Monday, November 10, 2008

Getting Practical (Part 2)


Before you get started physically saving money, there are a few basic tools you will need to work out:

:: Learn to live simple, on a spending plan (budget) – the issue isn’t that we don’t make enough, God’s given us exactly what we need, it’s that we haven’t learned to live frugally on what God has provided. If you don’t know where to start to get on a budget, go to http://www.crown.org/ and set one up, they even have budget coaches that will hold you accountable, or if interested in learning more about what God says about handling money, check out a local church that offers the Crown Bible Study. My husband and I have taken the Crown class twice and found it encouraging and crucial to having a healthy view on money! To give you a place to start, begin recording every penny that your family spends for 30 days. That will give you an idea of how much your family is spending and where you can make adjustments. Knowing where to start is the hardest part! Dave Ramsey also has a class if you, or your spouse, are uncomfortable with the intense course of Crown, it’s called Financial Peace University and is offered at churches, online, and organizations all over the metro-plex.
If the Lord has blessed your family with wealth, learn to live on a budget too, we all need a plan that will curb our fleshly “want it now” attitudes, which will lead to more generous and strong believers.

:: Get an amortization schedule (worksheet showing how long it will take to pay down debt and the accumulative interest), plug in your credit cards and interest rates, see just how quickly paying interest adds up! If possible, do not pay interest! We started prepaying on out home 4 years back, just 100.00 extra per month has cut our payments by 8 years and we will have saved over 36,000 in interest plus 8 years worth of mortgage payments. Remember " Steady plodding bring prosperity!"

:: If sitting down discussing the finances with your spouse is stressful and your always frustrated with your spouse regarding how much they spend, try the old tried and true allowance method. My husband and I have done this for 5+ years now. Every other week we get our “allowance” which is ours to spend or save for ourselves. This allowance covers personal eating out money, coffee, and “I want items.” This reduced our frustration about what the other was spending, plus it allowed the saver to save for a more expensive purchase. It also made us both feel like we had a little bit of fun money especially when the budget was really tight – we didn’t feel so restricted. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, you can have a lot of fun on 10-20 dollars! My husband and I love it! We never argue about money anymore, the budget is the budget and our spending money is ours to do with as we see fit.

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