Let’s start off with a joke: what do you get when you combine a pregnant woman suffering from all-day “morning sickness,” three kids aged six, three and one, a small dog who is almost blind and a husband who works full time and is in a season of busy travel for work? Give up? You get the perfect time to do a kitchen remodel, that’s what you get! [Read more…]
I talk to lots of people who don’t make budgets…shame on you. A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went (thank you Dave Ramsey!). Did you know that if you make a budget you usually end up finding out that you have MORE money than you thought? It’s true. So, make more money and work out a budget. See how easy it can be to set good priorities? That’s all a budget is – priorities on paper.
It’s pretty easy to make a budget, it just takes time and effort. Here’s a great free budget template that we use. I love my budget. It’s a security system for me. I don’t have to wonder how much money I have…..I KNOW. I can see it. If it’s getting close to the end of the month, I can look and see how much I have left – not cry at the register because I’m afraid that I don’t have enough to buy my toilet paper….and no toilet paper is a crying matter, my friends.
When you think about starting to make a budget, you have to consider three things – needs, wants and wishes. It’s critical you understand these things before you begin a budget…..or else you’re in trouble. Big trouble. Up poop creek without a paddle…..or toilet paper. [Read more…]
Here’s the deal – unless you have some superhuman powers I’m not aware of, you probably have a bunch of junk laying around your house. You may not classify it as junk, but if you don’t absolutely love it and it isn’t useful to you today or in the near and known future – it might as well be classified to you as junk. The “I might need it one day” syndrome is rampant in American culture…and I could be the poster child for that syndrome! I get it – I grew up in a home where we had plenty of “I might need it one day” items or “that was too good of a deal to pass up” stuff.
With our latest motivation to declutter and embrace the KonMari approach to get rid of a bunch of stuff we didn’t need, Stacy took on her natural role of organizer and went at the decluttering with a vengeance. Each day we’d chat off and on about what to do with the things we decided we didn’t love and were ready to part with. Everything basically fell into three categories: donate, sell, and trash. [Read more…]
You know what makes me mad? The attitude that a lot of people have that says “Christians shouldn’t be rich! They should live in poverty and have nothing! Didn’t Jesus tell the Rich Young Ruler to sell all he had?!”
Or have you ever heard someone incorrectly quote this verse? “MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL!!” Wrong. Money isn’t evil. It cannot be evil. It doesn’t have a soul. Nothing without a soul can be evil. Chocolate cannot be evil. Instruments cannot be evil. Cars cannot be evil. Money cannot be evil.
“For the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10
How people use money can be evil. You can do the wrong things WITH money. You can hurt people WITH money. And you can buy evil things WITH money. But on the flip side, people can use money faithfully and with good intentions and honor. You can do the right things WITH money. You can help people WITH money. And you can buy good things WITH money.
King David and King Solomon were very rich. Who took care of the traveling Peter and Paul if not for another rich Christian? Even Jabez prayed for God to enlarge his territory and he was spoken of as “honorable.”
Inspired by something I heard Micheal Hyatt say, I felt the need to speak out and tell you guys something. You should be trying to make as much money as you can. You should be STRIVING for that. You should be saving for that. It should be a goal of yours. It might not be possible right now. You might be in a tight spot…but it’s something you can have a goal to achieve. And here’s why:
If we don’t make money, how can we give?
How can we give to those in need if we’re broke? Or help fund overseas schools if we’re broke? Or how can we help a struggling single mom if we’re broke? How can we fund charities…IF WE’RE BROKE? Quick answer – we can’t. This is why our family chooses to live debt free. We want to make money – as much money as we can…so we can give as much money as we can. Make money to provide for your family – then make as much as you can so you can GIVE.
You cannot give if you don’t make it a goal and a habit. Sure, time is worth a lot. Giving time when you don’t have money is a great thing to do! But how much better off would we all be if we were not only giving our time, but also giving as much money as we could? We choose not to run the rat race. We choose not to buy the brand new car and make payments. And we choose not to load up the credit card. Instead, we choose to give. The Myers choose to give. We choose to make money so we can GIVE.
What do you choose?
Stacy has long been bothered by her smile, feeling self-conscious about it and trying to hide her teeth. I personally have never been concerned by this and yet “fixing her smile” has been on Stacy’s wish list for a very long while. A couple of years ago she went to the orthodontist and got a price quote on braces. Sticker shock caused her to put it off then. Fast forward to a few months ago and we finally agreed that if she was ever going to get braces, she just needed to go for it. We had some savings and so we fully expected to pay cash for the entire thing, but after discussing and considering it, we decided to not pay cash up front. Why? Here are the four big reasons we didn’t pay cash for braces. [Read more…]
We bought a van last week. I know for families with more than your average number of kids that is a rite of passage, so I guess we’re “in the club” now…the I-drive-a-minivan-and-like-it club. Although it doesn’t have flames painted down the side, a hemi under the hood or a stereo that will let everyone hear you from 3.4 miles away, I’ll have to say that I’m happy to have bought it. More importantly, it is paid for. We don’t do payments around here. If we can’t pay for it, we aren’t buying it. So how can we pay cash for all our cars? Read on. [Read more…]
Let’s talk job interviews! Call me weird, but I’ve always enjoyed the interviewing and hiring process. I’ve done a lot of it, too. I’ve probably been in a few hundred job interviews at this point…on both sides of the table. I’ve also done some various interviewing classes for high school students and others for front-line hiring managers. So when someone contacted me recently and asked if I could offer some pointers, I thought it may be of use to all of us to go through some interviewing basics…an Interviewing 101, if you will.
First and most importantly, remember that every job interview matters. Whether you are voluntarily looking for a new position, interviewing for a promotion, or desperate for a j-o-b to make ends meet, every interview gives you the chance at a fresh start to convince a captive audience that you are awesome. With that in mind, be awesome! [Read more…]
If you’ve read much of what I’ve written previously about relationships and money, you’ll find I regularly state that your finances won’t work if you and your spouse can’t agree on money. I’ve even given you my top five things I believe all spouses must agree on to win with money. What I’ve not told you is that there is serious research that shows your spouse has the power to make you filthy, stinkin’ rich. Okay, maybe not too stinkin’ because a good spouse will make you bathe so you’re agreeable to sleep next to…but I digress.
Stacy has stayed at home since before we had children. We made the choice that her time and energy would be best spent taking care of our home and family. We have made sacrifices to do this, but it has been totally worth it.
I don’t make an exorbitant salary; we’re not trust fund babies. We don’t live up to our eyeballs in debt; we don’t live in squalor. We are a relatively normal-looking American family that decided we would be willing to live on a single income so Stacy could stay at home with our children. [Read more…]
We’re huge Dave Ramsey fans used most of his principles to become completely debt free (including our home) a few years ago. One of his baby steps (baby step 5) is to handle college funding for children. When our first child was born, we started her college fund in a 529. With small, but consistent contributions, that fund is up to roughly $5,000 (she’s 5 now). When our next was born, we started him a college fund, too. He’s 2 now, and he has almost $2,000 in his fund. Along comes baby #3 and what do we do? Well…you’d think we’d just keep the 529 thing rolling, but we haven’t. Why did we stop funding our kids’ college savings? Read on. [Read more…]