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What Had I Done with All My Money?

What Had I Done with All My Money?

It took a heavy hit to realize that living my life as a mindless spender wasn't what God intended for me.
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If I had to look back on the past year and give thoughts on my life, it would be this: I'm embarrassed.

Actually, it's more than that.

In the last year, my husband and I have suffered incredible financial setbacks. What began as him leaving a job where his paychecks were bouncing, to starting his own company during an incredibly difficult economy, was topped off with me losing my job—and the only steady income and security we had—nearly a year later.

While nothing will put you to the test like losing more than half your income, nothing will leave you more embarrassed—mortified even—to cut back on everything in your life only to discover that you've been an incredibly wasteful person.

Before our financial strain began, we already determined that we needed to be good stewards of our money—to use it more wisely and pay off any debt we'd accumulated. While we started on that goal—and saw success—we never fully adopted the mantra that less was more. We'd become ungrateful for what we were given. An ungratefulness that was embarrassing to measure as it displayed itself so boldly before us.

The raw truth is that we were spoiled—giving little thought to where our money went or how we might better use it.

Cavalier Spenders

Our wastefulness was born slowly over the course of many years and completely unrecognized. We weren't spending extravagantly. We didn't have large toys sitting in our driveway or photos of luxurious vacations dotting our mantle. Our negligence was in small choices made consistently over time. We used our excess income as opportunities to pamper our lives, to treat ourselves. It's amazing how expensive these "small expenses" seemed once we didn't have the excess money to spend on them.

Suddenly, picking up fast food on a busy evening seemed a ridiculous waste of 20 dollars, when that same amount could provide two healthy meals cooked at home. Flipping through 300 channels on our televisions smacked of excess when the bare basics package for 60 dollars less a month would still give us more channels than we'd ever watch.

Unfortunately, it took us crashing to the cold hard bottom of the empty bank account to realize that we needed to refocus our spending.

While we take complete responsibility for our irresponsibility and resulting downfall, we can look back now and see that God also played a role in our situation. I not only believe that this was the best thing that ever happened to us, but also that God orchestrated the entire thing to teach two of his children a much needed lesson.

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Displaying 1–3 of 6 comments

delia hemmingway

August 22, 2013  5:48pm

This article totally screamed me...i have been out of work over a year and a half to do disability. Hindsight to that was while i was working my life was in a total disarray. I spent money on small things sometimes just to quench the depression of my life. Eight years at my job but still behind in almost every bill and on the verge of being evicted from my apartment. The Lord stripped me of everything from my job to a divorce reminding me that He is number 1. I never seeked Him through those hard times. But found Him when i was settled into my new apartment in which HE spoke to me, showing me He had to do the things that He did. I'm currently still unemployed but i stay in the word and pray daily and go to church. Praying for deliverance as I'm not perfect to be mindful of not over spending when not necessary.

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Shonda

February 15, 2013  10:23pm

I appreciate this article so much. My goal is to work on my finances and not spend unnecessary money. I want to be a blessing to others and I have to be a good steward of my finances in order to do so.

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Karen

November 27, 2012  10:41pm

Perfect timing Lord! After being challenged by my Pastor to ask God what I wasn't talking to Him about, I got my answer. It was my spending. I didn't think I had a problem but He showed me I did. And, just like God, He didn't do it with lightning bolts...gently showing me that I had used little mindless purchases to ease hurts that God wanted me to give to Him. He wanted to be my healer and not let me use stuff to try to ease the pain. This article has helped me know I am not alone in my mistakes and that God does have a plan for my healing. Thanks for your honest comments.

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