Saturday, 04 August 2012 16:01

Impulsiveness is Not Faith

Written by  Dave Ramsey
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Question: My husband and I would like for me to be able to quit my job and stay at home with our kids. We’ve got a little money saved up, but we’re not sure we could make it on just his salary. The money would be very tight. In your mind, how do we know the difference between being financially responsible and relying on God to provide?

 


Answer:  I admire the desire to be at home with your kids, and that you realize you can’t just act impulsively and call it faith. This is a concept that’s misused and misunderstood a lot.

If you can’t make it on just your husband’s salary, then you’ve got to develop a game plan that involves a written monthly budget and some lifestyle changes. If you do this with diligence and sacrifice, chances are you’ll be able to make this happen and not bankrupt your family. This could also mean that you start a small business on the side—something you could do from home—to offset the difference.

Having faith that God will provide requires study of the Scriptures. But God also tells us that you need the maturity and wisdom to plan your direction. The Bible says, “The diligent prosper. He who is impulsive exalts folly.” Folly is a fool in action. It’s kind of like the guy who closes his eyes, jumps in the pool, and hopes there’s water in there—and calls that faith.

I love the idea of you coming home to be with your kids. Just make sure you develop an intelligent plan, and mix intellect with faith.

Question: I’m trying to convince my husband to leave his debit card at home when he goes to work. He says he wants it for emergencies, but he’s always using it for other things. I’d rather him just carry a very small amount of cash so he’s not so tempted.

Answer: I understand your concern, but I think you’re wrong on this one. I carry my debit card with me everywhere I go, and I want my wife to do the same. What your husband needs to stop doing is having “emergencies.” The translation? Stop the impulse spending!

Now, this could be happening for several reasons. It could be that he’s a good guy, but he’s just not paying attention to how much he’s spending. On the other hand, you guys may not be budgeting for fairly reasonable things—like if he wants to eat out for lunch once in a while.

But even if he’s not using it, he should still be carrying a debit card. I mean, what if he has a real, actual emergency? The idea that you shouldn’t carry a debit card just because of impulse spending isn’t a good plan. Things like that aren’t debit card problems. They’re either maturity problems or a lack of realistic budget planning.

Question: My fiancée and I are planning our wedding. Our parents don’t want to contribute financially, so we’ve budgeted $7,000 to cover everything. The problem is both sets of parents still want to make decisions regarding the ceremony and how many people attend. How should we handle this?

Answer: In my mind, they don’t have a say in what happens or who attends if they don’t contribute. I understand how your parents feel though. How nice the ceremony is or who’s invited can be a painful discussion, but in this case their opinions should only count as long as they fall within the confines of your budget.

Be courteous and gentle when you explain how much you’ve budgeted and what that means in terms of who can come, how many are there, and just how fancy this event will be. Make sure you involve them and their opinions, but it’s you and your bride-to-be who have the power. I know your parents love you, and they want it to be a wonderful day for everyone. But this is your wedding, not theirs.

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