Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Save or Give???

Just recently my daughter was going over all that she wants for Christmas…..Yes I do realize it is only August and that is the main reason I was only halfway listening to her.  What caught my ear was “and more food for the children’s home in case they ate it all already and toys for the kids”.  Just a few weeks back we had the opportunity to donate food to a children’s home.  It was announced at church and I thought to myself “ I will write them a check and it will make it easier for everyone”  I had no clue my daughter was listening until later that day she asked when we were going to the store to buy food for the kids.  I made sure we went to the grocery store on a day both of my daughters could go help.  We loaded up the bags with food on the list and unloaded it at the church.  She was just so pleased with herself knowing that she made a difference in those kids' lives.

This finally brings me to my point.  So many people in this day and age are living with debt.  There are quite a few following all the right steps to get out of this debt and have more freedom financially. All they can think about it save, save, save.  Saving is good but giving plays a huge part in our ability to have the right mindset to save.  

I heard on Dave Ramsey one day a gentleman ask if he should stop contributing to his church in order to put that money towards debt.  Dave's answer hit the nail right on the head, he said "no, continue giving, if you can’t live off of 90% of your income you won’t be able to live off of 100%”. When you sit down and put a pencil to your personal finances there are so many places in your life you can cut back, things that are unnecessary such as eating out, cable tv, and entertainment.  Those are the places you save.  By not giving and tithing you are only harming yourself and getting set back from your goal to get out of debt. Giving not only generates good but also generates contentment.  There are so many movies I have left thinking “I could have lived without that”  There is not a single time in my life where I have intentionally helped someone in need, a charity, or my church and walked away feeling regret.

Give with a joyful heart, out of love and not guilt, and you will be blessed while being a blessing to others.  


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Budget Tips

Easy Summer Budgeting in 1...2...3!

1)  Plan Your Meals
There are often less activities and obligations for families during the summer months.  This can mean more time spent at home and more meals being consumed at home.  Summer is the perfect time to really sit down and plan your meals.  This will make it easier to skip on the urge to pick up another fast food meal on the way home. With your meals planned out you can make a list and get everything you need in one trip to the grocery store. Eliminating the stops at the store to pick up “just one thing” that always turns into a basket full of unneeded items.   

2)  Entertain at Home
When the kids get bored it can be tempting to jump in the car and head to a movie. This adds the extra expense of admission tickets, snacks, drinks, and gas.  For a budget friendly way to burn off some energy turn them loose in the backyard. You will be amazed at how their imaginations and the outdoors can keep them entertained. If you need to get out of the house explore some activities in your neighborhood, at the local library or pack a lunch and head to the park. 

3)  Shop Around for Services
Do you ever feel like you are paying too much for cable, cell phone, car, home or health insurance? Just about anything that you pay for on a regular basis is worth a few spare minutes to research your options.  Call around and get quotes from different companies.  After doing a bit of researching your current service provider might even be up to negotiating a bit. 
Final Thoughts
Saving money this summer doesn’t require drastic steps. Instead, small, simple methods can make a big difference in your budget. It might take some getting used to, but with your family on board with your plan you can create a little wiggle room in your budget, making all these little steps worth the extra effort.