Ah, February! The shortest month of the year. The time when begin to believe that spring might be right around the corner. And when there is a day designated to celebrate and appreciate the significant others in our lives.
Jesus talks about the intimacy our hearts have with our treasure before he gets to reminding us not to worry. He encourages us not to store up stuff that that breaks, rusts, wears out and can be stolen. In other words, any stuff stored up is what captures our hearts and becomes what we love. It can take us away from what God intended in the good creation as abundance for all. Rather it becomes scarcity for ourselves.
Enough is an interesting word. Sometimes we use it to express a sense of satisfaction, and other times to declare our annoyance. In North America, though, when it comes to money, sometimes we find it hard to say “enough”. Our consumeristic culture entices us to always want more, and we get caught in financial traps that leave us with more obligations than resources to pay for them. How do we find our enough?
It’s been almost 80 years since the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made its first appearance on the silver screen. Many young adults' grandparents might have been their age when they first saw it. The song of the Seven Dwarfs has had staying power and is familiar to every generation that has seen the movie since its first release: Heigh ho, Heigh ho, it’s off to work we go (I know, now you’re singing it in your head).
Congratulations, graduates! You have studied and grown, and are now ready to be sent out or start new chapters. For some of you, this may mean your first full-time adventure in the working world. For others of you, this may mean moving cross-country. For others, it may mean the transition from one school and degree to another and further study.
It is early spring where I live on the Canadian prairies. There are just a few crocuses blooming in my otherwise still barren garden. It’s the time of year when I begin to yearn for colour after a long white winter.
Before leaving the Pacific Northwest to study and complete my first graduate degree, I was a bit nervous about the potential student loan debt I was about to commit to. I shared my thoughts with my former economics professor when I saw him at my undergraduate school’s bookstore. He told me, “Timothy, it’s just money. It’s just money. It’s an investment.”
It’s been suggested that Americans fall into one of four groups when it comes to how we manage money. Maybe as you review these four models you can identify your own and decide what changes if any may be helpful moving forward. Here’s what they are:
I have to admit, I have never been enthusiastic about New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I have made them and then not followed through: I’ve just never really made them. I know that they are helpful for some people, but instead of resolutions, I am going to make a few promises to myself. When I promise something, I generally follow through.
“Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” – Philippians 4:11 (NRSV)
All this month COMPASS blog post writers have shared thoughts about being frugal, but we never necessarily pondered why to be frugal. I think that’s a fair question.