Have you read the story of Jack and the Beanstalk? It is one of the most loved Classics. The story goes like this: a poor widower with a son name Jack found herself slowly losing everything. The crops that had been planted died because Jack was too lazy to tend to them.
There came a point when there was no more food, so the mother gave Jack the only thing they had left, the family Cow, and told Jack to take it to the marketplace and sell it.
Along the way Jack met a peddler who convinced Jack to give him the cow for a few speckled beans. Jack took the beans and ran home, excited about his trade.
By the time he arrived home and shared the good news, it angered his mother. She was disappointed.
“We cannot live on a handful of beans,” she cried out in frustration, and tossed the beans out the window.
I’ll stop there to make my point—you can look up the story and read the ending for yourself—the point I want to make: You never know what you have until it’s gone. She made a few bad choices: depending on Jack to work the farm with her and trusting an irresponsible Jack to handle the family finances. This is the child who wouldn’t tend to the crops to provide food for himself to eat, let alone his mother.
The mother could have done a number of things. Sell the cow’s milk; make butter to sell and buy chickens with the money she made, and sell their eggs. Or she could have killed the cow, sold some of the meat and bought another cow, ate some and preserved some.
When we have financial challenges we are blinded to possibilities because of the pressure. We cannot see what is in our hands, can we?
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. If you are not a good money manager, acknowledge it and get some help. Pride destroys. If you are married, and one is better at money management than the other, you should work together to get your finances back on track.
You have the ability to change your financial circumstances if you are willing. The other solution is to think of what else you can do to increase your income. Get creative. I remember catching fish with my husband and selling them to friends and neighbors to bring in extra money. . . something so simple.
The solution is right there under your nose. If you are too overwhelmed, why not say a prayer and ask God to help you to get your finances in order. And then be willing to do as he leads you.
Here are some things to put in check:
1. When you shop do you compare prices or just buy the first item you see?
2. Do you know that thrift stores can be a gold mine of great savings on name brand items, such as clothes
3. Are you buying batteries that can be re-used or using them and throwing them away?
4. How often do you go over your budget in a week, or month? Or are you even on one?
5. When was the last time you shopped around for insurance? Or are you still with the same company for years and their rates keep going up and up but you don’t want to change?
6. Are you using your credit cards at restaurants and stretching the payments out or paying it off each month?
Discover where your money leaks are and plug them. It starts with a budget. This could change your financial future.
Keep the faith