Monday, February 21, 2011

Poster Child

I never was a poster child for anything, but I think I finally am (although I'm no child, by any stretch of the imagination!). I'm the poster child for bad financial choices. Oh, maybe I'm being extreme, but in my adult life I have not made very many good ones. Financial choices, that is.

I'm working to make that better, and I am extremely committed to it. But it's hard. It's hard to say no. To myself. To my kids. But I'm doing it, and every hard answer leaves me feeling a little more on top of things. It will take time, though, and it's hard to be patient. I'm making more money right now, working a little less than full-time, than I've ever made in my life. Though we're not rolling in dough, it would make you think we might finally be doing ok, but bad choices through the lean years leave us worse off, maybe, than we were then. But, I truly feel like the choices we are making now, the changes and the committment to eliminating debt, are making us better off every day. Maybe not financially better off, right now. But mentally and spiritually better off.

Retirement looms. I never believed it when I was young and the sages told me to save my money for retirement. But it is looming ever closer. I struggle, though, when I think about "putting money away for retirement" and "planning for the future by saving in retirement funds". I think about this

Matthew 6:25-30
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—
you of little faith?
It makes me think I should make good choices, share what I have and forget about "planning" for the future for myself. But it's hard not to. I feel I'm doing my children a disservice if I don't "plan" for their financial future. I don't know. It's hard to figure out. I still feel good about what I'm doing to get our financial habits into a positive realm. But I wonder . . .