“We Can’t Afford It”

Reading: “Becoming Provident Providers,” Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, April 2009 General Conference, Saturday Morning Session

In the current economic crisis there is a theme: people have spent more than they can afford.  The reasons why have been the subject of hot debate, although we as members of the church have little excuse as we have been counseled by the prophets for many years to stay out of debt.

In this talk Elder Hales encourages us to renew our commitment to live within our means.  Sometimes, this means admitting the sometimes painful fact that we cannot afford the things we would like to have.  He says,

These two lessons are the essence of provident living. When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, “We can’t afford it, even though we want it!” or “We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!”

In December my husband got a new job with a large electronics company.  Previously, my husband was going to school and working a part time job to support us.  Overnight our income quadrupled.  We were very excited to finally be free from the financial constraints we faced.  However, moving is expensive, and we overspent as we bought furniture for our new home and other necessities that come with going to a new place.  At the time each purchase seemed totally necessary, and individually not too large. After all, we were making 4 times as much as we were before!  After a month or two, though, we were shocked to find just how much we had spent.  We learned a big lesson about paying attention to our spending, and during this most recent move have been much more careful about watching our expenses and keeping them to a reasonable level.

Today I am going to put our budget onto my iPod.  It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a few weeks, with the idea that it will make it easier for me to track our budget if I can carry it around with me.

How is your current spending? What do you do to keep your finances in check?

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2 comments so far

  1. BDO on

    Great post! Great understanding of the true idea God has for us and our money. As you said, He knows we struggle with the temptation of spending more than we have. So, He cautions us to stand up against that temptation and use what He gives us for Him.

    • searchingthescriptures on

      Thanks for stopping by! I like how you say it is important us to “use what He gives us for Him.” It’s important not just in being debt-free, but in being happy in many aspects of our lives.


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