Inside Out 254: Mindful Spending

08.22.12 | Martha Manikas-Foster

Are you wise with money? Most of us believe we are. Laura Polk and her husband did—until they lost their jobs and began living on half of their previous income. That’s when they learned how little they really needed to live—and how much they could have been giving away to people in need.

“When we cut back on everything,” Laura says, “I just realized how much excess we had at our disposal and I thought back to all the times over our lives we wanted to help somebody but we didn’t think that we really could because we maxed out our life. And even though God was putting people on our hearts to help, we weren’t really able to.”

Just like the Polks, most of us aren’t rampant materialists. We don’t own Bentleys or drip with diamonds. But while we may not be spending recklessly, we may be spending mindlessly—not really knowing where the last paycheck went or how we might have spent the money differently if we had been more intentional with each dollar.

“If I’m truly choosing to follow God . . . I need to accept that everything He’s given me is a gift with a purpose. And that’s from the talents He’s given me, to the money that He’s given me. Anything’s that in my possession is not solely meant for me and I have a responsibility to use it wisely and to take care of, not only my family, but the others that He places on my heart.” 

Hear what Laura has to say in our Inside Out conversation by clicking on the “Listen” button above. We talk about spending wisely—yes—but also about how God provides in the difficult times, and how He develops generous hearts even when we have little to share.

And take encouragement. “If you’re going through a financial difficulty,” Laura counsels, “God is with you through every single step. He will not leave your side for one second, even though it feels like He will. And He will provide. In fact, for me, it was a time when God became the most real in my entire life to me because He was just showing Himself on a daily basis. So for those people going through that, I just pray that they’d lean into Him and listen and see what He’s going to do, because this the time of your life—as hard as it is--that He’s really going to WOW you.”

To connect with the website of book author, and magazine writer and textile designer Laura Polk, click here:

Click here to read her blog that inspired this conversation “What Had I Done with All My Money?”:


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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.


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