Thank you for letting me pretend I know something about saving some dollar-dollar-billz-y’all, because really I don’t!
Last week we had a Frugalicious fail, hence no post. You see, the huzby and I have been having bi-weekly budget meetings for about 2 years. We have not missed one, thank the Lord. So last week we prayed, we got out the T.I. calckie, the worksheets, the planner and the tears. Yes. I cried. I cried for about an hour. Poor John. I’m confident he will be awarded a Husband of a High Maintenance Wife Medal in Heaven.
I cried because the enemy was pouring heaping amounts of shame on my heart in the form of Baby Steps; which is such a great system, but I let it have control, i.e. become an idol. It was damaging to my heart and my marriage.
I cried because we are still on step 2 in the whole Total Money Makeover Plan: Pay off Debt. I don’t want to be on Step 2, I want to be on Step 3: 3-6 mos. of savings. I want to be able to afford necessities like a will and do things right!!! Those US legal forms (where you can purchase cheap DIY wills) were confusing for us. The enemy is taking all these desires of my heart for my family- which are in essence, good – and twisting them for his use of unmet benchmarks for my guilt. Don’t let this happen to you friends.
John reminded me that we have paid about $15,000 in medical bills since we started this plan. That I’ve had 13 surgeries since 2008- when we started. Those have all been paid for by cash- or monthly payments- never credit card. PRAISE JESUS!
First Tip: Don’t go on a Guilt Trip if your kid needs some shoes that require some spendage so the shoes will last. And as one of my Bible study leaders pointed out: God doesn’t use shame to motivate, encourage, etc. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
That leads me to: But Sometimes.
But sometimes, you have to spend more to get things of greater lasting value and I have found this true in several areas: In other words, don’t buy sprint stuff (cheap) when you need equipment for a marathon.
-Kids’ stuff: toys, shoes, backpacks, socks, underwear, etc. It’s best to spend 5% more so that it will last. Stride Ride and Sketcher had it right all along. Now, do you have to buy 4+ pairs maybe not?
-Purses. It’s true. I can attest. Unless, you want to keep spending money on cheap purses that break in various ways go ahead.
-Your Shoes!!! Don’t go overboard, but realize that you take 1,000 steps+ a day in those bad boys! Yes, you can budget for shoes and clothes.
-Consider trips to the store. My sweet friend brought up a point yesterday- sure I could save $2 on that by going to another store, but I might spend more on gas. Very true.
My other tip is: WRITE IT DOWN.
You want inspiration: Rocky. Rocky knew the exact training he needed to win the fight (or at least hospitalize his opponent). He knew who his opponent (think your debt) was. He had a plan (budget, cash envelopes, drinking eggs). Your plan is to pay off debt, or save money or whatever but you need to have the numbers written down or you will be fighting in the dark against something in the dark.
This means writing exactly: House mortgage balance, car balance (call and get the pay off amount), credit card balances, school loan balances, etc. Do the work to find out the exact balances. Type up a spreadsheet or poster it! Remember, most of us are visual learners anyway and if you learn by writing- then you be the one who writes it up!
And type up the amount need for those desires too: will, disney vacay, a shower re-mo, etc. These are your future goals.
Congrats, you now have a plan! So I did that this week. I don’t know why we’ve only used the balances in bill form as our goal plan, but that DOES NOT WORK. And there’s just something about seeing that decrease in debt on paper. Dave always talks about this on the radio and compares it to a map for where you are going. Without it you are lost. I completely agree!! And make a big deal out of the victories (family meeting cheer, play that Celebrate song everytime or the Rocky training montage song- have fun!). Let it be a family affair. Successful companies do this, why can’t your family?
I’m sorry that these “tips” probably seem like when someone asks you “Did you check the batteries?” or “Where’d you last see it?” kind of obvious, but I know this was a huge encouragement for us.