Category Archives: money

budgets, marriage & money, money saving ideas

Treasure

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”  Luke 12:34 (ESV)

I find that my understanding of this verse has evolved over the years.  I used to believe that well, my treasure is in heaven so my heart (focus, desires, etc.) should be in heaven too.  There was sort of this guilt that I wasn’t so heaven-minded and for my desire for “earthly treasures”.

Quick, think of the things that matter the most to you.  

Done yet?  Let me guess… your spouse or significant other, your kids, your friends… Now, take a look at your calender and your bank account.  On what do you spend your time and your money?  

treasure

 Now, do the two lists match up?  Where your treasure is (your money and your time) reflects where your heart really is.  

I think most of us WANT to treasure all of those good things, but reality speaks differently.  Would those people in your life be able to say they are treasured?  Just something to think about. 🙂

Debt-Free!!

I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  It is all I really wanted to do since I was a little girl.  I’ve tried to go to school, I’ve had full-time jobs – none of them sparked a passion like being a mom.  So, when I got pregnant for the first time, it wasn’t a question of if I’d quit my job, the question was when.  Here’s the rub: we had just bought a brand, spanking new vehicle with truck-size monthly payments and I’d lose my low-deductible health insurance.  We eventually had a $20,000 car loan, a $6,000 medical bill (on My Husband’s high deductible plan), and a commitment to give a hefty amount to our church (this is debatable that this was “debt”, but we wanted to honor our commitments).

Sitting in church one Sunday, I nudged My Husband and pointed to the Dave Ramsey class the church was offering.  The little snippet essentially said, “pay your debt off early!”  My Husband shrugged it off and said, “we have no room in our budget to pay off anything early.”  I can be a force if needed, and we eventually went to that class.  My Husband jumped on board quicker than I did!  Here I am after the first class, crying my eyes out.  For the first time, I had hope.

Now, I was never in poverty.  However, I was very aware of the precarious financial position my family was in.  There was never hope for something better.  “There’s always going to be a car payment”  could describe the mentality.  I thought we’d always struggle, always live paycheck to paycheck.  I wanted a house with a porch and a real yard.  Maybe go on a real vacation one day and have an emergency fund for that unexpected car repair.  After that first Financial Peace class, I had hope that we could do all of that and more!

We hustled our behinds off.  My Husband worked two jobs and I cut every expense I could possibly slash.  I baked my own bread, made my own yogurt, and we even sold a vehicle! After two years and another baby later (with $6,000 paid in cash for his birth) we were debt free!!!

We now have a 3 month emergency fund, save for everything (including cars!), and we’re cash flowing my going to school.  This is what hope looks like.  We’re debt free 🙂

Change

When My Husband and I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU), I was new to being a stay-at-home mom, we were in a 1 bedroom apartment, and living off of My Husband’s paycheck.  We had, oh, somewhere around $25,000 in debt.  That was mostly a car with some medical stuff splashed in.

The first time we did a budget using Dave’s ideas, we were down to counting change, yes pennies even.  In order to cover all of our expenses we had to be mindful of every dime, nickle, and penny we spent.  I started baking bread at home and making yogurt.  I never bought baby food or store-made cookies.  We had to ration our gas and we bought clothes at Goodwill.

But, we were never poor.  Not once would I say we were in poverty.  Yes, totally broke.  But, we were pulling ourselves out, little by little,  penny by penny.

My Husband eventually got a second job which meant – no more worrying about pocket change!  We still went without most luxuries.  We lived in a one-bedroom apartment until our oldest son was 2.  We slept on a futon in the living room and he had the bedroom.  I rode my bike everywhere hauling a trailer which Big Boy rode along with me in.  I have fond memories of those days.  On days when I’m tempted to give up because it gets hard, I remember what we went through, together as a family.

We have 3 kids now.  We live in a 2 bedroom condo which we rent.  We have two vehicles only because of other’s generosity.  Instead of counting every penny, we now have a change jar to grab from on our way out the door.  As far as we’ve come, I can still remember those tear filled budget meetings wondering how in the world can we do this.  It literally came down to change.