Money Madness

With the rising cost of everything, it can be difficult to make ends meet, especially if you’re living on one income.  Even if there is more than one income in the family, it’s still difficult.

I don’t have any cool life changing stories about our finances (actually I have a lot of cool stories on how God provided for us but no getting debt free in a year stories etc.)  Hopefully, I will before we retire but as of now, I don’t.  But I wanted to share some money saving tips and ideas that are good reminders for me and probably for you too.

I’m not a money expert by any stretch of the imagination but I have been thinking about our finances a lot lately.  We’ve always had to be creative with our finances, missionary training, living on one income, and with the added medical cost of T1D and our retirement not that far away, money is on my mind.  So I’m going to share what I’ve learned and hope it will help someone else too.

In no particular order, here are some money tips:

~ Live within your means

Pretty much don’t spend more than you make.  Keep track of your spending and create a budget.  As annoying or scary this may seem, it’s important and helpful.  Even if you have a very healthy money tree growing in your backyard, it’s crucial to know where your money goes.

~ Live debt free

It’s easy to get into the habit of buying now and figuring out how to pay it later.  I tell my children (and myself too), if you don’t have the money, then don’t buy it.  Most of the time we end up buying things we don’t want or need anyway.  The marketing specialists are super good at making us feel like we need more than we actually do.

~ Live on a budget

Write out a budget and tell your money where to go.  Pay attention to what you spend your money on each week, write a budget and stick to it.  Money tends to disappear without a budget.

~ Save your money

Put at least a little bit of money into savings each pay check.   When we were in missionary training, we didn’t have an income and had to live on whatever money we brought with us and support from others.  It was tough!  God provided all the money we needed to get through 4+ years of missionary training, including having 3 children.

But during the Missions Training (Boot Camp) in 1998, every time I had a dollar bill or change, I would put it in a random can we had sitting around.  This part of the training lasted a year and for the whole year, I put all of our dollar bills and change in this can.

When we graduated at the end of the year, we wondered if we’d have enough money to drive back home (from Oregon to Arizona.)  I dumped all the money out of the coffee can and counted our change ~ I had saved $80! I was shocked!  I had no idea I put that much in the can throughout the year.  I figured it was just pennies in there.  Scott didn’t even know I had done that.  Nice surprise.

It’s also good to have money saved for an emergency.  A little bit each pay check adds up faster than you realize.

~ Invest your money

I was always under the impression that it was risky investing your money.  I thought only the super rich did this because it wasn’t that big of a deal if they lost their money.  I don’t know where that mindset came from but I learned a few years ago that this thinking is a lie.  There is a safe way to invest your money that gives a higher interest rate than any savings or money market account.

This is something you would do long term so even if the market fluctuated here and there, you’d still be heading upward.

I’m not confident enough to dig deeper in this but we have a great financial advisor from our church who has helped us tremendously in this area.  If you live in Arizona ~ I can hook you up!  😀

~ Give

Giving to the Lord, giving to those in need and giving to missionaries is the best way to demonstrate faith, trust and love.  God wants us to give Him our first and our best.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.  In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.  Genesis 4:2-5

Abel gave the Lord the fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.  He gave the Lord the first and the best.  Cain did not!  We know how that story ended.

A generous person will prosper, whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

I know there is a lot more I could say but keeping it simple is best for me when it comes to finances.  This is something on my heart so I thought I’d share my thoughts.  This has helped our family and I hope it blesses you too.

Health and Wellness Tip

A good way to get extra vegetables in your diet is to blend them up in a food processor and put them in your meals.  Include blended up broccoli, carrots and spinach in your spaghetti, beans, pizza sauce, noodles, gravy or whatever you make.  This will add nutrients to everyday meals.  I’ve even added them to desserts too.  If I blend them well enough, no one even notices. 😉

Thank you for reading my blog!  I’d love to hear what you think.  Please share any money tips you have or if you have a cool story about how you became debt free, I’d love to hear about it!

Have a wonderful day and be blessed!

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