I’m looking over the bills today and realize we don’t have enough money. It seems as if we never have enough. We’ll never be out of debt and debt is a way of life. We’ll always carry a mortgage payment, car payment and credit card debt. That’s a fact.
Welcome back, yesterday in Living on Less When It’s Not Enough Part 1 I shared with you how after paying all of our bills we had less than $70.00 to feed our family of 6 for two weeks and how I didn’t trust God that we would be able to make it on this amount. But after the end of two weeks we still had $55.08 left.
Continuing on with my story, today I’m sharing with you all of the events that occurred during these two weeks that proved God’s faithfulness.
The first thing that happened is we received an escrow check in the mail for $52.02. I was relieved knowing we could buy more groceries with this but at the end of the two weeks, we never used it. I guess it was God showing me that we still would have made it even without this check.
The next unexpected thing that happened, we returned an item at Walmart. The original item was no longer in stock so we found a replacement and ended up getting $20.00 back on a gift card. My husband points out to me — hey here is some extra stuff to buy groceries.
Then I received some coupons from Fresh and Easy and ended up buying $25.00 of groceries for $0.00. I had rewards points, coupons and a left over gift card for $7.00 and with the items I bought it just worked out perfectly.
This didn’t impact our income for these two weeks, but we also found out my husband got a salary increase. This was very unexpected because we were under the impression this would not happen this year.
I also scored some great deals shopping and was even able to stock up on some groceries. I found some awesome deals on cheese and lunch meats and which will last us several more weeks.
Now over the two week span we spent about $111.00 on groceries, toiletries and household necessities. Which averages to about $55.00 a week. This is amazing because we normally spend about $100.00 a week on groceries alone.
All of these events may seem like coincidences but I believe it was God showing me how much of an idiot I am and my belief that living on less isn’t possible. The stuff is right in front of us, yet we still deem it’s not enough.
We often look in our pantries, fridge and freezer and see stuff that we don’t want to eat. We actually have food on hand but we’d rather not make some of the stuff we have on hand.
I haven’t couponed in a long time and the only stockpile I really have is a few boxes of pasta and some canned beans.
This was my pantry, fridge and freezer and the end of our two weeks.
Pretty Bare huh? After my two week journey, I realized that what God gives me is enough and I am ashamed to constantly doubt him. I realized that his blessings won’t always just appear, that sometimes I have to work at it receiving them. I realize that he knows my finances but I control and must be disciplined to them.
Living on less is possible if we have/want to. Don’t doubt your abilities! If you are looking at reducing your debt, trying to make it to the next paycheck or survive a financial crisis you need to be aware of what you are spending and be willing to make sacrifices. It’s possible, you just have to want it. Living on less isn’t easy.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, please comment below and share your story about living on less.
Living on less is hard since it never seems like we have enough. This is how our normal pay cycle goes. We are paycheck to paycheck people and sometimes the paycheck falls on a certain day to where if I paid everything that was due, we wouldn’t have enough to buy groceries and get through to the next pay period.
Well this happened to us a few weeks ago. We are discipline tithers and I realized that I was telling God that the money we had left just wasn’t enough. Luke 6:38 says: Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. So instead, I went ahead and paid all of the bills and I set out on a journey to put my finances to the test with God.
After everything was paid we had $209.76 left for 2 weeks. That may seem like enough but our gas tanks were empty and both my husband and I needed gas. We needed a full tank of gas and we need it to last us 2 weeks until our next payday. A full tank for both vehicles costed us $139.99 expected to last about 10 days. That left us with $69.77 to buy groceries to feed our family of 6. Living on less than $70.00 for two weeks, just didn’t seem possible. Yet I know that God knows our finances and that we tithe every week but I continue to tell him what he’s left me with is not enough.
So I prayed about it and decided I was going to fully submit to God and let him show me.
Matthew 6:26 says Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? This is a verse that constantly pops in my head when I doubt that God will provide.
“OK God, show me what you’ve got!” and wouldn’t you know it, when our two weeks were up and we had $55.08 left and we still had a few gallons of gas left.
Now if you are calculating what I just said, you’re probably calculating that we only spent $14.69 on food for those two weeks. We actually spent more.
In part 2, I’ll share with you the events that happened and what I believe to be God’s blessings for living on less.
Finances are one of the biggest chores we have to maintain. Various due dates and the stress that comes along with ensuring everything gets paid can be a lot for one person to bear.
So my question for you is do you make your family finances a family affair?
My husband and I didn’t grow up with solid financial teachings. Our parents “hid” their finances from their children. It was disrespectful to talk about family finances. Neither one of use grew up with the knowledge of how to live within our means.
Debt is what gets us into trouble when we live in a world of want.. and want.. and want some more. We need to live in a world where we discipline ourselves to say no. I wish I would have learned that at an early age. Therefore, I want to ensure that my kids grow up knowing that debt is not the way of life.
Here are some tips to get started with making this a family finances a family affair:
1. Allowances are a great way to start. Assign a Payday, and let your kids deduct things from their paycheck. Have them Give, Save then Live.
2. Plan for a “Family Finances” Night — Set a date and time and plan out your budget for the week(s).
3. Assign a task to each person of what bill and payment they would be responsible for. Ask questions such as: How can we reduce this, What happens if we pay this late, Is this payment a need or a want?
4. Play Games – such as Monopoly and explain as you play how real people go bankrupt because of not putting savings as a priority. This game is perfect for that, because every time we land on a property — we want to buy it, we want it, even though we may not need it and if we don’t plan well.. we’re bankrupt.
5. Get your family started early with savings. Open up an online savings account that have no fees or minimums, such as ING Direct . Online savings accounts are great, because you aren’t tempted to withdrawal the money.
Getting everyone involved in family finances, can change your family tree. It’s a great way to hold each other accountable, set financial goals and good spending habits.
Do you make your finances a family affair? If you don’t, is this something you anticipate doing in the future? I’d love to hear your tips on how you keep your finances in order.
Need ideas for your child allowance? Check out my Commission Chore Chart Post
Free Credit Score
Happy New Year! I know many of you have made resolutions to get your finances in order. The perfect way to get started is to start by knowing where you stand with your Free Credit Score.
This is absolutely free! You do not have to enter a credit card or anything. All you need to know is your personal information. An example would be the amount of your car payment.
You’ll definitely want to get a copy of your Free Credit Score if you plan on making future purchases such as a new car or new home. If your credit score isn’t high enough you could be paying a higher interest rate. So know where you stand!
I really like Credit Sesame, they make it really simple to get your Free Credit Score. Plus they categorize all of your debt and you can really see your financial standing.
Free Credit Score