Productive, Session 4: Budget Crunch

By Hillary Beebe

Though it was a necessary life change, it didn’t come without a cost.

budgetcrunchOur family has recently lived through a season of change. We’ve experienced changes in careers, changes in lifestyle, changes in education … and most importantly, changes in our hearts.

About a year ago, I left my job to be a stay-at-home mom. It didn’t take long before my husband, Bill, and I felt a crunch in the bank account and began to realize several things: Private school for our daughters, Leah and Susanna; our fancy cellphones; and a number of other perks were out of the question, unless I returned to work full-time. The consumerist lifestyle to which we’d become accustomed was no longer our reality. Ours was a tight budget that covered the bare essentials.

To compensate for the financial gap, I accepted a part-time position at our church. Though it was a wonderful and necessary life change to put family and motherhood first and a blessed bonus to serve God vocationally, it didn’t come without cost.

The cost wasn’t in things that mattered. I paid a price with the idols in my heart — money, image, and self-sufficiency. I’d enjoyed the importance that came with my previous job as well as having extra money to burn. The necessary restraints that came with living on a tight budget made me fuss a lot — at first.

God provides when you follow His will.

About six months into our new way of life, I thought, Wow! It’s been six months, and look how God has sustained us! We were never late on a bill and never went without ample food, comfortable shelter, or sufficient clothing.

We’ve lived within our means and paid off one of our two cars. Though our daughters’ transition to public school terrified me, God has faithfully walked with us every step of the way. The girls are happy and growing in ways I didn’t know were possible.

I had to let go of many idols, but God has sustained us through all the changes we’ve faced. This might not be the American way, but it’s Scripture’s way — to trust God with our livelihood and to see Him come through for us day after day. God first, family second, and stuff … dead last.

Hilary Beebe loves Jesus, kids, and helping others. She lives in Michigan with her husband of 10 years and their two cool kids. Read more on her blog at


homelife0913This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of HomeLife.  Follow our blog: Click here to subscribe to the magazine.

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