Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Not Ours

We think that everything we have is ours. Our home, our car, our clothes, our things, and our money. But most of us forget that it isn't. It isn't ours at all. It's God's. And we are just here to manage and be good stewards of His mo-nay!


God has given us everything. No? He determines at a given point in time how much we'll make, whether or not we lose our jobs, and He should determine how we spend our money.

What! :)

Hubs and I have never really been huge spenders, well especially him...I am a woman:), and a bargain hunter, you all know I drive myself crazy trying to find or negotiate the best deal, oh crazy! But even more recently we have been trying to tighten our wallets.

The Bible talks about canceling out or not holding onto any debt for over seven years. Whoa! We all know that this is a tough market to be in, but we are also not supposed to live above our means.

Whoa :)

Part of the reason for our move was to get rid of debt. We worked on one at a time, paying the cars off first. Then because of our move I'm so excited that we were able to pay off my student loans!! So now, the mortgage (lower since we moved) is left...deep breath :)

We try to save money by not having cable, a home phone, eating out toooo much :) How do you save?

We use credit cards but we never carry a balance to the next month. Come on 1-3% cash back :) The cash envelope system is said to be the best because we don't feel as attached to handing over a piece of plastic as when cash leaves our hands, that's a different story. Supposedly one can save 5-10% by just using cash! We almost went to that system but with Hubs new budget, a new system, and a new perspective, I think know we I will stick to it. :)

Believe me, it is not the easiest thing to discuss. Not spending money! That is no fun! I'm not saying none of our conversations were "discussions", but by listening to each other, we keep learning more great things about each other (Amy just wrote about that too, soo true!). I had to let Hubby know that I felt really restricted when I was younger, we didn't have a lot of money, we couldn't buy a lot of things, I had to work to pay for car, college, etc., so I didn't want to feel that again by feeling restricted now! But the budget should really be freeing to feel ok about spending the money you allot for yourself each month and with the renewed idea of it being God's money anyway :)

Right? :)

Our church is doing a new series on finances. It is a pretty awesome but pretty touchy sermon series. We like this church more each week. It is the largest church we've ever been to! But we both have to say that it is the least candy coated (though you know we loved our previous church, shout out friends!). The pastors are wonderfully convicting about a lot great things and practice what they preach :)!

The #1 factor, secret, key, that will help any of us be financially free is giving to God! Sounds weird, how will giving money away, help us financially? The Bible talks about giving back to God our first 10%! That sounds like a lot, but if we take our money into our own hands, who knows if it is really going where it should.

10-10-80. 10% to God. 10% to savings. 80% to live on. And then we can give to other organizations after that if we want to. That's the idea. :)

We have heard sooo many stories of people who have been in a really tough place financially but if they kept giving to God and didn't stop because they thought they didn't have enough money or started giving to God, they were sooo incredibly blessed.

Pretty amazing! Not that that should be our sole motivation :)

Hubs and I have always tried to tithe 10% but have not always been consistent for some reason or another. God has always blessed us and we want to make sure that we give to him what He has given to us!

So it's great to buy the newest and latest clothes, or a little something here or there, but are we giving to God first? Is it necessary to make that purchase? Is it furthering God's kingdom? I totally agree though that we need to spend some for ourselves too, some days you just need a PS Latte, but I think it's a great reminder to think about why we are really on this earth anyway...

Just a thought! :) Whachya think?

If anyone is interested in hearing the sermons on being financially free just let me know and I can e-mail you the link. It's based on a book (and the Bible :)) as well. And it's a pretty good, kick your bootay, and change your perspective series :) Or I know you probably already have it but, if you have a question on how much to allocate to each part of your budget, I can let you know the research Hubs did for ours :)


Miss Anne said...

I love this post. I was just thinking about our tithing. Last week was Consecration Sunday at our church and they had a good sermon about giving.

I'd love to see that link/sermon.

Thank you for the reminder. Giving to God is #1.


Nancy said...

Yes, I want to see the budget research your hubby did. I'm looking for something new and there is no way Mark is going for the cash system...I tried! I think we do pretty well, but I'm like you...always looking for the best deal and best way to save.

I'm frugal on most things--sometimes to an extreme. I almost never, ever buy myself clothes if they're not on a great deal. Sales of 20 or 30 percent off don't even count! I also shop with coupons everywhere. But my biggest financial success secret is giving to God. I have a testimony to that...

Mrs. Forever said...

I love hearing peoples opinions on tithing. My husband and I have different views on it - we both want to tithe but disagree on exactly what that means (i.e. does the whole 10% go to the church or does it go toward God - meaning any religious charity we believe in). Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Lianna Knight said...

I'd love for you to email me the sermons...liannap@aol.com.

On another note, we too have been trying to spend less! WE have really worked hard on not going out to eat...It is so amazing how much we have saved from NOT doing this. AND...the DH forbids me to grocery shop...I'm pretty sure we've saved a lot from me not doing that too :(

Sandy Toes said...

Great...I use to get so frustrated with my husband b/c he is so careful with money...he barely ever spends. I am different on the other hand...he has worked hard to keep us out of debt.

Now I am going to throw a twist in there about "giving"...I totally agree with giving...but on the other hand I have been frustrated with our church b/c they never seem to denounce or acknowledge the burdonsome taxes we have or speak out on this government. We figured that my husband works from jan-june just the taxes..we get jul-dec...that is almost 50%...it is astounding. I agree to give but I would like to see the churches speak out!

What's wrong with me? I usually say "so cute..I love it"...
-sandy toes

Rebecca Taylor said...

This is a great post! You might remember from one of my old posts that we're really trying to cut back. I'd love to hear the sermon series. Would you mind emailing it to me? My email address is mycupoverflows08@gmail.com!


SouthernAccent said...

Great post and totally appropriate for the times. I'm getting ready to start the Dave Ramsey plan myself. I'd love to hear those sermons if you could send me the link! God bless!

Kristen said...

This was a great reminder...Thanks! I would love to hear the sermon!

AO said...

Oooohhh restraint is so hard! I used to live near a huge outlet mall when I was in college - and went to no-frills no-overhauling-my-wardrobe-every-6-month mentality a short time later once married. Reminded me of this convicting article on CT:


Excerpt to inspire you to look:

"Kyle and I had been married a few weeks when I ventured out for a day of shopping. Grabbing my purse, I shouted, "I'm going to the mall. Be back in a bit."

Before I got outside, Kyle appeared behind me with a big smile. "Have fun. I love you." Just seeing him made me realize how much I already loved being married. It was so great to have someone smile and see you off every time you left the house.

I returned his smile and was headed out the door again when I heard him say, "You can spend 30 dollars."

Not really thinking, I muttered a quick "Thanks." Then it hit me. Hold on. Did he just say I could spend 30 dollars? On what? Lunch? Turning, I smiled lovingly. "Um, I can spend 30 dollars? What does that mean?"

"It means you can spend 30 dollars. On whatever you want." He glowed with the pride of someone handing me a limitless credit card to fulfill my wildest shopping desires.

"I just worked up the budget, and you've got 30 bucks all to yourself."

Was he serious? Only 30 dollars to go shopping? My mind scanned the list of items I was hoping to buy: new jeans, casual skirt, couple of tops, tall black boots, fancy dress for nice date nights, casual dress for less nice date nights, silver hoop earrings, and new pajamas. And that was just the stuff I needed."

Anonymous said...

I would love to receive the sermons. My email is britninicholson@bellsouth.net

Thanks for this great post!

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

The church we've been attending some just finished an amazing series called "Radical." He really challenged us to look at how we view our lives, our "necessities," and what God really means when he says, "sell everything you have and give to the poor." Incredibly thought-provoking. And we HOPE, life changing. I'll send you info if you want it.

This working mom said...

BRAVA D! BRAVA! Now, gulp, we have to do it. But, thanks for the reminder of the great lesson from Sunday's sermon. We shall be chatting ;-)

Mrs. Dunbar said...

Hey do we go to the same church? Our pastor did a financial sermon on Sunday, he had originally planned another sermon but due to some change of events he did a money talk. It was very good I am still thinking about it. G
reat post.

Mom To Six said...

What a great post!!! Thank you.


angie said...

My husband and I always write our 10 percent tithing check as soon as he gets paid.

It is a pittance compared with what HE has given us, and we've been very blessed by doing so. Love the 10, 10, 80 equation!

Rebecca Jo said...

I know tithing is the most touchiest of all the subjects in church - but its so true how God will bless you when you do it!

Have you heard of the man who gives 90% & lives on 10% - its the guy who runs Saddleback Church - Purpose Driven life guy - Rick Warren....oh, to be like that!!!

Megan said...

Great post! It is so hard to cut back and save money, especially when you feel like everybody around you can buy just what they want!! But it is good to know that you are not alone!! Thanks for this!

Suzette said...

I love love love reading about how people serve God with the money He has blessed them with. I love seeing financial plans and success too. Dust and I both do the cash system. We have read a couple of books and our financial advisor has given us a plan, we have tweaked them together to personalize and make it fit us! You are so right sista when you say the money should serve God first and then we can use the money set aside to buy our wants! There are mornings that I walk in my closet and am so ungrateful, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I have 90% of our closet and complain that I just don't have enough clothes! I always find myself "lusting" after the new stuff so I can stay *in style.* You made so many great points that hit home! A great reminder of our purpose! Thanks for this wonderful post! *sorry, I rambled.. haha

LyndsAU said...

You are very wise :) I always try to tithe 10%. It's def something that I struggle with. This post was eye opening!! :) Thanks! I believe I will share it with my hubs :)

Liz said...

Wow... loved this post. We've switched to a cash only system too... and it's helping us slowly but surely.

Tater Mama said...

Are you SURE you're not living in Memphis? Because it sounds like you went to the same church and heard the same sermon we heard Sunday!

Great post!

Lindsey said...

This is such a great post. You are so right on about everything!

I would love the link to the sermons and budget research please! eventcoordinator4mts@gmail.com


tracypartyof4 said...

This was very good. My co-workers and I have talked about this many times. I would love info on both. tharden@lagrange.edu

Thanks so much!

Mandy Rose said...

I agree...a budget is a must and giving to God first should be your priority. My husband and I are both VERY in to finances, being that he is a CFP and I am a registered investment advisor we do ALOT of research on saving and investing. He always has some good tips on his financial blog. If you haven't seen it you should take a look. It may give you some ideas on how to save for retirement, for baby boys college, etc... You can link to it from my blog: Good Financial Cents.

6wayintersection said...

Thanks. You encourage me and make me think.

ChickenGal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trina said...

Loved this post. I've always tithed on the net, but starting next year I will start tithing on the gross.

I would love the links if you can email them to me. Thanks!

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