Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Challenge

We have been very blessed in a myriad of ways and I am not unaware of this fact (like that double negative I slid in there?). Sometimes however, we seem to take advantage of that fact.

Mr. Clean makes a very nice salary. I say this not to sound bragging nor vain, but to paint a picture of our life. We are by no means rich, but we are not really hurting either. We come in well above the median annual household income according to the US census Bureau, and do not have a ton of debt, yet we never seem to have any money. What a travesty!

Here is the point of this post. Lately I feel as if we have not been very good stewards of our money. The Lord provides and we spend. Not on anything extravagant, but we tend to "nickel and dime" our income away. $20.00 at Subway, $16.00 at the grocery store (after the "big" shop for the week), and $30.00 at Home Depot a couple times a month and you have an issue. Little things tend to add up.

We try to always use cash, but it is very easy to pull out the debit card when the cash runs out of our pockets. There is always more in the bank account right? Sure, if you don't want to retire until 92 and the kids have no plans for college.

I do not want to wait that long for Mr. Clean to retire and I do not want to leave my children high and dry with big college loans if they desire a higher education after high school. So I have thrown down the proverbial gauntlet (at my own feet) and decided that I need a challenge.

I am such a numbers geek and I love finances so I am going to go as miserly as possible until Christmas and see how we do. I will actually see what in is the pantry before deciding that we have to order a pizza or run to the grocery store, even if it means a "soup night". I will plan menus and stick to them, as well as stick to the list (and budget) at the grocery store. Once my allowance runs out for the week, then I simply cannot buy anything else.

Simple and logical principles, I know. Somehow I tend to forget all about them however, so pray for me! And feel free to join me in this challenge, be a miser with me. I would love to hear your thoughts on it!


TheTutor said...

Yay! Good for you! Keep us posted (and yourself accountable) on your progress.

Love ya!

(We'll be joining you in that challenge, BTW. We've decided that since we are at pretty much the lowest income level we've ever had, we are going to try to pay-off our consumer debt this year. Crazy, huh?)

Carolyn said...

I'll be praying for you. When I am "too" tired to cook, we just go out or order in. That is no reason to order in. I had a meal planned and I should stick to that plan; even if we have to eat a little late so I can rest a bit before cooking. God knew what he was doing by not giving us a lot of money. He knew I would spend it and waste it! He supplies our needs!

Mrs. Sam said...

Sister my sister!!!!! We are with you...we have been seeing a Christian Financial Planner and he has challenged us to trim $400.00 out of our spending per month. Ouch! The system they use??? Get this, sit down and be ready...the envelope system. Cash or nothing is the way to go! Now, ask me if I've done it yet? Well, I'm working on least I started. And you have too! So, I'm in it with you! We seem to have a lot of the same financial issues...just in a different country.

Aduladi' said...

Mrs. Sam,

I am a Dave Ramsey fan and LOVE the envelope system, if only I could actually master it, LOL!


TheTutor said...

Our tip to controlling our spending... freeze the credit card. Seriously. We froze our credit cards in blocks of ice and stored them in the freezer. That way, if we wanted to use them, we had to wait for them to thaw. (Can't put them in the microwave or oven or the plastic will melt.) We also opened a PayPal account for online purchases. If we can't use PayPal or have no money left in the account, no online shopping. (We will move extra funds here in the beginning of the semester so Frodo can buy books.)

Our current consumer debt is all moving expenses. Ugh. I am amazed how much money you blow through when you're moving!