Finances & all that jazz…

 

god-money

I have been doing a LOT of thinking and reading and researching and revising regarding money & the way we do things in the Edwards hoWse.  2012 is a year of change for us! We’ve been doing so many things different this year. (if you thought I was cheap before! LOL)

Anyhoo…I thought I would share some articles that I liked & why:

One of my favorite writers is Bob from Christian PF.

Most recently…two of his articles really got my wheels a turnin:

Get Rich Quick: What does the Bible say? and The Parable of the Good Samaritan: 5 Lessons Learned

From the 1st…the two things that really stuck out to me were:

4. Proverbs 23:4-5 – “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.  When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle to heaven.”

Wealth is fleeting.  Be wise enough to know when enough is enough in regards to how many hours you spend working to build it.  Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.  Spend your time on what matters most rather than chasing after money, which flies away very quickly.

One thing Danny & I always say is…”The more you make, the more you spend!”  Although it is ok to want to enjoy the fruits of you labor, you have to have balance. You can find yourself in a never ending cycle. Let me work an extra 10 hours a week overtime so that we can have a little extra money and the budget won’t be so tight….man I work so hard & now I have this extra income, I deserve a boat. Yes. That extra 10 hours a week covers the boat payment, but you are right back where you started. You are working yourself ragged to earn more & more money just to buy more & more things and then you are stuck trying to maintain. The more you make, the more you spend. The more money you make, the more bills you have!   Can you dig it?

5. Ecclesiastes 5:10 – “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this is also vanity.”

For those who seek after riches and gaining them quickly, their appetite will never be satisfied.  The root of these desires is greed and the pursuit for more will never end.  The cure for this type of heart condition is contentment in what you have and what you have worked for.

This is such a resonating verse! This goes back to the more you make the more you spend saying. This is something we have definitely struggled with. Just wanting more & not being satisfied with what we already have. More so Danny than me LOL. I like to have things, but I can be happy without, or be frugal in my effort to obtain them. Danny…he is definitely AMERICAN and has the..I want it all and I want it now mentality. He will get something on his mind..for example…like a boat (I wonder why I always use that as an example? hmmm…) He will want a new boat & it will drive him insane until he gets it. His thinking (which is ABSOLUTELY 100% justified): He works hard, he makes money, he can afford it. Nina..if we just get this boat..I’ll be happy and won’t want anything else. (yes, exactly like a kid wanting a toy at walmart lol)  So..he buys the boat…and after a few weeks the fun new feeling & excitement wear off and he starts to dream about the next thing (gator, 4wheeler, bigger boat, newer truck, ect) / toy he wants/needs/ has to have. Never content…always on to the next thing. And always has to have it NOW. He will say..look around at so & so and our neighbors and so & so at work…they have allll this stuff! And I try to remind him that they are all nearly TWICE our age! They worked hard and it took TIME for them to aquire those things. He has chilled out a lot in this area…but sometimes it still creeps up…ok.. a lot of the time.

Don’t get me wrong, it is GOOD to have your eye set on a prize. To WANT something and  WORK hard to get it. Where we (& 90% of America) has went wrong early is cutting out the work hard TO GET IT part. We want it now, so we finance or charge it so we can have it now…rather that work and wait and save to get it. Yes, you get to enjoy it sooner and while you are paying for it. But I’m a firm believer (and from experience) that you don’t appreciate it as much. That is why the new boat is not taken care of and abandoned in your pursuit for the bigger better boat. If you had to wait to buy that boat until you saved enough money from every hour of labor you endured…you would relish the time you had with that boat. You would value it more. You wouldn’t think about a bigger better boat b/c you know how long you had to wait & how hard it was to get this one. It’s the same principal of the dad who buys their kid a car at 16 and the kid tears it up before they are 17…and the kids that had to work to pay for their first car and treat it like gold and drive it through high school & college.

The second article about the Good Samaritan is a good read too.

The central message of this story is that, if we are to be good neighbors, we need to be more like the Samaritan.  The implied message is to get strong financially and stay strong financially so we can have the means to act on our good intentions.

Danny and I have such a heart for giving  (more so Danny than me lol)… but we really need to learn to spend less and save so that we will have the means to give more. Simple as that.

I also just read a great article from The Peaceful Mom on Poverty vs. Frugality.

I really like how she explained it:

When we picture “poverty”, we think of beggars and starving children, but many people with nice incomes live in “poverty” right now because of the way they think.

Poverty Vs. Frugality

“We can’t afford that.” vs. “We choose not to buy that because we have other priorities.”

“There is never enough.” vs. “We have more than we need.”

“Doing without.” vs. “Making do.”

“We can’t make it.” vs. “Let’s do everything in our power to make this work.”

“We have to eat macaroni and cheese because we can’t afford good food.” vs. “We choose to eat macaroni and cheese once a week in order to save money for something more important.”

 

One thing that always sort of drove me bonkers was people with the poverty mindset and way of doing things…NOT b/c they were living frugally or legitimately poor, but b/c of their priorities. I think it’s a sad day when a child is told: We can’t afford to buy you a school yearbook or give you a birthday party (or whatever the case may be) Yet the parent has spent $100 on cable tv, $60 on cigerettes, and $20 on movie rentals or lotto tickets for the month. This is just an example but you get the idea. I child hears..”We can’t afford it” so often as an excuse for the parent’s poor priority choices, that the child begins to have the “poverty” mentality and quits asking for things because they have accepted their worth. The parents have convinced their selves and their children that they are too poor to afford things like birthday parties…where if they took a good look at their priorities and adopted a frugal mentality…they could see it differently. Maybe we can forgo the movie rentals this month and buy a cake.   

A part that really stuck out to me in her article was:

Keeping Up Appearances

Did you know that most people who look “wealthy” really aren’t? In the book The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, author Thomas J. Stanley reveals that most Millionaires drive older used cars or trucks, wear non-designer clothes and aren’t really that noticeable in society. Why? They are putting their money where it counts, not spending money to impress people they don’t even know.

I LOVE this! I know from the experience of knowing a lot of folks…the people that are the most content and have money…you would never know they have money unless they tell you. And the people that have money and spend every dime trying to show their money tend to be the most UNhappy people! AND then there are the people that really don’t have that much money….but try to “Keep up with the Jones’s” like they do! Who do they think they’re foolin??? LOL

Another good article is from Passionate Homemaking: Why Do I Have THIS Stuff?

It refers to the growing simplicity movement. Stuff is bad. Live simple.

Forget that!

Ha! Just kidding..living simple is ok..as long as you don’t develop a POVERTY mentality instead of a FRUGAL mentality.

Also..it speaks about how God actually wants us to have stuff! It’s what we do with that stuff that matters!

Sometimes we feel guilty for all that we have. Instead….we should view it as being blessed  with what we need to fulfill God’s purpose for us having it! For example…I have a big house with a HUGE living room/ dining/ kitchen. Instead of feeling guilty that I have more space than I need for our family…I can view us as being blessed with this space that we can use to serve others. It’s a perfect space for entertaining…whether it be holding a Bible study or providing a safe environment for my kids friends to come over and play.

 

Basically…it’s all about BALANCE.

We are learning to manage our money so that it fits OUR life and the things we want to do with it.

More on that later!

See ya!

 

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