Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges.

Our daily challenges are meant to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus, even if you don’t have a lot of time. We normally keep a weekly rhythm following a book of the Bible, or a topic on Christian faith, but this summer we’re going to do something a little different. We’re introducing a course on very basic money management.  This is because we’ve done extensive surveys of suburban families and commuters, and what things are under stress from commuting.  Among the other topics we’ve covered in Redeem the Commute, like marriage and parenting, we have always heard about money being a major burden in people’s lives.

It’s part of being a commuter, in fact.  Most people decide where they live based on money, and the suburbs like Ajax are where people try to balance competing money priorities.  I sometimes characterize it as a balancing act where people balance housing prices with commuting stress.  If they lived in the city, the commute would be great, but the mortgage too high.  If they lived in the country, the commute would either be too long to keep a well paying job, or non-existent.

Lots of people feel stuck in this lifestyle – they have commited to a place and lifestyle, and there’s not a lot they feel they can do to change it.

This can be immensely more stressful if money is tight, and money coming in each month is variable, too low, or too close to monthly expenses.

Which is why we’ll focus so much on budgeting in this course!

We’ll be using a course written by a group of Christians in the UK who were concerned about poverty in their area.  It’s called the Basic Budgeting Course, or the Trent Money course, but we’ve adapted it to Canada.

I’m not an accountant, financial advisor or expert.  But I believe that money is often a very spiritual issue for us, and so it’s important that we talk about it here.  See qualified professionals to learn about your specific situation, as we’ll be looking at big picture and generic concepts here.

Our hope is this course will help you:

  • Have a clear idea of what a budget is and how to make one for ourselves
  • Expose you to some top tips about how to manage our money
  • Be more aware of common financial terms, and how they impact on us
  • Feel a bit more  in control

Question: How do you feel about budgets?  Have you made one before?