11.03.2013

Spending money, spending time

When I pay $2.50 for my favorite Dunkin Donuts treat, what does it cost?

Simply $2.50? No.

My husband works for an hourly wage. Let's pretend (for the sake of easy math) that he makes $10.00/hour. He works hard to earn for his family, and when I spend $2.50 for a coffee I must remember this:

he had to work 15 minutes to make enough to pay for that coffee.

And that's before taxes, tithe, etc.

So realistically, it's probably more like 25 minutes.

Image: ksoo.com
....is my coffee worth it, when I think about it that way? Or is my husband's time worth more to me than that?

God has been pressing this into my heart every time I think "Hey, I could use a ______ [coffee, meal out, other frivolous things]!" {Which happens a lot.}We are not in a season where money is abundant. It's super tight, each month. So I am not really at liberty to be essentially wasting my husband's time by spending his hard-earned money on things we don't need.

Does that mean we shouldn't try to budget for a 'date night', or fun family activities, or fun treats once in a while? ...well, no. But it does mean that I can strive as the manager of this home and as the overseer of the household budget to honor my husband by being prudent & creative with how we choose to spend the money he works hard to bring home.

I think know that my spending habits early on in our marriage would have been dramatically different if I'd thought of purchases in terms of how long Will had to work in order for me to be able to buy them. A $5.00 candle seems inexpensive until I realize that it means Will had to spend half an hour working to earn it. For $40 in clothing, or decorations, or fun fabrics - that's half a day's work for Will {assuming the $10/hr model}! I need to make sure those are real needs (and make sure Will & I agree) before spending that money.

I do contribute to the household budget in various ways - tutoring, child care, sewing projects for others, etc - and I realize that thinking of it in terms of "Will's money" or "my money" is not entirely accurate. Ultimately, our income totally belongs to the Lord (every penny!), and because we're married that means our finances are a team effort. But in our situation, my husband is the one earning most of the income, and one way I can show him respect is by doing my best to manage the income well. It communicates to him that not only am I thankful for the money coming in, but I respect the time he puts in each week that makes that income possible.

I share this because it's been so much on the forefront of my thoughts over the past few weeks! There is obviously so much more to budgeting and money matters that I don't touch on here, but I hope this will be helpful. Truly the heart of this matter is 'Am I content?' ...for me, it's too often 'no'. Wasting my time thinking about '...but that would be so nice to have!' means I'm not truly content in the Lord Jesus and where He's got me right now. It has become an exercise in choosing gratefulness & contentment.

Spending our resources,
for His glory!
~Lisha

I may be sharing this post with these encouraging link-up parties!
{If this post has encouraged, inspired, or blessed you, please share it, pin it, or comment!}

22 comments:

  1. This is a great way to think about it. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Jessica - I appreciate it! :)

      I hope you have a great start to your week!
      ~Lisha

      Delete
  2. This certainly gives us food for thought. Thank you : )

    Lesley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Lesley! Thank you for visiting!
      ~Lisha :)

      Delete
  3. Hi Lisha! I'm stopping by from the Teach Me Tuesday linkup!

    I used to think this way when I did my grocery shopping. I found myself wanting to put an item in my cart but then putting it back on the shelf because it didn't justify my hourly rate.

    For me personally, this thought process eventually became over the top. I couldn't enjoy the items I had bought because I was justifying if they were worth my time.

    What a great post to get us all thinking about how we spend the money that God has given us to manage! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh - I can absolutely see where this could become consuming!! I do have to caution myself against never wanting to spend anything...Will has to remind me now and again that it's okay to, say, go to a restaurant once in a while as a family and just enjoy the evening! :)

      Thank you for pointing that out, and for your kind words! I'm so grateful you're here!
      ~Lisha :)

      Delete
  4. Good Morning, I firstly want to say hello (Hello)...
    I want to tell you that as I read this post, it made me happy to think that you have really understood the cost of the little things.
    Our Hubbies work hard to bring in the monies we need and use for everything. I think we show honor to them if we will but stop nd think on this very important point you make in this post!
    Bravo!! Well done!
    Blessings, Roxy
    If you want to comment back to me, please visit me @
    livingfromglorytoglory.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the encouraging words, Roxy! Learning about the cost of even the little things has taken me almost a decade...God (& Will) have been so patient with me!

      I Iook forward to visiting you soon :) I'm thankful you've stopping by to visit!
      ~Lisha

      Delete
  5. Great post... since I am currently the breadwinner while my husband is in school, I completely understand the mathematics of money and time. I've even told the kids sometimes... that would cost X minutes of mom's time away from you... is it still worth it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I think that tangible way of thinking about it can help our kids understand the concept a little better and more profoundly.

      Thank you, Elisabeth!
      ~Lisha :)

      Delete
  6. During my season of single motherhood, I was extremely conscious of how much my time was worth and how it translated into our spending. I knew how many hours each week I worked to pay for groceries, gasoline, home, etc. If we did something extra, I knew how many extra hours to put in at work to cover that expense. When a repair was necessary, I knew how much time it would take me working to replenish the savings. It's a very tangible way to live, to discern how important something is and prioritize.

    Even now, I am remarried and our budget is much less stressed, I still think of spending in terms of groceries! For example, we spent xxx on clothing from a special college visit. In my mine, that is xxx number of days' worth of groceries. Poverty has many drawbacks, but the lessons I learned in those days has been beneficial even in more abundant times.

    I am certain your husband appreciates that you value his efforts and his time. What a gift to him and to your family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we walk through the lean seasons, the lessons we learn tend to stick a lot better! You really said it beautifully, that the lessons learned in the leaner days are beneficial in abundant times, too.

      I appreciate you sharing what you've learned, Missy! It's encouraging :)
      ~Lisha

      Delete
  7. Thank you for such an eye-opening post! I've viewed some of my purchases in the past exactly this, because so far, I've yet to land a job that pays more than ten dollars an hour. It makes a huge difference when you think, "I'd have to work a whole hour to buy this new makeup (or whatever it is)." :) Sometimes I forget to think this way though. Thanks for the reminder, and especially the reminder that it is an act of respect for our husbands. I loved this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Likewise, my husband has had only one job that has earned more than $10/hr - I'm usually managing on an hourly rate of around $9.75. When I realized that he'd have to spend a half a day at work to pay for the candles & decorations that I liked to buy (new for each season!), it started to stick that I needed to evaluated how I handled the money.

      I'm glad this was an encouragement for you, Jane! Thank you for visiting!
      ~Lisha

      Delete
  8. First, thank you for sharing on our link up (forgot to say that on the other post... sigh), but thank you also for this. We are not married yet, but what an encouragement to see things in a different light. It is a beautiful message. Thank you very much. :) Blessings ~ The Rosevine Cottage Girls (Rosevinecottagegirls.blogspot.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome! You are a blessing to me, and I'm thankful that this post was helpful for you :)

      ~Lisha :)

      Delete
  9. Lisha, this is a fantastic way of approaching the value of money and budgeting. It's like thinking about how long it would take at the gym to burn the calories when we go for that muffin. I love the heart that you have shown here are appreciating the work that your husband does and how your role is partly to manage the income that this brings with wisdom.
    Thanks so much for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings
    Mel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh - I hadn't really thought of it that way (exercise & food) - but that's funny because I do that, too! :) Must be the mathematician in me. In all seriousness, though, it has helped me say 'no' to frivolous purchases and instead trust that the Lord will either provide for our true needs or we'll find that the 'needs' weren't really that at all. :)

      Thanks again, Mel! :)
      ~Lisha

      Delete
  10. Lisha, this is such a good point especially at this point where these things are going to matter more. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Judith! :)
      ~Lisha :)

      Delete
  11. Love this! I definitely think we should be very intentional with our spending :) Adding this to the Thriving Thursdays pinterest board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm learning, slowly but surely. Thanks for the encouragement, Crystal :)

      Delete