Friday, May 2, 2014

The Best Money Decisions We've Made

I am still NO money expert, but I sure WANT to be. So as I learn things I want to try and share them with you ;) When Ben started flight school and I realized that his instructors were brand new pilots themselves I thought it was CRAZY, but what better way to learn more deeply than to teach, right?!

So here are my top 5 Best Things We've Done for our Finances

1. Pay TITHING FIRST and a generous FAST offering. Last weekend a speaker said "You can't give the Lord a slice of bread without Him giving you a loaf in return." I truly believe this from occasions over and over and over again. Sacrifice truly brings blessings!

2. Have an EMERGENCY FUND. As we were first figuring money out, we really struggled with whether to pay down debt or save money. It was Suze Orman that taught me that we needed an emergency fund FIRST, so we didn't have to go into MORE debt when an emergency came up. (We found $1000 covered most emergencies or at least softened the blow.)

3. Make SAVINGS AUTOMATIC; treat it like a bill and don't wait to save whatever is "left over" at the end of the month. We have a separate savings account that is linked to our checking and have the bank AUTOMATICALLY transfer a certain amount each month. Even $25 a month starts to add up!  You can always pull it out if you need it, but it's a good habit to get into. (We also put $5 a month into a savings account for each of the kids.)

4. Pay your bills a MONTH AHEAD. I was told this by my Sales Manager at Bassett Furniture years ago. This is especially helpful when your income varies month-to-month, but even if you are on a flat rate, it brings worlds of peace. Build up your savings until you can pay for a whole month's expenses or do like us, and use your tax return to get ahead. No more stress about bill timing, no more overdraft, no more credit cards to save you, just PEACE!

5. YOU NEED A BUDGET software! You need to tell your money where to go before it's all gone. Having a plan and a good way to follow through with it is essential. This software is AWESOME and does everything I wanted and needed. It really makes budgeting FUN and SUCCESSFUL. It implements a great philosophy, encourages savings and is FLEXIBLE! It cloud syncs to your PHONE and your HUSBAND'S phone, so you can BOTH be on the same financial page. Here's a link to a 3rd party video overview and HERE'S a LINK to their FREE trial and a discount if you LOVE it like I do!

We don't have much and we still have a long way to go financially, but these 5 things have brought us so much peace, allowed us to survive the bumps of life, and occasionally, help others along the way. What have you done good for your finances today?

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