Reshaping Your Family Budget During a Crisis
By D'Lynn Moxon, Lake Church Financial Assistant
God may allow us to go through some very rough times to get our attention. And His expectation from us is that we learn from it and do better going forward. Learning to budget well in a crisis should give us the discipline we need to continue to budget well when the crisis ends. It makes us better managers of the resources He provides to us all of the time, not just in crisis mode, and thus we are better prepared for the next crisis.
Chuck Bentley wrote in The Unemployment Survival Guide…“Even if you’re living on a budget, you should reset when you [experience financial hardship] and use a crisis budget. This budget will be temporary - one to six months - or until your income is restored. It will help you keep things simple and help to relieve the daily stress of paying your bills and surviving…The best way to avoid traps is to pray about each purchase, each financial decision, and each opportunity that is intended to produce extra income - especially if the decision will affect the family’s financial welfare.”
On Crown.org’s webpage titled “Consider a Crisis Budget”, it states…
“When the unexpected happens, a crisis budget is crucial. It’s a temporary tool that helps you discern your needs vs. your wants so you can cover the essentials…You temporarily cut unnecessary expenses like eating out, cable, hair and nail appointments, costly phone plans, new clothes and home furnishings, tickets for entertainment, and even convenience food. We’re talking Crisis!…A crisis budget requires due diligence! It’s not a time to give up or blame others. It’s a time to rely on God. It’s a time to be thankful for what you have and an opportunity to model your faith in Christ. It’s a time to humbly accept the help of others believing you can generously give back in days to come. It’s an opportunity to teach your children to endure hardship with faith and joy.”
While we don’t want to burden our children with stress or anxiety that they are not yet equipped to handle, it is important that they see how you handle it when it comes your way. Allowing them to be part of this process and witnessing how you turn to and rely on God is a wonderful opportunity to disciple them. Knowing your children best, try to involve them in some of the conversations that arise when working through your “new” budget, taking care not to overwhelm or scare them. At a minimum, teens approaching adulthood and if you’re married, both spouses, should be praying and working together to formulate a plan.
HERE IS A GUIDE TO HELP YOU ALONG IN THE PROCESS