Simple Finances

Keeping our finances simple is one thing that has given us peace of mind and heart during the nearly ten years that we’ve been married.  Because of the choices that we have made and continue to make on a daily basis, we’re able to continue on course when the financial world around us seems to be in turmoil.

Our simple money management looks like this:

We live below our means, even though our current means qualify us for some state assistance.

  • One of my least favorite sayings is “you spend what you earn.”  So not true.  The very thought of spending my husband’s full paycheck every month is frightening.
  • We lived below our means even when we had two jobs and no children.  That made things much simpler when it came time to transition to one income!
  • We have learned so much about being content with what we are blessed with. 
  • When an unexpected expense comes in (recently it’s been doctor bills) we can write a check.  The money is there.  That doesn’t make paying the bill any more fun, but it sure simplifies matters!
  • Because we live below our means, we are able to give.  Giving brings peace to our lives.

Aside from our 15 year mortgage, which we are working toward paying off early, we have no debt.

  • We are extremely thankful to be nearly debt-free.  If something were to happen to our income, we wouldn’t have the added stress of trying to hang on to things that aren’t yet paid for. 
  • Payments irk me.  I can’t stand the thought of paying interest money for anything.  I would much rather watch interest pay me in our mutual funds (which I am confident will rebound ;-).   If we can’t pay cash (or we just don’t want to!) we don’t buy it. 
  • Having no debt leaves necessary wiggle room in the budget.  Even though it’s hard to watch prices go up on nearly every type of item, we can make the adjustment. 

Who are the Joneses, anyway? 

  •  It’s just a guess, but I picture the Joneses being incredibly stressed out about paying for all the things they’ve collected, watching in horror as their credit card interest accrues… on items they don’t remember needing or purchasing.  Again, just a guess, but who needs that?
  • Another thing with the Joneses.  If they really can pay for all of that stuff, what are they sacrificing?  Their time?  Health?  Relationships?  Defiitely not simple, and definitely not worth it.
  • Again, contentment.  We’re content with our older home (with a nice big yard for the kids to play in and for a garden!)  We’re content with our tv, and our cell phone, and our two older vehicles.  They get us where we’re going safely.   

Keeping our finances simple has been a true blessing to our marriage.  The teamwork that it takes to create and implement our financial goals, and to hold one another accountable when one of us really wants something 😉 , has contributed to our unbreakable bond.  We are so richly blessed.

For more Living Simply Saturdays, visit Keeper of the Home.

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Finances Schminances

What a wonder that I do not have to worry about our family finances.  I don’t need to worry about anything, actually.  God says so!  For that I am grateful.

Dismiss all anxiety from your minds.  Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude.  Then God’s own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 6,7

Instead of stressing over past mistakes and an uncertain financial future on an income that qualifies our daughter for reduced school lunch prices, we can continue doing what we’ve set out to do from the beginning of our marriage (and before when we were single).

  • My parents taught me to “save ’till it hurts.”  I always have, so it is second nature.  For that I am grateful.
  • The first three years of our marriage, when we both had excellent-paying teaching jobs, we lived below our means.  For that I am grateful. 
  • When we shopped for our first home, we both laughed out loud when the bank wanted to loan us $200,000+ for a rather large, new home.  We went for the cozy, 1,200 square foot, circa 1965 model.  For that I am grateful. 
  • Knowing while we were engaged (and even while we dated!) that we both wanted me to stay home and raise any children that God saw fit to give us, we tried to live on one income from the beginning.  Oh, how much easier the actual transition was 5 years later when our daughter was finally born!  For that I am grateful. 
  • When God called us to Tiny Town, with it’s teeny-tiny salary, I only panicked momentarily.  (Does a whole weekend of intermittent hysterical bawling qualify as momentarily?)  Then I let God do his thing.  He proved his faithfulness by getting a really good price for our former home (in less than 24 hours on the market!) and gave us a bigger home in Tiny Town for about 1/2 of our selling price.  For that I am grateful!
  • Even on our small salary, because of the way we live and manage our money, we are able to give.  It feels so good to bless others.  For that I am grateful. 

While our country is in turmoil over bad financial choices and greedy behaviors, we can rest in the promise of our God.  He has taught us well, and thank goodness we have listened, um, most of the time!  (because we don’t always…) And praise be to God that even if we lose it all, all is not lost.  For our hope does not rest on any amount of money, but in the One who never fails. 

For more Gratituesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.