terisaclark

Financial wisdom from a woman of faith

Archive for the category “Money”

Percentages

Today I had a great conversation with some wise friends.  They are in their 60’s and have made great choices financially!  They are reaping the rewards now and really enjoying life and their wealth.  We talked about how percentages really help guide the season of enjoyment.  You see if you are living debt free, giving away 30% of your income, it should be no big deal that you spend 5% on a vacation or 10% on a car.  So do the math.  And don’t let someone else’s budget guide yours.  God has entrusted it to you – ask him what you need to do with it!

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Halloween Finance

The discussions about Halloween this year have been good!  You can read some herehere or here.  This post isn’t one about the spiritual, theological or evangelical arguments about Halloween.  It’s one about the financial picture of Halloween.  I mean, what more would you expect from me???  So here it is in an infograph.  The Cost of Halloween, courtesy of creditcards.com:

Image

Did you get that??? It’s a $6.9 billion dollar day.  Did you get that???  BILLION.  $6.9 Billion.  Wow! I would have never guessed that.

And it got me thinking….what could I do with $6.9 billion.  I have my own ideas.. my Church is my first choice!  We are doing amazing things and that kind of money would make more life change possible!  But I also think of local nonprofits that are making a difference – healing and restoring lives, solving problems in our community.  Research and science. And a fun one – paying off student loans of friends that are sucking wind to keep up with it all….oh I have ideas.  What would you do???

Where to start

So maybe thinking of a budget makes you feel like I just laid a loaded gun in front of you.  It makes you feel like your life is about to end.  It’s overwhelming and you don’t know where to start.  You are telling yourself

It never works

I am not a numbers person

My income is not consistent

We work hard.  We should be able to spend what we want

Whatever your reason for not doing it has been, a budget is undeniably the tool that will propel you into financial success.  So let’s talk about where you start.

Decide you want to do this.  If you’re married, commit to one another that you are in this together.  If you are single, identify an accountability partner. Consider working with a financial coach.

Document your income.  How often do you get paid?  What is your regular pay amount?  If you have irregular income, what has been the average?

Determine what it takes to maintain your home, operate your car and feed your family each month?

Divide your bank account activity for the last month into general groups (giving, utilities, eating out, groceries, kids, etc)

Document these things in a way that works for you.  A yellow pad.  A spreadsheet.  A budgeting program.  Just keep it simple for now.  This is your first budget.  You did it!

Weight Watchers financial wisdom

Weight Watchers.  It’s great accountability….and a wonderful place to learn financial principles! This weeks financial wisdom – no ___(fill in the blank) will fill the emotions you have!

Eating and spending run parallel patterns in my life.  Times when I’ve been out of control in what I eat, my bank account has also been out of control.  Maybe you could call it “eating your emotions“.  Only my emotions are never satisfied.  It happens with money too – some call it “retail therapy“.  It doesn’t work.

That insatiable place of emotions cannot be conquered by spending more money or eating more chocolate.   It can only be filled by the Giver of Life!  He gives us the only living water that can quench our thirst.

So stop, wait and realize what the real emotion is.  Break the habit of indulging and begin to face the real matter.  And walk in financial freedom!

Our First Budget

The idea of a budget is like fingernails on a chalkboard to some and to others it is as intimidating as a loaded gun.  For me it is peace.  It is an instrument that creates perfect harmony.  It is a tool that facilitates great communication.  The first budget Josh and I developed together was the budget for our wedding.  The communication it facilitated set the priorities for our wedding – photography, flowers and cake.  Everything else was a little rock and managed within the margins set.  Our budget was a guide, not a straight jacket. We made adjustments, but we fulfilled our ultimate goal – DEBT FREE wedding ceremony.  At financial decision points it was our greatest tool to keep our sanity and not overdo it.  After all, what matter most to us was our marriage which was only beginning at that ceremony!

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