Margin is an alternative way to communicate “space.” Remember when the English teacher ruined your life by announcing that you must hand write a two page composition? She would say, “Be sure to avoid writing in the “margins.” In other words, it was important to maintain appropriate spacing. The same is true for your finances. Financial margin creates space in your life. During this series, I’ll be focusing on the real and emotional effects of living WITH and WITHOUT financial margin. Ready?
PART ONE – LESS STRESS
PART TWO – FREEDOM
When financial margin is established, it provides a sense of freedom! I know that when we finally established some beginner margin in 2003, it was like scales fell from our eyes. We saw life in an entirely new light! Instead of wasting tons of energy determining how each bill was going to be paid (anyone who has lived paycheck-to-paycheck KNOWS the energy this takes!), we began looking forward. It allowed us to start asking new questions like:
- How much should we save each month for our children’s college?
- Any question that starts with “I wonder what would happen if … ?”
- Who can we bless this month?
- How can we use our gifts and talents in the most impactful way?
When we established margin, I discovered the freedom of knowing that I could pursue a dream! It did not matter as much if I really did pursue the dream – what mattered most was the fact that I could pursue the dream! I’m not sure this really makes much sense, but knowing that fact was incredible. Let me share a few examples to better explain this. I am entrepreneurial by nature. This means I love starting things. When I was broke and living paycheck-to-paycheck, the option to start a business or new venture was out of the question. Financial margin gave me the freedom to consider the options without being overcome by the fear of living in a cardboard box.
Here’s another example. When I took the leap of faith to go on staff at NewSpring Church, a church Jenn and I were a part of starting and LOVE being a part of, I took a massive pay cut. Jenn was able to make the decision to work or continue to be a stay-at-home mother without really having to worry about the financial aspects. This was only possible because we had financial margin. How many people can take a 50% pay cut and still have this option available to them? Not many, but I will tell you with 100-percent confidence that those who have established financial margin CAN – and that FREEDOM to choose is incredible!
If you have no financial margin, make a decision to start building it today! If you do have financial margin, celebrate the fact that you have made the necessary choices to establish it and then use that freedom to pursue a dream!