"The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender" Proverbs 22:7
When our first few kids were smaller, we were living the American dream. You know, the one where you own lots of "stuff" all paid for on credit. When our kids wanted a new toy, we pulled out the credit card. New clothes, same thing. Something wonderful we just couldn't live without....yep you guessed it!
Fast forward a child or two, and I now stay home full time with our kiddo's. That's right...only one income. We had a huge credit card bill and a house full of stuff we really didn't need or use. It really hurt when we realized that we were still paying for the $15.99 shirt we bought 16 months ago! It was ridiculous!
We got smarter about our finances when we attended Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We got rid of our credit cards and started a budget. We tried to remember if we don't have the money on hand we don't need it right now. We were committed to get rid of debt and live within our means.
Our oldest children were not quite as committed. They were used to the "old" way of buying things and didn't always like that we wouldn't just run out and buy something for them. We realized how our mistakes in spending left an imprint on them.
Our younger children will not grow with the same thinking about money. They are very familiar with the words "it's just not in our budget right now". We are teaching them about self control and living frugally. They are seeing the "new" parents who really don't want to leave a legacy of debt for our children.
So how did we start implementing these changes in our household? Really, it was as Dave Ramsey says, baby steps. First we got honest with our kids about our finances. While I don't think kids need to know exactly how much money is coming in and going out, I think it is good for them to know about the area's we are struggling in. It takes the entire family to keep finances in order. You can't save money on groceries for instance, if someone always wants to order pizza delivery. We also implemented tithing, saving, and spending with the money our kids make.
Of course, all of this has been bathed in prayer as well. If you are struggling in finances, pray that God will show you the area's that need to be changed and be willing to change them. Learn all you can about budgeting and stick to it. We do sometimes get off budget, but we now see the importance of having one. Finances can be an area of great delight or great frustration. I don't want to be frustrated anymore!
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31