Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ahhhh, this lesson which encompasses Mike and I: the nerd and free spirit unite. Must I say more of the need for us to get this lesson?

The lesson was mostly about relating to money and Dave did a great job explaining marriage, and kids and money. I learned that my nerd is coming across as controlling only because he wants to take care of me, and he learned that by me feeling like I am controlled doesn't get anything accomplished (but this does not give me the excuse to not deal with anything).

Also the kids section was great, with his kids he did "commissions"- basically his kids had jobs to do just by being a part of the family (clearing their plate, taking out the trash, etc) then they had a list of things that if they did they got $1 each for. At the end of the week, they only got paid if they did it. They didn't do it, no money. Money gets split into three envelopes: giving, savings, spending.
Now we have been doing this to some extent, but instead of commissions, we gave the kids an allowance and they had to save and then spend some. I like Dave's way better. By relating it to a job you are teaching a work ethic and how to manage money, by just giving them money they come to expect it and not relate it to something done to get it. I really want to teach my kids to give, I think it's an important life lesson. While Mike and I maybe not agree with where the giving money goes (he's against all tithing), it is still invaluable to raise a child to look beyond them selves and to give to others.
So we will start our new process this week with the kids.
Another lesson from Dave-when his kids got older, he stopped the comissions and they opened up a checking account where he put money in there for lunch, food, clothing-all the things he would buy for them. They then got to spend their money but had to keep track of it and budget it. When his middle daughter bounced her first check, she had to go to the bank and PERSONALLY apologize for "using the banks money that she didn't have". That was a good one. Plus when his kids turned 16 he matched their savings for a car, so the oldest daughter had $3,000 by the time she was 16, so he matched it and she got a $6,000 car. When his middle had seen how much that plan really worked, she saved $6,000!! She got a pretty nice car at 16 and now Dave is very worried about the youngest child who is working on a Hummer :-)

Also we have $790 toward our emergency fund and by the end of May will have the complete $1000! Yeah, baby step one will be done.

Next week is the art of budgeting.....oh boy let's not all shout yipee at once.
For those of you who do not know about Dave Ramsey, he is really engaging and funny and takes a pratical approach to money and it is biblically based. His main focus is to teach people how to live debt free!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I don't even know who reads my blog but I wanted to share the knowledge that Mike and I are gaining through going to a class called Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey.
Budgeting, reducing credit card debt, building savings and retirement are just some of the reasons we decided to take this class. Communicating about money and taking the emotional roller coaster out of the equasion (having peace) is the biggest.

So we got our kit, which had a TON of stuff in it-all lessons on CD to listen to, a book, workbook,forms, and a wallet with envelopes and notepad. Note: our membership is for a lifetime, we can go to any class any time.

Our first lesson was SAVINGS.
Here are some things from the workbook:

  • You will either learn to manage money, or the lack of it will always manage you.
  • "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has." -Proverbs 21:20
  • One definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. Children do what feel good; adults devise a plan and follow it.
  • Give, save, then pay bills in that order.

Our first baby step is to get $1,000 in a savings account within the month for AN EMERGENCY FUND. I think we have about half of it but will have to work on getting that other half.

Another good point, money is AMORAL meaning it has no emotion or feeling, it is not BAD or GOOD, but it's the person holding it that makes it into those things.

Our first homework assignment is to fill out a quickie basic budget and read some of the book. After we watched the session, we broke into small groups with other people and that was great to go over some of the questions. At our table we had a wide range of ages, experience and life circumstances and I agree with Mike, I think we are going to get a lot out of small group time.

Until next week, I will be looking for another $500 to add to my emergency fund and learning DISCIPLINE!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

(not much of a food photographer)

So I have been stalking, I mean, following several coupon clipping blogs for a couple weeks, my favorite being the Thrifty Mom-she spends lots of time educating people how to save money, use coupons and use those good deals in her daily meals (thanks Sarah!)

For tonight's dinner I used one of her recipes: honey dijon bacon wrapped chicken. Everyone loved it and here is a breakdown of how I used all my coupon saving goodness for dinner:
chicken-$1.59 per pound
Bacon- $1.99 per pound
Broccoli-steam fresh bags $1 ( I love these, they are the perfect size for our family and you just put them in the microwave bag and all-an easy way to get some greens in)
oranges .39 per pound
Knorr pasta sides .59

That is a lot less than eating out, plus it is probably healthier. I'll try to share more of these meals as I steal them, I mean borrow from the fabulous ladies that offer blogs on how to save money!

Tomorrow is our first class with Dave Ramsey's financial peace, our first step to living DEBT FREE!! I know it will take time and more sacrifice but I am ready!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We had a GREAT easter and wouldn't I LOVE to show you some pictures of:
our pretty dyed eggs, the fun Easter egg hunt where the kids furiously looked for that Golden egg that had a $5 bill in it, the yummy Easter dinner and the family we had in town (thanks for the games David and Katie),
and the amazing Easter play I took the kids to....

But as history goes, my camera batteries died right on Friday night (at the play)
and I didn't have anymore (sharp learning curve on taking extra batteries).
Lame excuse I know.
Here is what you get for Easter:

This brave little girl had NO hestitation about walking right up to that camel and petting it (with thumb in mouth of course), don't know the girl in pink

This brave camel had no problem walking through a church with many people it in.
We went to an Easter play that they have been doing for 30 years, called NO GREATER LOVE. It is an amazing story of grace-the singing was fantastic, the costumes great, the story wonderful and it included live animals. It was over 2 hours and both Hannah and Taylor watched it the whole time and really enjoyed it. I think it will be our new Easter tradition to remind us of Jesus's love.

How could I get a post in without showing you my Walgreen's loot purchased for UNDER $8 and with $6.50 back in Walgreens Register Rewards (like cash)?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Are you SICK of hearing about the unemployment rates, the bailout scandal, the bad news that goes on and on? There is a difference between reality and over-hype.

So I am here to list all the GOOD, the WONDERFUL and the AMAZING things that I am thankful for DESPITE the raging economy blues.

1. A healthy family. We have sniffles, occasional pukes fests, but my kids have never seen the inside of an emergency room and have only missed 4-6 days of school so far. I thank God.

2. A husband and partner that sticks with me through good and bad, and shares LOTS Of laughs in between. Love you sweetie for loving me just who I am.

3. A source of income. I whine and complain and a temp job scanning and part-time job at Kohl's is NOT my longterm plan, nor does it fulfill any goals I have...but it PUTS FOOD ON THE TABLE AND GAS IN MY CAR!

4. I am learning how to live with less. Do my kids need $50 of toys for Easter baskets? No. Do they need to understand what Easter is and appreciate it? Yes. Do they NEED a trip to Disneyland we had planned in October? No. Will we set an example for them by NOT using credit cards and teach them something that lasts beyond a trip to see Mickey? YES.

5. Coupons are my friend and I will borrow any recipe, idea and technique on how to get more out of my groceries and dollars. Thanks thrifty mom!

6. I really DO NOT need to eat out two or three times per week. I can cook (*sharp intake of air*) and eat better and enjoy a meal with my family, and TEACH my kids more cooking skills.

7. I choose to live in a Kingdom where worldly matters DON'T matter and my destiny has already been written. Thank you Lord.

8. I have friends that provide a laugh, a smile and an ear.

9. I have a church family that builds me up when I am out of steam, broken down and tired and remind me of #7.

10. I have really wonderful kids. How I love them for their creativity, occasional sassiness, abundance of love, freedom and trust. They teach ME everyday.