Friday, January 17, 2014
Finances on Friday
I've been reading Rebecca's Finances on Friday posts and I thought that was a great way to really see what proactive choices you can make to improve finances.
So........I'm joining her link up to start my own Finances on Friday post!
If you've been reading my blog you know that about five years ago my husband lost his job and was unemployed for a year. Oh, he looked for jobs. Anywhere and everywhere. He was told he was underqualified, overqualified, too much, too little, too this or too that. One place told him he had been unemployed too long. (?) And many, many places didn't even acknowledge they received his application. He went to places and asked for employment only to be told, "Go home and apply online." My husband is an eleven year military veteran, has experience in security, law enforcement, management, higher education and the finacial industry. You think he would have been able to find a job. And he did. At a home improvement store for minimum wage-part time for the next six months.
When you have (at the time) eight kids and you are the only source of income for your family-minimum wage and part time doesn't cut it.
So, we lost everything.
Why am I hashing all of this out again? Well, let's just say it's been a long road. A VERY LONG ROAD.
There was a lot of questioning God, a lot of second guessing, a lot of guilt (am I doing everything I absolutely can?) and a lot of fear and disappointment.
I know many of you are Dave Ramsey fans, and I think he has some wonderful financial advise, but I hate his attitude. It's basically, "You are in a bad finacial place because you made bad finacial decisions because you are stupid."
You know, I don't think anyone ever makes perfect financial decisions. Hindsight is always 20/20. But, doing everything perfectly doesn't guarantee you financial success. Or even financial security. It's like cancer (I know-hang with me here). You can eat healthy and organic, exercise, not smoke, use less chemicals, and take supplements, but it doesn't guarantee that you won't someday get cancer.
See where I'm going with this?
I absolutely think that being a good steward with your finances is essential, especially if you are a Christian, God instructs us to be good stewards. And, that is precisely why I choose to be frugal and wanted to join this link up.
But, God may also allow things to happen in your life for His greater purposes, even though those purposes make NO sense to us whatsoever. We don't all have the same story, God uses us in different ways. And, just as he can use an illness in our lives to bring us near to Him, he can use finances (or loss of) to bring us near to Him as well.
So, here we are five years later. I've learned a lot, grown a lot, and have some closure. Do I understand why God chose to allow our finacial ruin and have us move across the country to Oklahoma? Umm. No, I still don't know. Ha! But, I do trust that He knows the bigger picture even if I don't!
I do, however, think that in God's timing we will have some land and a house (possibly very soon?!) to do a little farming and homesteading. This is something we've wanted to do for practically our entire marriage. Fresh eggs and vegetables and milk and ............
But, in the meantime, I can still keep track of what I'm doing to help us continue to get back on track!
My efforts this week:
-Used some swag bucks for Paypal cash to buy some maternity jeans I needed.
-Made a big batch of potato soup for dinner and to share with my book club, so I wouldn't be tempted to spend money by grabbing something quick (and a lot easier) at the store on the way there.
-Did a little work to promote my homeschool books on Currclick.
-Made a batch of homemade laundry detergent.
-Used a gift card from Christmas for a dinner date with David at Olive Garden. The total after the gift card was under $8. I can't even remember the last time I ate there. It was yummy! And, I had left overs for lunch the next day.
-Repurposed a plastic shelving unit from storage to use in the boys room.
-Bought some chicken breast for $1.79 a pound at Sam's. Cheapest I've seen it in a while!
-And, got gas at Sam's to save five cents a gallon.
-Was given two bags of hand me downs (for me!) that had two cute pairs of shoes in great condition! And some cozy sweatpants! (Yippee! Thanks to my friend!)
-A shout out to the window repairman! The passenger side of my van window rolled down, but wouldn't roll back up-on the way to church-the day it was snowing (I know!). I reluctantly called to have it fixed, because this is the fourth thing since September I've had to have worked on. (An icy branch went through my windshield last month, and some radiator work twice). Anyway, he couldn't figure out what was wrong with it after two hours of working on it, so he just pushed it back up (I can live with that) and didn't even charge me for looking at it. Bless his heart!
And, just to keep it real, where my efforts went a little awry.....
-Lost a library book. Yeah. :(
-Forgot to make David's lunch one day so he had to eat out.
-Internet bill went up $7 this year. Ouch!
Anyway, Thanks to Rebecca at Renaissance for allowing us to link up! Head over there and see what ideas others had this week!