When things get tough at work

It seems as if my employer continues to place more and more demands and responsibilities on my plate.  Today I was given yet one more responsibility and of course my attitude wasn’t one of joy and roses to say the least.

But when I talked about my situation to a couple of the older folks who grew up during the Great Depression or a generation after.  I got a perspective that was different than what I was thinking  and a perspective different from the folks in my generation.

This is what the older folks told me.  During hard economic times, employers will ask more and more of you.  They will also ask you to do harder things.  If the employer asks for you to do something, then you should do whatever they tell you to do.  You don’t want to lose your job. 

This advice is coming from individuals who know what it is like to not have money rolling in and who know what it is like to have to eat the same meal everyday for months.

And I didn’t get that much sympathy from them because they have had to “work” in the fields all day long.

Well I consider this good advice.  Though I don’t want to have to do extra.  I may have to put up because there are not that many jobs out there anyway.

Charlotte

Giving

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (KJV)

Friends, this life was meant to be lived through faith in the Son of God.  We live by faith and not by sight.  AND we have to walk in faith also with our financial decisions.

There are times when the Lord will prompt you to give and it doesn’t make sense.  BUT he will make the way or he will give the provision.  Just believe on HIM.

Giving is a true blessing.  I have received such a peace with giving.  I don’t really mean to indicate that giving is only in the form of giving your money.  It takes on many forms coming from a humble heart.

Sometimes it’s hard to know WHEN to give.  Pray about the opportunity that comes along.  Discuss with your spouse if you have one.  It’s important that you both have peace about the giving and you are both in agreement. 

Also ask the Lord for wisdom when it comes to giving.  There are so many opportunities out there, but again pray and seek God’s wisdom.

Charlotte

10 Things Learned About Money ARTICLE

I read a great article on Bible Money Matters blog a few days ago. 
Check it out:  10 Things I have learned about money!

Financial Picture Before Marriage – Part 2

Charlotte and I were discussing how each of us started out with debt in our marriages.  Part of my experience is the opposite of her and Mike.  My husband and I discussed finances early in our relationship.  At the time, my husband worked for a evangelism/discipleship ministry.  His supervisor was not only his spiritual mentor but also held him accountable on our relationship.   We benefited greatly from this man’s guidance and wisdom.  But one thing we chose to ignore was his advice to pay off debts before marrying.  I NOW understand why…marriage is hard enough without having to carry a HUGE burden of debt.  Couples should be concentrating on each other, not working overtime to pay debt off.  At the time, we had:

$8,000  Credit Card Debt (7 credit cards) combined
$12,000   Student Loan
$200  Car Payment
$300  Car Payment

Although we ignored our mentor’s advice to not wait on marriage, we did sit down beforehand and go over all the debts.  We set up a budget immediately and thus began my obsession with tracking expenses using Quicken (btw – this program has come a long way since 1996!)  We set up financial goals together and rarely argued over money.  My advice?  I think I would still warn couples to pay off debt before getting married.  The better your finances are starting out, the less baggage you carry into the marriage.  Whether you wait or not, I’m in agreement with Charlotte to discuss your financial situation as a couple before marriage.

Debt! Debt! Debt!

I’ve read several articles and books on how much debt is acceptable.  Some state that debt should be no more than 5% of your income; others state you should not have debt at all.  There may be times when you feel you must go into debt in order to better your life such as a school loan.  Remember though…

The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender. 
Proverbs 22:7

If you owe a car loan to Bank of America, then you are a servant to Bank of America.  If you thought you really needed that treadmill and completed a loan through Sears because you didn’t have the cash, then you are a servant to Sears.   

Debt will play a part in decisions you make.  It can prevent you from spending time with your children because you are working extra hours.  It can cause stress and arguments with your spouse when you realize you can’t afford to pay a babysitter and go on a date BECAUSE you have that credit card payment to make. 

DEBT EXAMPLES:  car loans, credit card, second mortgage, school loan, loan from family, “no payments until 2009” furniture loans, car title loan, pawn shop loan

I challenge you to get out of debt.  If a store offers you no payments until 2010, RUN!  You may have to thrown a blanket over the old couch you were looking to replace but if you have no cash…do you really want to be a servant to Rooms To Go?
Thanks for listening!  Dana

p.s.  Mortgage loans are also considered debt but I’ll address smart ways of having that loan in a later post.

6 Articles you should read

10 Things Teens Should Know About Money

HOPE for Homeowners Bill

What the new Housing Bill means to you

Credit Card Myths

Basics of Investing

75 Frugal Hacks for your Home

Shopping with a pro!

My friend Christina is a pro at grocery shopping.  She has offered to take me shopping with her several times when I’ve vented about how much it costs to feed my family.  I clip coupons, review the sale papers and try to plan meals in order to save money.  But I still spend more than Christina does each week on groceries. 

After spending the day with her in multiple stores, I realized how knowledgeable she really is in this area.  She is an expert at where to buy what for the lowest price.  As we walked through Sam’s, our discussion included toilet paper, ketchup, what’s a good price on buying a pack of 40 of something and can it be used before it expires.  

                                    

So, if you are struggling with trying to lower your grocery bill, ask a friend that is really good at grocery shopping if you can tag along one day.  We take classes on parenting, bible lessons, cooking, etc…why not take a hands on “class” to fine tune your grocery shopping skills?  I know I learned several things on our outing and plan to go with her again!  Kudos Christina!

May you have a joyful and bargain experience on your next grocery store trip!  Dana