When the water heater breaks……..

That was our experience this past weekend at 11:30pm Saturday.  We were going to bed and for some unknown reason, my husband heads into the computer room.  He stepped on part of the carpet and noticed that it was wet.  He checked it out further and determined that the water heater was leaking.

When I got to the water heater, it was not like a leak.  The flow of water was more like a faucet that had been turned on gently to low flow. I frantically placed towels at the leaks, but the towels were wet in a matter of minutes.  

So after the clean up, Mike and I knew that most water heaters had a warranty of five years.  AND we were confident that we could replace this water heater with no out of pocket expense on our part. That ‘s because we haven’t had the water heater for more than five years.

Mike located the manufacturer on the internet.  He then plugged in the model number and serial number into the company’s website to see if the warranty was still good.  Well, we found out that the warranty on this particular model was only one year and it’s no longer good. 

So what I am trying to say is this…………do keep up with your warranties on your appliances. When something breaks down, do not automatically assume that YOU have to spend your money out of pocket for replacement. Call the manufacturer.  If you don’t have the phone number, google them on the internet. Also I have had to send in my product information in the past to the manufacturer, so that it would activate the warranty.  You will just have to check for yourself with any new appliances that you buy.

So for us, I guess we will double check by giving the manufacturer a call on Monday.  Who knows?  There may have been a recall on this particular model.

Charlotte

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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

Not knowing your financial picture before marriage

Well, let me tell you our story.

How naive we were to enter into marriage without discussing what our financial picture would look like in the coming months.  I really had no idea of the kind of debt or bills that Mike had.  And vice versa, he wasn’t real aware of the monthly payments on the bills that I had.

Yes, there was credit card and student loan debt, of which, I carried most of that debt. AND I was barely making ends meet before marriage.

Mind you, I also had to quit my position so that I could move into our new home that was in a nearby town. So I didn’t have a steady job.  I was temping at the time.

I had this idealistic picture that once Mike and I were married, I would be in a better financial shape than before because there were going to be two working people with two incomes. Yeah, right!!

Well the bills began to roll in. And just as you can imagine, it was financially a tight squeeze.  We ended up being late on some bills. And at times late more than I would care to say. And to add insult to injury, we were charged late fees which caused more frustration. I remember thinking to myself where will the money come from when we need clothes and so forth.

Well what is the moral to this story?  I think that it would have been better to have discussed our financial situation before marriage.  Why?  So we would have known our true financial picture and would have been more prepared for the coming months. There are so many things that we might have done better.  But I think for the most part, it’s wise to know your overall financial picture and make some decisions based on that picture.  

Upcoming:  Before marriage- how Dana and her husband’s story is different than my post

Charlotte

Dealing with Financial Stress

Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

We hear much about the present downturn in the US economy.  Some of the talk in the media sounds pretty gloom and doom.  But dear friends, the Lord has a different story.

If we would turn to Him in reverence that He owns everything… If we would call on Him knowing that he is in control……..If we would fear Him….. we will have strong confidence in the fact that the Lord will supply our every need and He will be our refuge from burdens whether financial or other. That is a promise in the Bible.   

Much has been said about the decline in the housing market and the rate of housing foreclosures across America.  Some of us are experiencing extreme financial stress.  But how do we deal with the financial stress?

:: Pray to the Lord and acknowledge Him in all that you have.  Ask the Lord to guide and direct your steps in your financial affairs. Take a step of faith and do what he tells you.

:: Meditate in God’s Word.  The Lord will lead you to a verse that will help give you peace.  Here’s one that I have read before. 

Psalm 37: 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.  Whatever the state of your financial affairs, the Lord will not forsake the righteous and he will not allow you or your children to beg for bread.

Here’s another. Psalm 12:24  consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them; how much more are ye better than the fowls?

God will take care of you no matter the circumstances in your finances.  You are precious in His sight. Take heart and believe.

Charlotte

Create a Budget or Spending Plan

Most people hate hearing the word budget.  I noticed a few years ago financial books and counselors started calling it a spending plan.  No matter what word you use, it’s still a piece of paper with how much money you should spend every month and hopefully not have a negative at the bottom.

The easiest thing to fill in on a budget form is your expenses that have set amounts such as your mortgage or rent, student loan payments, car payments, cable bill.  The next items are things such as your water bill, electric bill and telephone.  These are items that may vary from month to month but you should still be able to come up with an average amount.  The hardest things to determine are items such as groceries, eating out and recreation, clothing, etc.  If you are tracking your expenses, this is where the tracking will help the most.

Another way to determine amounts is to do research on what the national average is for spending on groceries, housing, clothing, etc.  I have included some links below regarding averages and blank budget forms.   

http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/instantbudget/instantbudget_101.jsp

http://www.crown.org/Tools/Calculators/Budgeting_SpendingPlan.asp?frmIncome=50000&frmTithe=4500&frmTax=7000&selection=1&Submit2=Calculate+Budget

http://www.kluth.org/suggestedbudget.htm

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/TC010233411033.aspx?pid=CT101172321033

I know that budgeting is not fun for most people.  It’s boring and can be disappointing at times when you realize you don’t make or have enough money to budget for the things you want or need.  But if you manage and budget your finances, you will find there will be less stress on your life and marriage. 

I leave you with a great verse:

Luke 16:11
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

If you have any questions or need additional resources, please leave me a note!  Good day – Dana