Monday, December 31, 2007

Oh Where Oh Where Has All My Money Gone, Oh Where Oh Where Can It Be?

Finances are tight. Not just for me, it seems for everyone. Every blog is talking about it.

OK, so that is an exaggeration, and I have told my kids NOT to exaggerate, so I should not either. Not EVERY blog is talking about it. But nonetheless, finances are tight for us, and we are not alone. And that is not an exaggeration.

It is easy to look back and see what we should have been doing. And it is easy, when finances are tight to look ahead at what you need to do. But we were never in either situation. And yet, because we were not prepared, we are in the financial tight spot we are in now.

There is no way to know the future. And we always looked toward a happy future. While we were not rich, we were not poor either. So we spent money we had, not thinking to really save for a future emergency. Soon, we were spending money we did not have, only to pay it off as soon as the paycheck came in. NOT a good habit to get into.

There are so many blessings that have come about as a result of JJ being in the hospital. And one of them being that finances are now tight.

Of course, looking back, if we had saved better, finances would not be so tight right now. But the blessing of this is that NOW, while my beloved is still employed, and while the children are still young to not have developed bad habits based on our bad financial habits.... this has been a wake up call to get our finances in order. And we are able to do so while we have finances coming in, and while they children are able to learn.

SO we are FINALLY watching Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (can you believe we have had a copy for TWO YEARS and have not watched it until now?!?!). And one thing that we really knew, but weren't really applying, was to SAVE UP for the things you want to purchase. So even with all these AMAZING after Christmas sales, we will just have to save up and buy it NEXT year during the after Christmas sales. It is really hard. Especially when you find something that had been stashed away and now is brought out at the time everything is 75% off, and you know it is a good item that everyone grabbed up at 50% off.


How can I expect my kids to be disciplined in the area of money in the future if they are not seeing their mom and dad disciplined in the area of money? How can I expect them to have delayed gratification, if we as parents are buying everything at our heart's desire?


Rebecca said...

I'm with you Paula! In fact, just a week or so ago I wrote a post on the very subject.


If you would like to read it.

I found myself in the VERY same position as you about a month ago. Before we moved out here, we were poorer than church mice. I am in charge of our finances (my hubby gets too stressed out so he asked me to do it) and at that time I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown-seriously! We couldn't afford heating our house so it was COLD, we could afford gas so we were stranded at home, we couldn't afford groceries so we ate lots of beans and rice and homemade bread. It was A.W.F.U.L let me tell you. So when we moved out here and had a more workable salary that left us with some breathing room-I starting buying things that we really needed that we couldn't afford before that. A few new clothes. Glasses and contacts. etc. It felt SO good to have money, though, that I went overboard and found myself buying things I DIDn'T need. Now, a year later, we hadn't saved anywhere NEAR what we had hoped we would and it was a HUGE reality check!

You know what one of my big 'DUH' moments was? I saved a bunch of receipts and realized the most detrimental thing to our budget was me grocery shopping at Walmart each week. I realized that each Walmart excursion was over $100.00-sometimes nearing TWO. On GROCERIES! But since it was all right there, I would pick up clothing on clearance, etc. etc. and frankly, the grocery prices aren't good at all (with the exception of a FEW things!)

Here are a few things that I changed. I began shopping at CVS and get TONS of stuff there for free, cheap, or actually MAKE money by purchasing (detergent, diapers, tootpaste, batteries, etc.) This is a new and VERY exciting adventure for me!

I stopped going into Walmart. Now I buy all the groceries I need at Save a lot or other discount store. I plan to go into Walmart once a month and stock up on those items that we need in bulk or the items that are cheapest there than anywhere.

And~I made a new savings account. We had a checking and a savings-but car payment came out of our savings, and all other bills came out of our checking. So, I created a savings account where no money would be taken out of it and it is gradually building up-and I don't even think about it or worry about it. IT's working great!

Well now. I have written you a book! I do hope you pop over and read my post on this subject. You hit on a VERY important subject, that being that by our actions we are teaching and training our children-and that is even MORE important than saving or spending money!

Paula said...

Rebecca!! :D I had already read your post (didn't you know your blog was one of the ones I Was talking about!). :D Thank you for linking to it from my blog though as it is a good read and I encourage others to go and read it.