Chapter 10: The Budget (Freshman 15 Snippet)

Here’s a snippet from Chapter 10: The Budget:

Besides food and lodging, there are plenty of other spending temptations.  Maybe you have the honest desire to dress like the most popular students on campus.  You don’t want to drive your mom’s minivan when other students are driving sports cars.  With the click of a “Buy” button, you can easily get all your favorite music on iTunes and simultaneously run up a bill of a hundred dollars.  Ultimately we spend and borrow, and we begin to develop a method of spending that is self-destructive.

It is rare for a student to think about how to save money in college.  The combination of freedom and access to credit cards leaves one numb to how much money he is actually spending. I don’t think eating out or living off-campus is ungodly.  I don’t think it is a sin to purchase an iPod, an L. L. Bean jacket, or a Guitar Hero wireless controller, but I do think that unwise financial decisions will cost you more than what you ever can afford in the long run.

One of the passages that helped me out most during college was found in Philippians 4.  Paul’s confession of “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13) is one of the most well-known and loved verses of the Bible.  A good rule to use when reading the Bible is the importance of reading each passage in context.  Whenever anyone quotes that verse, I normally inquire if they know what verse twelve states.  Because verse twelve has a lot to do with how you spend your money and in the manner in which you will live.  Paul stated that he had learned how to be content in all circumstances.  He declared that “I have learned how to get along with humble means and how to live in prosperity; I have learned the secret of having abundance and suffering need; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:12-13).

Most people love to quote that Christ will give us strength for the hard situations which we encounter, but Paul was actually stating that he knew how to eat well and how to do without.  He understood what it meant to live it up and how to live on a budget.  He could do any of it, regardless of the circumstances, because Christ gave him the strength.

Leading up to the time around when I get to release Freshman 15, I wanted to provide you a snippet every day for 15 days at 15:00 in the afternoon.