Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
The Emergency Fund
If an emergency should arise, furnace breaks, car breaks down and you do not have allocated funds, you will use the money set aside for your bills, to fix the emergent problem. Most of us need our vehicles. If you live anywhere it is cold, you definitely need your furnace. The emergency fund stops the cycle of
"Robbing Peter to pay Paul"
Is just start somewhere and start today!
Once you have the above steps in place, start funding the Emergency Fund
Place the goal on your fridge, anywhere you are inspired to keep on track
Get your whole Family involved
Help them to see the vision of debt free living
Remember every step gets you one step closer.....to your dreams!
Paying Down Credit Cards
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
In my last post I talked about the first step in becoming debt free, The Household Budget.
Tonight I will be starting the first class in my 12 week Coupon class. To learn more you can read about that here.
The first topic will be the Budget. You can't get to where you are going, without a plan. You would never dream of hopping in your car, to travel to say, Florida, without directions. Whether you have a physical map or turn on your GPS, you still have a plan. The Household Budget is your plan for debt free living.
I hope you all started your spending log. You should have a weeks worth of spending habits to review. Be patient and gentle with yourself. This may be the first time you have attempted a budget. Remember perseverance is key here. By perseverance the snail reached the ark. It is important to be moving in the right direction. Congratulations, that is progress!
Hopefully you have identified some areas where you could tighten your belt. Let's look at a Sample Scenario:
Maybe you identified you purchased 2 convenience coffee's (I call them convenience coffees because let's face it, it is a convenience to purchase the coffee versus making it a home) at say Dunkin Donuts. You paid over $2 for a medium coffee. That's $4.
You also identified that you purchased (3 extra items) without a coupon that weren't on sale, when you made a quick trip(AKA Budget buster) to the grocery store. For an average of about $7. Some say that average is much higher.
While reviewing your spending log for the week, you noted that you ate out once. Whether that was a breakfast, lunch, Chinese or a Pizza, for about $15.00 Depending on your circumstances that might be higher or lower.
We have just found $26.00 Now with a little sacrifice and planning you could find $26.00 a week to add to your debt. If you spent $26.00 extra dollars a week for one month that would be $104/month. Now that's some working capital.
Some of you buy a convenience coffee every single day. That's $10/week $40 bucks a month.
I am not trying to say you can never buy a convenience coffee. What I am trying to say is if you are in debt, and can't pay your bills, and you desire to get out of debt and pay your bills on time, that there are ways to do that. They require sacrifice, changing your spending habits and sometimes just plain hard work. But I am here to tell you that those sacrifices are every bit worth it to reduce your debt and pay your bills on time. Reducing your debt and paying your bills on time are key ingredients in the recipe of a debt free life!
Now that you have some good insight to your spending habits. Write Out A Budget.There is power in the written word. God choose to speak to us through His written word .The Bible is a living book. There is power in the written word.
You can tell some one you have a degree in brain surgery, but without proof of a written diploma I wouldn't suit up in OR Scrubs right sway. You should put your budget in writing. You should have a clear cut plan to become debt free. In the beginning of our debt journey we weren't even sure how much we owed. Pathetic I know, but true. Keeping a written budget keeps you informed. A written budget, keeps you honest. Numbers don't lie. You must know what is coming in and what is going out. No magic. Just knowledge.
This journey is a process. A learning curve. Be patient, but start somewhere. Start today. Do something, even if the steps seem small. Remember these baby steps are the first steps.......... to big dreams!
I am praying for you,
Monday, February 21, 2011
Baby Steps..........to big Dreams
When I decided to change my stethoscope for an apron, the ability to leave my full-time job did not happen overnight. We had debt and a lot of it. In the beginning it seemed overwhelming and hopeless. I had no idea how it would all work. But God did.
God loves the hopeless case, where His strength is made perfect in our weakness!
I want to encourage those of you with the same desire, to keep taking baby steps.............. to big dreams.
This blog may seem like a hodge podge to some. The content will run from posts on deep thoughts, (well as deep as my mind goes,... don't worry we won't be going far) to frugal tips, to store deals to homemaking tips. It is all part of the journey of "coming home"
I know as I have been on this journey , I have read everything I could get my hands on, in my quest for knowledge in any and all areas of frugal living. This hasn't been days or weeks, but months and years. Some of what I read seemed extreme, and not likely for my family to do. However much of what I have read has been very helpful. Many of those early frugal tips and ideas I learned early in this journey, I still do today.
It is now very hard for me to pay full price for anything. Please believe me when I say, that this was not always the case! I have learned contentment. I realize things don't bring me happiness, but relationships, people and financial freedom do. Being in debt was stealing my joy. I had become a servant to the lender. I am thrilled you are reading this blog, that means you have similar desires. You may even be in the same position I was. It all starts with baby steps.
Today I want to encourage you in the first baby step to financial freedom..........
Baby Step #1
Make a Budget
This truly is the first step in becoming debt free. This step is absolutely imperative!! You must realize where your money is going.!!
Early on I avoided this. In my heart I felt like if I knew the real numbers I would never have the courage to make the step to leave my job. We were just making the bills with me working full-time, let alone cutting my income in half. Remember I went from full-time to part-time to perdiem.
Keep A Spending Log For One Week
I encourage you to start a spending journal. Don't make it complicated. Remember your taking baby steps. Anything to complicated and you won't follow through. Keep it simple. Use a few sheets of paper stapled together, or a small notebook that fits in your purse. Label as follows:
Monday February 21st, 2011. Then write down everything you spend for that day. Everything. Every nickel. Do this for a week. You are doing this step to get a good idea where your money is going. If you are anything like me you will be quite surprised how many funds can be freed up by this simple exercise. This exercise is a powerful tool in helping you identify where and what you are spending your money on. That extra $2-/day spent on______________ you fill in the blank, turns into $14 dollars a week, which turns into $56 dollars a month, which turn into $672 dollars a year .If you applied that $672 to a high interest credit card debit, the savings would be much greater than that!!
When you get your weeks worth of information, this will allow you to sit down and be honest with yourself in your spending habits. The extra couple of bucks at the store you drop a couple times of week doesn't seem like much at the time, but three times a week and that's $6. If you get a take out coffee everyday that's at least $2/day so there's $14 we've all ready found $20bucks!!
Be patient with yourself.. but don't delay this exercise. Today is the first day toward your financial freedom..........I am praying for you.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
@ http://michelle-thecouponengineer.blogspot.com . I hope you will stop over and leave me a comment. I am planning on hosting a giveway , early next week.
I will still contine to blog here @byhisgraceandforhisglory.This blog's content will still continue to address how I was able to leave my full-time job as a Nurse to become a full-time Homemaker and a perdiem Nurse. It is also my prayer it will contiue to be an encouragement as we strive to be all we can be for Our Lord & Saviour and Our Families.
I am currently writing a series to encourage us all in the job description of the Proverbs 31 Woman. That series will start March 1st.
I hope you will all stop by my new site and say hello. Remember to stop by early next week for my first giveaway!!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
The Cost of Working Full Time Part 3
I know I am very late in posting the third and final post in this series of "The Cost of Working Full Time", however this post deals with the issues you can't put a price on, time and my family. The most significant issues to me, and in my opinion the highest price of working full time outside our homes.
You Can Not Meet The Needs Of Your Home When You Are Not In It
I know this must sound like a no brainer, but it was a revelation to me. I did not realize what 40+ hours away from our home really meant. Believe it or not, I had forgotten. That was 40 hours just at the hospital, that did not count time preparing for work and my commute. Add in another 45 minutes per day. O.K. that's around 45 hours a week now. On average, 8.5-9 hours a day. Whew! That's a lot of hours away from home!
Let me just say here that this was one of my most challenging tasks. Keeping up our home and all that goes with that. Meal preparation, laundry, cleaning, bill paying, grocery shopping...........are just a few of the tasks that quickly became difficult for me to manage. I fell woefully behind in my housekeeping. My husband would not tell you that, but in my heart I knew, and that caused me stress. It might not be the same for you, I am just sharing how it worked for me. Our house is the walls and the shell, but our home is the people inside, and I wasn't there to meet their needs. Things fell quickly behind.
I Was Physically And Emotionally Exhausted
I have mentioned on my blog before that I am a wimp, and I mean it. I require 7-8 hours of sleep. If I consistently get less, I am a mess. Just ask my hubby:) I quickly learned I could not do it all. After 4 years of working per diem, where our home and family was my first priority and my work schedule revolved around home first, working full time again, turned everything around. My job became the first priority and I had to schedule home and family around IT. I felt out of balance. The best hours of my day were given to my employer, not my family. For me, that was difficult.
I am going to jump out on a limb here, and boldly ask, could you please tell me what the feminist agenda liberated us from?........... I believe that movement attempted to remove us from our God ordained roles!! God never intended for us to choose priorities such as these. It was never His intention for us to work 2 full time jobs. He knew being a full time Wife, Mother and Home keeper was a full time job in itself! I believe God allowed this opportunity in my life to remind me just how important my role as Wife, Mother and Homemaker really are, especially to Him. That mommy guilt thing is real, not imagined, because God placed a desire in a married woman's heart to full fill her role. It is in our DNA. Our female nature cannot be molded to the feminist agenda without damage to the original design!
I Was A Stranger In A Foreign Land
I work in a professional environment. For the most part I am not exposed to the worlds harshness. I am however exposed to worldly influence. A few hours a week is a lot different than 40+. I was unequally yolked. My family's goals and priorities are different than most people I work with. Driving One car? UN heard of. Homeschooling? Socially inepting our son? How will he get the education he needs? Will he be accepted at the universities? Asking my husband's permission? Old fashioned. Please don't get me wrong. I like the people I work with. They are kind caring professionals, but we are different. They know I am Christian. I am often not invited or included in extra curricular activities at work. The fancy vacations, two cars, big houses, cell phones etc, etc.... They are influences and you must guard your spirit. This world is not my home. I am a pilgrim in a strange land.
As women we must guard ourselves from the influence of worldly philosophy. Woman today have a harshness to them. They talk like men, work like men, and cuss like men. There is no topic that they will not discuss and blushing is for the weak. I hear woman talk all the time of issues with children, marriages, & finances. Their philosophies could not be more off base. They do not line up with the Word of God. In fact the Bible states, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John2:16
Let me conclude this series, by saying I give all praise to the Lord for the mercy and grace He has given me not to work full-time. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. Psalm 66:20 It has not been easy financially, however it has been very,very worth it. In fact the privilege for me has been priceless. I have been on both sides and I can unequivocally say I have been blessed beyond measure as the Keeper of our home. Mere words, truly can not communicate what is in my heart. God has been ever so faithful to us. You can trust Him.
If you are reading this blog and am where I was a few years ago, with a true desire to "come home", don't despair. Pray, pray, and pray some more. Keep reading and looking for ways to reduce your debt. Be prepared to do the hard thing. But above all Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5&6.
I am praying for you,
P.s. If you would like to personally send me an email I will add you to my prayer list!