Budgeting

Covered Wagon by RonIncognito

Covered Wagon by RonIncognito

My husband and I were married on July 6, 2013 and in the little over three years since then we have had three beautiful boys. Did we plan that? Yes, I suppose you could say that. Once we were engaged, we both decided we would take babies as they came. We didn’t feel like NFP was necessary at this point in our lives. This way of living out our vocation best fit with how we understood natural law and the Church teachings on marriage.

We had prepared ourselves from the get go to approach family life in this manner. I had received my doctorate in physical therapy, but when we married, we only used my income to pay off a car loan and a portion of a school loan so that we were used to living on one income. Once our first son was born, I became a stay at home mom. This was the practical solution for us in order to have stability in the home as well as to ensure a trustworthy and consistent educator in the home who could begin the kids’ entrance into spiritual matters as well as education on life in general.

My husband had given thought into his career path, not for his own sake, but for the sake of his future family. He had been given the opportunity to become a pilot with his tuition paid in his younger years, but had declined as he knew it would take him away the family he had dreamed of having someday. Instead, he got his Masters in Library Science and worked his way from the public libraries into his current position in an academic library. Being married to a librarian is pretty awesome, might I add! He gets to champion for truth in all areas!

One might wonder how we manage financially with three little ones in diapers, with likely more little ones to come in the near future, and with living on only one income. Our budgeting is honestly pretty laid back. We know other families who budget to the last penny, but our general guideline is that we just don’t spend outside our means. Our meals are simple (we love making BBQ chicken quesadillas). Our date nights out tend to be pretty casual (fast food and a movie or roller skating). Often, we are happy to kick back watching a movie at home after the kiddos are in bed with our movie projector (which we have in place of a TV), roll out large screen, good food and sangria. We also love nights with tea, shortbread cookies and each with a good book in hand while sitting by the fire. I buy clothes for the kids at thrift shops. I mainly shop at thrift shops myself and actually find more interesting and fashionable items there than I can at department stores! I’m still learning about how to save money in various areas of our life and one thing I have learned is that there is always somewhere one can save money if needed, such as groceries, clothing, or cutting down on entertainment expenses.

There really isn’t any special system to being open to having all the kids that come along. A couple should just do their best to care and provide for their family and then trust that God will assist in the rest. Some feel like it’s foolish to trust God when finances are in the picture, but just as He cares for the religious who are fulfilling their vocations, and just as he cares for the birds of the air and lilies of the field, He will also care for those trying to raise good Catholic families. Trusting God is probably the hardest part of the financial equation. New babies often throw life into a bit of chaos for a bit but with each new baby, financially it is really just a small adjustment. I think far too often people are looking at what they would be paying for ten children while they only have one child and then they think “we could never afford that many kids!” But they kids don’t come all at once! There is time to adjust, and often extra money to get by comes from places one never would have expected!

My husband and I have decided to err on the side of being as generous as we possibly can towards God as we know His generosity towards us is limitless. We don’t really trust our fallen human judgement to dictate our family size and we know He will always provide us with the means to care for our family. It is never a sin to have another baby, and you can be sure God will help any parent who accepts another little soul into their household as He desires every soul to end up in Heaven with Him.

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