Living a Satisfying Life on Less

Living a Satisfying Life on Less

 As wives and moms, we know what it means to sacrifice. Even those who are financially stable or very well-off understand sacrificing for our family, particularly our children.

Sometimes, we can find ourselves in a situation where we must pay a bill or take a child to the doctor due to illness. We never intend to be caught in a bad situation, but economic struggles or bad budgeting can put us there quickly.

So what do we do to stretch our money as far as we can without finding ourselves restless or unhappy? We need to be content. That is first and foremost. We can fix something if we grump our way through it because our heart won’t be in it. Right? Right!

First of all, having a budget in place is necessary. We need to know what we’re spending, how we’re spending, and if we can quit spending on something excessive.

Pretty manicure? Luxurious day at the spa? New “do”? Well, we may be the kind of woman who doesn’t really care about those things, or we say “Yeah, right, who has time for that?” Okay, so what about the overspending at the grocery store because of going without a list? What about having a burger on the go because overwhelming waves of hunger hit as we were running errands? These are just a few things that might get us while we’re managing our home. We need to minimize the T.L.C. time as well as watching the spending we consider minor, like a burger.

Now, since we’re off to the grocery store, how many coupons do we have? We love coupons at our house. Not only are they in the paper, but coupons are available online. “Where” you ask? Since you happen to be here, why not check out the “coupons” tab on the menu above? But don’t go away just yet. 😉 Coupons are everywhere on the Internet. They are in the junk mail we get in the mailbox, and we can sign up at specific Web sites like Proctor and Gamble and get specific mailers two or three times a year, chock full of coupons. Let’s kill the myths while we’re on this topic. No, coupons do not make us look poor, cheap, or deprived. They make us look smart, careful, and selfless. Clipping coupons can become a true art, especially when we find amazing deals and people say, “Wow, is that all you spent? That’s amazing!” (In case you are contemplating coupons or just starting out, most places accept manufacturer coupons and Internet printed ones; even Dollar Tree now takes coupons!) To learn more about how to get started, click here.

Be blessed in your mission of being a Proverbs 31 woman and toward becoming a better steward of God’s treasure.

10 Things Christians Should Know About Money


1 – The fastest way to not have money, is to make money what you need. If more money is what drives you, you will become a slave to it. Ecclesiastes 5:10-12

2 –  Money looks better in your bank account than on your back. Clothes and accessories are for covering your body. Clothes do not define your character and they should not be relied on to define your social status or build your confidence.

3 – Don’t place your hope in your job, paycheck, savings or investments. Proverbs 11:28

4 – Overworking for the purpose of being rich will cultivate trouble in your home. Working to be rich is a trap. Proverbs 15:27, 1 Timothy 6:9-10

5 – Money is a deceiver so don’t trust in it. Proverbs 23:4-5

6 – Money will never bring about the security you desire. The only source of true security is an intentional hope in Christ Jesus. Hebrews 13:5,  Matthew 6:34

7 – Money is meant to be your servant, not your master. There are only two masters. One will set you free and the other will keep you on bondage. Matthew 6:24

8 – Wealth that comes from God has no struggle. Deuteronomy 8:18, Proverbs 10:22

9 – If you have debt, you are a slave to the one to whom you owe money. Proverbs 22:7

10 – Money is useless in the hands of a fool and is beneficial in the hands of the wise. Proverbs 17:16 NIV

20 Verses For Christians Concerned About Finances

20 Verses For Christians About Finances | | Homemaking Binder

I might be the only person on earth that struggles with having faith in God’s provision but I doubt it.

It’s so easy to find ourselves back in the rut of doubting God and the fact that He cares enough about us to meet our needs.

It can be especially easy to doubt when we place more of our focus on late bills, lost income and rising prices.

With all of this evidence staring us in the face each day it can be hard to believe that things will actually get better financially. While I have not mastered my fears about finances I do know the solution for overcoming those fears.

First, we must make a spiritual decision to trust God. We must choose to trust Him even when;

  • The bills are do and there’s not enough money.

  • When the major appliances break down one after the other.

  • When something stops working on your car.

  • When you’ve been on multiple job interviews and have not been hired yet.

We can focus on all of the problems or we can turn our focus to God’s promises. It’s His promises that change us and our situation. The promises are what allows us to have peace even when things look a mess.

We can go back to worrying, sulking and complaining or we can be transformed and renewed. The only way that’s going to happen is if we replace the old way of thinking with a better way. Romans 2:12

To do this, we must first get our hearts into a posture surrender.  A heart surrendered to God always precedes a renewed mind. If it takes saying it to yourself, the devil and to God, just come out and say, “I’m trusting God (period)“.

Once you’ve made up your mind, you’ll need to fortify decision with a steady diet of God’s word. If you have a budget book or homemaking binder, you should have theses verses in there.

I suggest reciting one or more of the verses below daily but especially before:

  • opening a bill or paying a bill.

  • managing your check book.

  • going grocery shopping.

  • going on a job interview.

  • bed.

(Printable Version here and here)

20 Verses For Christians Concerned About Finances

Matthew 6:8…………”your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

Psalm 34:10……….”…those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”

Psalm 24:1………..”The earth is the Lord’s, and all it’s fullness,…”

Psalm 50:10……….”…every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.”

Genesis 18:14………”Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Matthew 7:7…………”Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Romans 8:32……….”He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?”

Psalm 37:5………..”Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”

Luke 6:38………”Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.”

Ephesians 3:20……….”…God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…”

Philippians 4:19………”And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

2 Peter 1:3……….”His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him…”

Jeremiah 33:3………….”Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and
mighty things, which you do not know.”

Jeremiah 32:27………”Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything to hard for Me?”

Matthew 11:28……….”Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Hebrews 13:5……….”For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Phillipians 4:6……….”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let you requests be made known to God; …”

2 Corinthians 9:10………”…may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the
fruits of your righteousness, …”

Psalm 20:4……….”…may He grant you according to your hearts desire, and fulfill all of your purpose.”

Ephesians 1:3………..”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,…”

Get a Control Over Your Finances with Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame has a patent pending analytic engine, developed by Stanford University to automatically and SECURELY review your consumer debt, home loans and credit profile. They then provide you with information on how you can improved your financial picture!

It’s a great service and helps you get your finances organized with all of the neat financial tools that they provide for FREE. To be completely honest with you…what’s offered is something that should probably have a cost involved because it’s so comprehensive in what it offers for managing your money.

Click here to check it out.

My 5 Financial Goals and a Money Check-Up For April 2012

1 – Fund My Faith Promise. Mr.P and I made a commitment to make a $350 faith promise to support missions work through our church but the kicker is that the money can’t be budgeted from our income. It must come from an unexpected source as a result of prayer and faith. Many of our church members have already shared how God has provided unexpected money via checks and unclaimed funds. It’s amazing and exciting to see how God will provide. I will share an update on where and how we secured our faith promise.

2 – Organize my documents. I go through my paper work file once a month and empty all of my file folders. Everything is sorted and filed away into their appropriate storage areas. If you are not a fan of paper filing you can try out the FREE organizing service offered by Manilla that helps you organize you paper work virtually or Neat Desk which allows you to digitally store documents.

3 – Check credit and review my finances. I use Credit Karma, but you can use Credit Sesame for FREE. The are both great services that provide detailed information on your current financial picture as well as tools to see what your finances would look like after implementing small changes. I’ve already shared my financial progress from March and will share my April goals with you in a few days.

4 – Five Financial Goals.

  • Tithe 10% or more of our April income
  • Save 15% of our April income for emergencies (Emergency Fund)
  • Deposit 7% of our April income for our summer vacation
  • Increase our income by 5% or more from March
  • Fulfill ‘Faith Promise’ — $350

5 – Save and make more money. This one is all based on our faith and the will of God. Because Mr. and I are both self employed we have a little more control over how much we earn. What we make is based on the work available and how many jobs we are able to do. I am prayerful that God will provide the exact amount of work necessary to allow us to achieve every goal that is according to His perfect will for our lives.

More March 2012 Financial Progress + FREE Resources

It’s that time again. A new month means I’m looking over my finances and setting new goals for the month which I will share soon.

I shared my 5 Financial Goals for February earlier this year and  my financial progress for March early today. One of the key components to managing my finances and paying off over $50,000 in consumer debt was  knowing what I owed.

There are several free resources available to track your credit. I like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.

Credit Sesame is so easy to use and once you set up your FREE account you can use it to check your credit score for FREE every month!!


NO credit cards needed!

NO trail period!

NO gotcha’s!

Credit Sesame uses a Patent pending analytic engine, developed by Stanford University to automatically and SECURELY review your consumer debt, home loans and credit profile. They then provide you with information on how you can improve your financial picture!

It’s a great service and helps you get your finances organized with all of the neat financial tools that they provide for FREE.

Click here to check it out. You’ll see what I mean.

Funding My Savings for 2012 — Our March Financial Impact and Vacation Savings Update!!

I’m so glad it’s April ya’ll!!

I love the start of new months. At the start of every month Mr. P and I sit down and tally up our finances, make monthly goals and talk about the vision for our family.

During the process we make sure to include the kids. This allows us to teach them about managing finances and also allows them to have a role in helping our family reach it’s financial goals.

My oldest son (11 years old),  is in charge of tracking our NYC vacation fund. After Mr. P and I tally up what we’ve added to the vacation savings account my son calculates the percentage saved to date. We track it on a spending goals sheet I printed off the internet. The sheet is kept on the refrigerator and helps remind us of why we have put other family activities on hold until the vacation is fully funded. It also makes us joyful to see our progress.

My daughter (9 years old), is my little artist. She’s the child who colors inside the lines, so we have her fill in our vacation challenge sheet at the end of each month.

My youngest son (8 years old), is in charge of counting up all the coins saved for the month. Every time I spend a bill at the store, all change in the form of coins are saved. At the end of each month, my son adds it up and feeds it to the pig (our piggy bank). The two youngest kids love feeding the pig.

I am really happy with how we did with our saving in March. There were several times during the month when I saw some great deals and wrestled with the idea of spending money. We desperately need more storage in our bedroom and found many great deals on Craigslist, but because we have a clear savings goals, I was able to resist the urge. It was especially hard when I saw a 8 seat oak dining table for $150 just two interstate exits from my house. While there is a valid need for furniture, we are sacrificing our smaller goals for a little while in order to achieve our larger goals.

Our Larger/Long Term Goals:

  • Save 6 month of expenses
  • Save 15% of our income for retirement
  • Save for a family vacation to New York City
  • Remodel lower level with 100% cash

So with our goals in view, we were able to stay on track.

What We Saved For March 2012

Change Saved — $5.03

Way To Save — $26 (Bank automatically deposits $1 to our saving for certain bank transactions)

Total: $31.03

We were able to save an extra $31 toward our vacation in addition to our monthly vacation savings goal.

What a blessing!!

We already have some goals in place for April and I am excited to see how God will guide our actions in the management of our finances this month. This month will be a little tricky since one of my husbands work contracts ended. That basically means that his income was decreased by a couple hundred dollars, nevertheless I am faithful that God will provide as he has always done.

Be sure to check back the first week of May to see how things turned out for April.


More about me and this series

Right now I am completely debt free except for my mortgage and I want to help you get there too.

I hope I can get you one step closer to being debt free and achieving your savings goals with this new monthly series.

I started doing a finance series last year that highlighted my savings and survey earnings but decided to discontinue it and make some changes.

This year I’m breaking my savings and survey earnings  down into small task that anyone can do and then encouraging you to share your results.

In a sense I’ll be your accountability partner and you’ll be mine.

At the beginning of each month I will share a post highlighting how much I was able to save using my save the change technique.

You can do the same by posting your results on your blog and leaving a link in the comment section of my result post, or you can just stop be each month to check out everyone else’s progress.

Here’s how I fund savings by keeping the change.

Each time I receive change in the form of coins it goes into my piggy bank.

I’ve been adding extra funds to my savings account using this method for the last 4 years and one month last year was able to deposit $35 worth of coins into my savings account by saving my change.

In addition to tabulating the change left over from purchases, I’ll also add found change to my piggy bank total as well.

Each month I will share a tally of how much I was able to save.

If you’d like to share your results each month feel free to do so in the comments section.

I really looking forward to seeing the impact this challenge makes in my family’s finances this year.

Have you set any financial goals this year?