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My daily morning ritual involves going to the memories feed on Facebook. Nothing fancy, or super spiritual, but I do enjoy seeing the memories of what I’ve posted in years past. Usually it’s photos of my kids or pets that bring the fondest memories to light.

But this week my memory smile was related to budgeting. Boring, right? Actually no, because it’s about a year ago that I started a new spiritual practice--budgeting with the You Need A Budget app. I know budgeting doesn’t sound very spiritual, I mean money’s not spiritual, right? It’s a necessary evil (sarcasm).

For a long time I avoided budgeting at all costs. It was too boring, I didn’t understand how to do it, I could never stick to a budget and somehow everything just always seemed to work out. Bills were paid, travel happened, kids were fed and a donations were made to organizations I support.

Something changed a year ago though. We were tired of living paycheck to paycheck, which became especially difficult after my wife lost her job and our family income decreased dramatically. I was introduced to a new way of budgeting and this approach made sense to me. With YNAB you only budget actual money that you have, not money you expect to get and budgeting has changed my life.

Now I can see clearly where our money is going each month. And we can better plan for any future expenses that come up regularly.

But most exciting for me is the category we’ve set up called “Living Generously.” Here we set aside money each pay period to give away. Our family has always been committed to giving a percentage of our income to the church’s work. But now, through careful budgeting we’ve been able to increase our giving not only for Holy Trinity’s mission and shared work, but also for other organizations we are committed to supporting.

Budgeting can be boring, but constantly worrying about money is no fun either. Churches need budgets to be faithful to the work they are called to do, just as businesses and non-profit organizations need to budget to stay faithful to their calling. Holy Trinity is about to set up our budget for the coming year and we need your help. Prayerfully consider how managing your personal money faithfully can be a spiritual practice for you

If you don’t already use a budget to manage your finances, consider starting one. Ask me how. And while you’re looking over your finances, check out what commitment you’ve already made to live generously in the world through your giving. Are you surprised? Is it where you want it to be? Does there need to be a change in your giving of time and money to align with your spiritual values?

It’s that time of year when we give thanks for all that has been graciously given to us. We seek to give joyfully and be good stewards of our money and resources because the spiritual discipline of giving makes us more generous in all aspects of our lives. And that’s a spiritual discipline much more centering and life-giving than checking my Facebook feed every morning.