Red numbers and red letters.

Last night I took another serious look at our family’s post-baby budget.

What I saw was downright frightening.

Factoring in the added expenses of full-time daycare (omg $!), baby supplies and life insurance, we’re in the red. Uh oh.

After the initial panic settled in and tears rolled down, I started making other edits to the complicated spreadsheet. We don’t need those trips to Starbucks. Eating out is unnecessary. New clothes can wait. Kindle purchases and GameFly – done. (We won’t have time anyway.) Movies out – rare.

Even eliminating $10 at a time, slowly the red got lower and lower, until finally, the number turned black. Barely black, but black none-the-less.

Whew. Slight sigh of relief.

We may survive this whole baby thing. But as 22- and 24-year-olds, we were already living pretty modestly. We were maybe “going out” once a month. We were maybe eating out twice a week. And we were maybe going to three movies a month. Fancy clothes, jewelry and purses have never been my thing. Lavish vacations – forget them. We love home.

We do have some spending vices: mine – home design and décor, his – anything techie. Of course those things don’t even have a cell on the post-baby spreadsheet. And we’re okay with that—we’d rather have a fresh, new baby than fresh, new stuff.

Anyway, even though we’re (barely) in the black on our budget, I still have a tendency to worry about what actual life will cost. I find myself asking “what if.”

What if cooking becomes a daily burden with a baby around? What if I can’t breastfeed, and we have to factor in the cost of formula? What if we can’t live without the little perks we currently enjoy? What if our washing machine quits working? What if my car dies? What if I need new clothes as I lose the baby weight? What if one of us loses our jobs?

The “what ifs” will be the death of me.

My mind has scrambled for answers in the past few days, and believe me, there’s only so much my mind can do. I think it’s time to put my faith in Someone else. It’s time to stop focusing on the potentially red numbers in the workbook and, instead, concentrate on the red letters in The Book.

His red letters.

In case you’re struggling with any doubt – financial worries or otherwise – here are a few of His words to focus your attention back on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

{Matthew 6:34}

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

{Philippians 4:6-7}

“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”

{1 Peter 5:7}

God created this miracle growing inside me, and He will bless us with the means to provide for him or her. In that I place my trust.

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4 thoughts on “Red numbers and red letters.

  1. My husband does financial education through a Christian-based organization! And one of his workshops is called ‘From We to Three’ and is for expecting parents! I asked him for some links for you: here they are:

    http://www.thrivent.com/stages – Free tools, worksheets, calculators, etc
    http://www.mint.com – good stuff (we use this to stay balanced and track our money)
    http://www.thrivent.com/findaworkshop – look for a ‘From We to Three’ workshop in your area. Another good one would be “Parents, Kids, and Money”.

    Hope some of this helps! =)

  2. Pingback: Forget about the weeds. «

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