My husband and I have been budgeting with EEBA for almost a year now — and we love it! Following a budget with EEBA helps us stay on the same page, watch spending in sticky areas, and splurge from time to time without going crazy. But even after a year with EEBA, stuff still comes up that we didn’t anticipate. When that happens, it’s important for us to remember that our budget isn’t a rigid taskmaster. It’s a tool that reflects what’s important to us, and it’s flexible when our priorities change.
This came up recently when we had an opportunity to make a one-time donation to our church’s building fund. We’ve committed to our church for the long-term, and we’re excited about how moving to a new location will shape our congregation and the neighborhood. So we wanted to make a gift that’s personally significant to us. But since this isn’t part of our normal monthly (or even annual) giving, we didn’t already have an Envelope set up for this kind of special gift.
So – what to do? It turns out that we’ve been saving up to replace our damaged car. Since our budget is meant to reflect what’s important to us, we decided to use some of the money from our Car Fund Envelope and transfer it to our Special Offerings Envelope in order to give it to the church. That means we’ll have to wait a few months longer in order to save up enough to replace our car, but that’s okay with us. It’s more important to us to contribute to our church’s building fund now than it is to buy a car. So we re-organized our budget and told it what we’d like the money to do.
Don’t let your budget be a rigid taskmaster. Instead, let it reflect what’s important to you, and give yourself the freedom to change your budget when your priorities change. You get to tell your budget how to organize your money so that you can do the things that are most important to you.