4 Jul 2009
Like everyone else, my wife and I have difficulty keeping the home budget balanced. It would not be so bad except every month new bills come in resembling the bills I paid last month. Will this nonsense ever stop?
For example, last month I distinctly remember paying the electric bill. And, if my memory serves me correctly, the month before that I also paid the electric bill, and the month before that. Now, before me is another electric bill resembling last month’s bill. I am weary of this redundancy.
I am beginning to believe this is a ruse from the electric company who believes they can sneak in another bill thinking I will not remember the bill from the month before. This is exactly why they want my bill to be on automatic payment so I will not notice this ruse.
There is another thing about the electric company that perturbs me. They are so legalistic. I think they ought to lighten up a little. Every month, without fail, they insist I pay the exact amount of the bill. Not only that, but they insist that I pay my bill on a certain day of the month. If I don't, they will access me a late fee.
Now to be fair about it, if they are going to charge me a late fee when I am late why can't they deduct from my bill an early fee for being early? After all, fair is fair.
I was complaining about this to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage hoping to get some sympathy. Looking up from my pile of bills I said, "I have a good mind to call that electric company and complain."
Without looking up she said, "I don't think you do."
"You don't think I do what?"
"Have a good mind."
As tempting as it was, I did not give her a piece of my mind. I am saving my last piece for an emergency. Of course, she has so many pieces of my mind now she knows exactly what I am thinking.
However, I fool her. I don't think that much.
Balancing the home budget is a never-ending chore. As soon as you finish one month the next month begins. On many occasions, the new month begins before the old month actually ends.
Several ways suggest itself for balancing the home budget. I think the number one suggestion would be to cut out all those unnecessary luxuries like eating.
I was going over the checkbook and noticed how much money we spent on groceries for a month. Someone in this house, and I am not mentioning any names, is eating like a hog.
According to my calculations, if my wife and I would stop eating for an entire year we would be able to balance our budget. It seems like a small sacrifice for the benefit of balancing the home budget.
So, I mentioned this to my wife.
"Okay," she said rather passively, "you stop first."
Another suggestion for balancing the home budget has to do with the telephone bill. In looking at the bill, I noticed something rather curious. The actual telephone usage amounted to $9.27. However, with all of the taxes and fees and surcharges the total bill is about $232.15. What in the world are all those fees?
I am thinking about closing out my telephone account. After all, the only people calling me these days are bill collectors.
Another luxury that would go a long way in balancing the monthly home budget has to do with clothing. I noticed in checking through the checkbook, there were quite a few purchases concerning clothing and shoes. Now, how many dresses can a person wear at any one time? And what about shoes?
With as much caution as I could muster at the time, I brought this to the attention of my wife.
"Look at all these checks made out to the clothing store. What in the world are we buying?"
I carefully used the word "we," so as not to put the blame on any one person. Sometimes it pays to be a little political. Then I added, "We could go a long way balancing our home budget if it wasn't for all these clothing purchases."
The room was silent. Too silent. I finally glanced in her direction only to notice that she was glaring at me with one of her famous glares. It was a glare that said, "Say one more word and you're toast."
I can take a glare.
I guess the only way to balance the home budget is to do what the government does. Whenever the government runs out of money at the middle of the month, they simply print more money. Sounds like a good solution to my budget problems
I am just trying to figure out what president to put on my $200 bills.
Eventually everybody runs into a problem they cannot handle themselves. It might be a legitimate need, but beyond our reach. It might be a financial need, a physical need, or an emotional need.
The apostle Paul addressed this when he wrote, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19 KJV).
The hardest part is defining that need. The good part is, God knows what your need is and knows how to meet it through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rev. James L. Snyder