path or happened upon a quaint roadside restaurant or produce stand, and other times ended up at dead ends or hopelessly lost in unfamiliar territory.
While this made for some memorable childhood adventures and fond family recollections of more relaxed and innocent times, our DaniJohnson.com team member also remembers that while this served her family well during these weekend drives, when it came to handling more serious matters, her mother had firm control of the helm. And nowhere more so than with their family finances.
As an accountant, her mother enjoyed the carefree approach her husband took with many aspects of their life together. But when it came to money, he knew that his wife’s training and discipline made for the more responsible route for their family.
By now, you’ve got to be wondering what this drive down someone’s memory lane has got to do with you. Well, we can learn a lot from this story about getting where we want to go in life. Think of this as a parable for getting to our financial destinations!
Sure, the trip can be quite enjoyable if we don’t really follow any sort of roadmap; but, will you end up where you want to be. Let’s face it, do you REALLY want to end up at a dead end, mired in mud or hopelessly lost in your life? I didn’t think so!
You need a financial roadmap. Something that carefully charts your course to your financial dreams and household destination. And unlike those old-fashioned roadmaps, this one is easy to use and even a child can figure it out. It’s called a budget!
Did you know a recent survey by the Gallup Poll revealed that TWO-THIRDS of households in our country do not have or use a budget? Wow…that’s over 65% of our population who fail to have any sort of plan for reaching their financial goals! I mean, how can you EVER expect to get anywhere when you don’t even know where you’re going?
This survey spanned all 50 states and included people from very diverse backgrounds, and even those with higher incomes or college degrees only did this 12% of the time more than folks with a high school education who live paycheck to paycheck.
This same survey showed that millionaires are the most likely to have budgets. Think about that! The people who have to worry least about paying their bills, planning for their futures, providing for their families, putting money away in savings and investments, supporting charitable causes, are the people who are most likely to have a financial roadmap.
Do you think they know something? Could the fact they are millionaires possibly have something to do with them actually budgeting their money? Can they have discovered, maybe, that having a financial roadmap could get them to where they are today? Hmmm…definitely some food for thought!
Is it time for YOU to stop taking the “scenic route” to your desired financial destination? It’s so easy, once you make the choice! It doesn’t take expensive software or some sort of degree in finance; all it takes is sitting down with pencil and paper. Make a list of your expenses and your income. Use that as your starting point. Don’t forget to budget for entertainment, savings and charitable contributions — and yes, you do need to include those!
Using the solid Biblical principles of a 10% tithe (your charitable gifts) and a basic 10% savings plan, along with entertainment “rewards” for your solid financial planning, you’ll be well on your way to a truly enjoyable journey in life! And, help your friends, family and coworkers find their way, too! Print this out, post it on your social media and leave me your comments about budgeting below.
Please don’t forget to join me this Wednesday evening for my Spiritual Equipping Broadcast. Gather your friends and family and meet me on your TV, radio, smartphone or computer!
In great faith,
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