Archive | May, 2013

It will Get Messy

23 May

messy-deskLife will get messy, and I’m sure I’m preaching  to the choir here. It can be perfectly neat for a while, but rest assured, something will change. You may find a new job, or you might get a new boss.  A family member may get sick, or you may lose someone close to you. Perhaps a move is required, or maybe you’ll go to a new church.  A marriage might begin or end, or a child might graduate. A variety of things can come along that will inevitably cause a mess.

But there’s a way to handle the mess. Sometimes, you just have to clean up one mess at a time. It’s certainly easier but not always feasible. When it’s possible, I always prefer to clean up my messes at home one at a time. Dave Ramsey recommends that with his debt snowball. Pay on all your debts, but focus all your extra money on one debt, and then move on to the next. When I clean my house, I tend to start in one room at a time and work my way out. When it’s possible, this is the best method of cleanup.

It doesn’t always work this way, though. Sometimes several messes occur at once. If you have children, you know exactly what I mean. How do you clean up a mess that just never seems to go away? Well, the first option is to remove the source of the mess so that it can’t continue to pile on the mess. That’s why Dave recommends cutting up the credit cards. You can’t clean up a mess until you quit contributing to the mess.

I’m notorious for adding onto a mess. I can take a problem and magnify it in my head until I make it larger than life. I’m aware that I do it. I just don’t know how to quit adding to the mess right now.  However, I am in the process of going through Celebrate Recovery right now. I believe it’s one of the best ways to stop piling up the garbage. I will continue to update you as I work through this program. It won’t be easy, but it will be fruitful.

Another way to clean up multiple messes is to ask for help. Wives, if you’re struggling with getting your housework done, ask the kids or your husband to help you. If your finances are a mess, find an accountability partner to help you or work with your spouse to tackle the problem. If your life feels messy right now, get your friends and family to help you. Join a Bible study or find a close group of friends you can trust to help you. In Celebrate Recovery, you have a group of people that are walking the same journey you are. They are all there to clean up something, and it makes the cleaning a little easier if you know someone is on their way to help, even if you get started a little earlier.

Another way to clean up multiple messes is to find someone with more experience in the area of your struggles. If you’re struggling to change the way you handle your money, find someone who has succeeded financially. They may not have the same exact journey, but they are in the place you want to be. If you want to have a successful marriage, find someone who has been married for more than 30 years and pick their brain!!!! In Celebrate Recovery, you’re required to find a sponsor – someone who has walked the same walk you’ve walked and is on the other side. It’s an important part of the Celebrate Recovery process, and it works.

And the most important person to turn to to clean up a mess of any kind is God. He doesn’t care what it is; He just knows that you need the help.  No problem is too big or small for Him because He knows that no problem is small to us. “For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.” (Psalms 66:17-20 NLT)

How do you clean up your messes? How do you ask others for help?


Disposable Income

18 May

20130518-064453.jpgI’ve spent the better part of my life believing that I’m disposable. I moved around a lot as a kid and learned that friendships are disposable.

My parents divorced when I was very young, and I stayed with my father. I rarely spoke to my mother until I was well into adulthood. I was a disposable daughter.

I spent about four years apart from my family, including my father, because of some disagreements. I was a disposable daughter, again.

It’s no wonder I’ve never cared about saving money. All of my income was disposable income. I was comfortable living paycheck to paycheck because I didn’t see past my own nose.

I’m so thankful that even if I feel disposable, my Savior doesn’t view me that way. He knew me while I was a sinner, and He died for me (Romans 5:8). Not only that, but He is with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9).

I’m still learning to see past my own nose. I’m learning to see past each of my checks. And I’m still learning that I’m not disposable. I’m thankful for the people in my life who haven’t disposed of me yet. I’m very fortunate for those people. I’m also thankful for the redemption of my relationship with my family. They’re constantly there for me, and I count myself lucky to call them family!

With all that being said, I shouldn’t have ANY disposable income. All of my extra income should go toward my debt. I still like to spend money – immensely. I may always lean toward being a spender. I am learning to make my money work for me instead of working for my money. But…I still have a long way to go!

What does disposable income mean to you? What do you like to do with your disposable income?

Just an Update/How are You?

10 May

It’s been almost two weeks since my last post. Since then, I’ve completed FPU. It was a fun few weeks, but I’m glad that I’m done. I think FPU is a wonderful program. I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend, and I’m looking forward to applying what I’ve learned in my life.

The great thing about FPU is that I can attend anytime I want. So, as I grow and progress through the baby steps, I can go back for a refresher.

If you’ve been to my blog, you know that I am going to be on baby step 2 (paying off all my debt) for a while. I hope to have my car paid off before the end of the year. I will be providing updates as I progress. I am moving along nicely, and I’m sort of pumped with my progress!

Things have been going okay with my envelopes. I still find myself spending a little over here and there. But overall I’m doing well. I did allow myself a few paydays where I had more entertainment money. But I reeled myself back in this week! And I’m feeling it. I spent all that time training myself to live on a minimal amount for spending money, and allowing myself more money has been a real adjustment for me (again).

Speaking of entertainment money, I needed a day of pampering. I had some money socked away for my car, but I decided to use a little of it to get a haircut and a mani/pedi. I’m actually sitting here in the pedicure chair now enjoying my massage.

So, that’s what’s been going on with me. I hope to provide a more profound update next week.

How’s everyone one doing on their get out of debt plan? Are you making good progress? When do you think you’ll be debt free?

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