Planning for a Party of Two?
Most single people have an idea of what they want their family to look like one day. However, few of us actually live like we think that will ever be reality.
It’s not easy to put a little money away each month for a child that may not be born for several years or to think about saving to buy a house today when you’re living in an apartment with roommates. But one way we demonstrate that we’re trusting God to bring those dreams to reality is by planning now for our future marriages and families. In Luke, Jesus advises us to plan for the future, saying, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it” (Luke 14:28).
Create a Vision for Your Future
We can’t know exactly what our future looks like, but Proverbs acknowledges the wisdom in looking ahead and making preparations for where we want to go (see Proverbs 14:8, Proverbs 21:5 and Proverbs 24:27). Some practical things to consider when creating a vision for your future family:
- Do you see yourself getting married one day?
- Do you see yourself having children one day?
- Where would you like to live? (in a neighborhood, in a city, on a farm, etc.)
- What are your career goals?
With a vision in mind, the season of singleness is a great time to begin practicing self-control. It takes discipline to go to work every day when you may not currently need the money or to not buy something for yourself in order to save for your future family.
Feel the Freedom that Comes with a Budget
It’s not a revolutionary idea, but a monthly budget is the most practical financial tool you can embrace. A budget is simply a plan for the wisest way to spend money, and its goal is financial freedom. However, that doesn’t have to cost you freedom in other areas of your life. As a single person, you may have to keep a few unique things in mind:
- Create the plan that is the healthiest for you. For example, it may be more economical to cook dinner at home every night. But will you be emotionally healthy going home eating alone every night?
- Plan for times to be social. It may take some sacrifices in some other places and some creativity, but your budget shouldn’t to take you away from community.
You Can’t Do Finances Alone
Being single doesn’t mean that you have to manage your money all by yourself. Find someone who is making wise financial decisions who can provide you with accountability and guidance. Keep this person in the loop with how you’re doing financially and discuss any major financial decisions with them. This will keep you from making unwise decisions and make your finances less overwhelming. Don’t know anyone who fits that profile? Consider meeting with a financial coach for free.
God cares about the details of our lives—including our money. Singleness is not an excuse for us to live like we want to live. It’s an opportunity for God to show up as our Provider every day. Just like other areas of our lives, we have to daily surrender our money to God and ask for His wisdom in how He wants us to use it.
Written by Heather Cox