You asked about . . . Finances
Recently I conducted a survey from my readers
to find out what was on their mind.
Survey says . . .
(Think Family Feud
for those old enough to remember). . . .
was the number one concern.
I would have to agree that has been a major concern in our family for the past couple of years too. As with many people in the past few years, my husband lost his job and was out of work for six months. If we had not built up our savings, we would have been in a world of hurt. Well, let me correct that statement. If my husband had not saved, we would have been in a world of hurt. My husband is more disciplined to save than me, and I love to spend. We manage our money together. He keeps the checkbook balanced, and I make sure the bills are paid on time.
For those of you that have not made savings a priority yet I am here to say like Nike . . . “Just do it.” Even if it is only $5 a month till you can do more. Make it a habit today, or well over the next 21 days! Yes, it is very hard, and I know that some people may not be able to save right now either. Just like us, many people are in survival mode. You can make it a game to look for ways to save, create a budget and stick to the plan.
Three things to help your financial status now:
- SAVE – general recommendation is 3 -6 months of income. I prefer 6 months in this economy, because it takes a while to get another job. If you have nothing in savings right now, Dave Ramsey recommends a goal of $1000 to begin, or if it is easier to accomplish start with a goal of $500. Then reset your goal until you have the three to six months in savings. Yes, this make take a year or more to accomplish. This is your emergency fund, but more on that next time.
- Create a Budget aka ‘Cash Flow Plan” – Look for ways to cut expenses. See NOTE Below.
- Ask the question, “Do I have the cash to pay for this right now?” Answer honestly. This has been the hardest lesson that I have learned through this trial, but applies at all times of life. This question has curbed my impulse spending tremendously. I literally will ask myself, “Do I/we have the money for this right now?” Most of the time the answer is no, and I have learned to wait or plan a purchase. Sometimes it is something that I really can live without, but just wanted at the time. “If you do not have the cash for it, then you cannot buy it.”
So, save, save, save . . . It is more glamorous to have cash than to have credit card bills. So the next time that cute outfit screams your name or for the men, that gadget begs to go home with you, ask yourself the question “Do I have cash to pay for this gadget/outfit?” Usually you will know the answer without consulting your bank account balance.
We are called to be good stewards of the resources God gives us. An important resource for most of us is our family income. When we are being obedient to God’s word in the area of finances, it leads us to be more disciplined in other areas of our lives. Yes, there may be times in our lives that we desire to be good stewards, but our best efforts are to no avail. Over the past year, I had great difficulty finding a permanent job. For about 4 months I did not have a job. All you can do in those moments is pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance on what to do. I didn’t like it, but there were payments skipped when I was not working. I finally got the chance to catch up in August when I found a permanent job! Praise the Lord!
God saw my heart and knew that I wanted to pay my bills on time. Actually, I prayed about it long and hard many days. Remember that your credit score and your bank account balance are just a number. (Should you care about them, and take responsibility for your financial decisions? Yes!) They do not define who you are. Only God can define us! I am his precious child whom He loves dearly. He loved me so much that He sent His ONLY Son to die on the cross for me, so that I may have a clean and open relationship with Him.