“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” – Song of Solomon 2:15
Song of Solomon is a story of a man and a woman who are madly in love with each other. The couple trade beautiful words of encouragement and praise for each other as they prepare for marriage together.
The warning to catch the foxes before they destroy the vines is one of the first words of caution that is made between the couple. You see, those little foxes are things in our life that can irritate or destroy a relationship. The couple wanted to remove anything that could keep them from having the best relationship possible.
Financial Lessons from Song of Solomon
Ok, why are we talking relationships? How are we going to tie this back to finances?
I wanted to give you the context of the verse before I relate it to other areas in our life. Wouldn’t you agree that little foxes are everywhere? They come up and nibble away at our vines of marriage, time, patience, and especially money. Those little foxes always seem to come out of nowhere, which is why it’s so important to pay attention to the small things that can really cause problems.
How To Manage The Financial Foxes
Notice how Solomon didn’t write, “If you happen to see foxes, catch them.” The foxes were already there, and Solomon said to catch ‘all the foxes.’ There’s no way to completely keep yourself from seeing a fox eat away at your finances. The best way to guard yourself from these annoying little critters is to make sure you take these measures:
Put up a Fence
Your main defense against unexpected purchases and the temptation to spend is to make a budget. Your budget is like your fence and has two main purposes: It restricts and provides a range of freedom. Real fences keeps foxes and harmful things out, but they also provide an area where your kids can play, your dog can run around, and place where you can grow a garden. Your budget keeps you on track with your spending, but it also gives you a range of freedom within each category.
I’ve seen my fair share of financial foxes try to eat away at my finances. The best trap that I’ve come up with was to create an emergency fund. The key to this strategy is to make sure you replenish your emergency fund.
The other trap that has worked well for us is to go back to cash. There’s just something different about using cold hard cash when you make a purchase and it can really cause you think twice about what you’re buying. We’ve gotten so accustomed to swiping a card that I think we can forget how much we’re actually spending at times.
Don’t Feed The Foxes
If you’re like me, you’ll do your best to keep your budget in check, watch your spending, and save for your future, but you’ll still have times where you want to feed a fox. It may not be an all out spending spree, but sometimes those impulse purchases can really be hard to resist. My advice: Be careful! As soon as you feed one fox, the others will start to sneak up too. Instead of making exceptions to your budget, try to build room for blow money – that’s money that you can blow on whatever you want, but as soon as it’s gone, it’s gone.
Do you ever feel like the little foxes eat away at your finances? How have you kept those little expenses from destroying your budget and other areas of your finances?
Photo by jinterwas