Budget Smudget

Have you heard the word Smudget? Probably not, it’s not very popular; it means a small budget! What was my dad’s obsession with a budget? I didn’t get it; he had plenty of money, so why was he so worried about it? I tuned him out, not only did I not see the importance of the subject, but I thought I had better things to do with my time. I’m not a numbers kind of girl, I don’t hate math, but I’m not a fan of it either. My older sister Audrey enjoys analyzing reports; it’s like a hobby, but not me. I’d rather read a book than a spreadsheet.

I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer; I just hadn’t worked out all the small details, like how to support myself. I wanted to live an independent lifestyle, without being financially independent. My problem was that my dad gave me a monthly allowance, but it wasn’t quite enough. He says, if I was on a budget it should be more than I need. By budget, he means don’t spend any money.

Why he was so overly concerned about my finances was a complete mystery to me.

It’s obvious now that Dad knew I was going to inherit a large sum of money one day, and he was trying to prepare me for it. That’s what all those charity events were about too. I thought it was about dressing up and talking to a bunch of old people, but he was trying to teach me the responsibility of having money. He was also trying to teach me to be generous. My mom left us with not only a financial legacy but one of giving back. She would pray, “Bless us so that we can be a blessing to others.” She saw it not as an obligation, but a privilege to be able to help others. You can waste it, or you have the opportunity to do good with it.