Posts Tagged ‘finances’

Don’t Fight Over Finances

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

fight-over-financesIs money tight at your house? Does it cause stress in your marriage? Are you the opposite of your spouse as far as spending? All of these things were true for me. God transformed my mind to have supernatural peace about finances, even though we were still spiraling deeper and deeper into debt.

I came to a point in my marriage when I was yelling at my husband for how he spent money. I was so stressed over money that I felt like I was drowning. My husband wanted to go out on a date, but we didn’t have the money, so I couldn’t enjoy it.

I was bitter against my husband for how he spent money, even though I had no idea that I was bitter. If your marriage is strained, you might be bitter and not know it. Get into the silence and ask God if you’re bitter. Then be quiet, and you’ll know the answer. Ask God to help you get rid of the bitterness if it’s there. Only God can supernaturally take it away.

To be honest with you, money is still tight at our house. But all the stress is gone. I have complete peace. I don’t even care if I end up in a cardboard box on the street with my family, because I trust God, and my marriage is sweet. I trust my husband. He can buy anything he wants, and I feel sweet and happy and don’t judge him. How can this be? Yes, we’re out of credit card debt, but we were in deep credit card debt for 10 years, and I had this supernatural peace way before we were out of debt.

In other words, if you can actually manage to hand this whole finances thing over to God for real, even in the middle of your horrible finances, your marriage can be sweet, and you don’t have to fight, even if you’re still in debt.

I explain this way more in my audio, where I go into tons of detail, but please ask me questions, my sweet friends. I want so badly for you to have peace in the area of finances, and you can have that peace today.

I’m giving away three copies of my testimony “Don’t Fight Over Finances.” If you want to enter the drawing, leave a comment. Here is a description of what I’m giving away, which you could actually purchase if you don’t win the drawing: Don’t Fight Over Finances.  I will announce the winners (and e-mail them) on January 12, 2013.

Congratulations to the 3 winners of the giveaway, “Don’t Fight Over Finances”: Judi, Jane, and Brenda R. (I’m e-mailing each of you with the audio!)

Hoarding Money

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

hoarding-money“I don’t give a flip about the poor. I think they are lazy frauds that beg off people just to go buy booze. Why on earth should I help them?” I declared to my husband.

After doing a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of James, I was aghast at how many Scriptures command us to help the poor. Helping the poor is something commanded by Jesus, James, and tons of other Scriptures. I was floored and horrified because I have never heard a sermon about helping the poor, and I don’t care one whit about them. What is wrong with my hardened heart?

(Here are some verses about helping the poor: Exodus 22:21-27, Leviticus 19:9-10, Leviticus 25:35-38, Deuteronomy 14:28-29, Deuteronomy 15:7-11, Deuteronomy 24:17-22, 1 Samuel 2:7, Nehemiah 5:6-13, Psalm 12:5, Psalm 112:5, Proverbs 14:21, Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs 17:5, Proverbs 19:17, Proverbs 22:16, Proverbs 28:8, Proverbs 28:27, Isaiah 3:14, Isaiah 58:5-7, Isaiah 61:1-2, Ezekiel 18:5-9, Amos 5:11, Matthew 19:21, Luke 6:34-35, 38, Luke 14:12-14, Galatians 2:10, James 2:1-7, Revelation 3:17.)

As I was reading the book of James, I was convicted that we live “in luxury and in self-indulgence” in this country, and meanwhile other believers are working hard and don’t have enough to feed their families. In the body of Christ, we ought to fill each other’s needs instead of overpampering ourselves. My husband has the gift of giving. If he sees a need, he automatically fills the need of the other person. I am not talking about professional beggars that are liars. What I’m talking about is interconnecting with other believers in the body of Christ, whether at a local church, or with other homeschoolers, or with friends. These people aren’t lazy and shouldn’t be lumped in with frauds.

I do NOT believe the poor should get help from the government (aside from not having to pay taxes), because then they feel a sense of entitlement and demand it, and the majority stop working. That’s sin. If someone doesn’t work, neither shall he eat. (II Thessalonians 3:10) If someone doesn’t provide for his family, he is worse than an unbeliever. (I Timothy 5:8) But if someone is working hard and still can’t feed his children, and you know about it and do nothing, you are guilty of sin. Read James 2:15-17: “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” God says your faith is dead if you see someone in need (for real), and you don’t help them.

We enjoy hoarding and piling up all of our money at the bank. There is nothing wrong with being rich, since Abraham was rich, and so was Job, and they were both godly people. But both Abraham and Job gave to other people and didn’t just hoard it to amass riches.

This whole idea of hoarding money reminds me of the man in Scripture who had full granaries and worked super hard to become rich, only to have his soul required of him that very night. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'” (Luke 12:20)

Exposing the Harm of Ultra Frugality

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

ultra-frugalityI don’t understand what it is about the poverty mentality among Christians. We use fewer squares of toilet paper and squeeze toothpaste until our fingers hurt. We borrow things from people to avoid having to buy them, and we buy just about everything used.

Don’t get me wrong. I lived this way my whole life until two years ago. Then I stepped back and saw what I was doing. I also saw unethical behavior in homeschool circles. I was a part of a group of hundreds of homeschool moms online, and they were copying copyrighted material to avoid buying the products of sweet homeschool businesses who they were harming. I left the group immediately, after a fellow homeschool mom blew the whistle on them and got thrown out of the group.

What is wrong with us? Don’t we think that God can provide for our needs? Do we think that stinginess is godly? Because frugality is NEVER mentioned in Scripture. The Proverbs 31 woman dresses her family in scarlet and gorgeous clothes. She is not scrimping and ripping people off. No, she’s industrious, and God provides for her abundantly.

Even through all the years of having no money, God provided lavishly for me. Sometimes He provided the money for me to buy new curriculum. God is God. He owns the universe. Every single penny you have belongs to God. God is able to do abundantly beyond all that you could ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20) Let’s not limit God.

Yes, we need to not spend more than we earn, and we should save money so that we can pay for car repairs and other things. I’m not talking about that. I’m astounded at the amount of Christians who have an enormous amount of money at the bank, but physically suffer because they have their thermostat set to extremely cold temperatures in the winter. They are frugal because they pride themselves in being frugal, as if God is glad that they are causing their families to suffer when they have the money to make their families warm.

It reminds me of Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, who didn’t realize until it was almost too late, what really mattered in life. You don’t know when your life will be required of you. Why die with a huge pile of money beside you?

Do Warehouse Clubs Save You Money?

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

warehouse-clubsDo warehouse clubs save you money? The answer is: sometimes yes, sometimes no. Thankfully one of the perks of my husband’s job is that he gets a free membership to Costco, our local warehouse club. It would normally cost $40 or $50 a year, so unless you save more money than that, you are probably better off without a membership. Often items cost more at a warehouse club than at your local supermarket, and who wants to store a huge amount of something that just ends up rotting? Things that need to be refrigerated are especially horrible to store, because large containers jam all your space in your refrigerator door, making you wish you hadn’t bought such large containers.

I remember, though, back when many of my children were in diapers. There was a specific diaper that didn’t ever leak for my boys, so I wanted that name brand. A large box of those diapers were $10 less at Costco than at any other store at the time. This may no longer be the case, but other name brand items like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese used to be only 50 cents at Costco but a whole dollar at the grocery stores. So you basically need to know your prices if you actually expect to save money.

warehouse-clubs-2Gasoline is substantially lower if you are a member of Costco, and this alone could save you enough money to make the membership worthwhile. But do you actually buy your gasoline at Costco, or do you buy it at a gas station whenever you are running out? In other words, you might be saving money in your imagination because you only bought gas at Costco 4 or 5 times last year instead of every time. Don’t multiply your savings in your head unless you are actually buying it at Costco.

Some people say not to go on the weekends because there are samples, and you end up buying more. Other people are freeloaders that say you should take your whole family and gorge yourself on samples for lunch, thereby avoiding having to spend any money or effort making lunch for your family.

warehouse-clubs-3Meats are nicer at Costco, I have to admit. I think the prices are about the same as grocery stores (grocery stores are definitely cheaper during sales, and you can freeze the meat), but the meat has less fat in it and tastes better when cooked, when it comes from Costco. If you have a large family or are having people over for a barbeque, buying nice meat in bulk might be just fine. I remember, though, back to when my husband and I had only babies and toddlers. We had to buy freezer bags and freeze the meat in one-meal portions. Then the meat might get freezer burn, and you might as well have just bought it on sale at a grocery store for a cheaper price.

Kirkland Signature is the generic brand for Costco, and it’s actually really high quality, unlike grocery store generic brands, which taste like cardboard. So you could save money by buying the warehouse brand of salad dressing, grape juice, or whatever, and it will usually taste great.

warehouse-clubs-4Costco coupons are wonderful. They offer $3 off the toilet paper we love, and other great discounts on real food that you probably already are buying. They also sell tickets to amusement parks, hotels, and movies at a considerable discount, if you have the budget to have fun with your family in this way.

I got my eyes checked at Costco by an optometrist, and I bought my glasses there. It’s supposedly cheaper than other places, although the reason I did it was because I was already there. (Gasoline costs a lot, and if you are already at one location, you save money by not having to drive to another location.)

So do warehouse clubs help you save money? Maybe. If you have trouble feeding your family, or if you have any credit card debt, I would definitely cancel my membership. You can buy food at grocery stores called “loss leaders,” stocking up on the food that is on sale, and spend way less on groceries. But if you are a middle class family with no debt, and you go to Costco twice a month and buy your gas there, then it’s probably worth it.