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.
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.
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
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 :)
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 :)