Friday, April 17, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 4.17

Hi all! I am so glad you stopped by today! Rachel Anne had a great post today over at Home Sanctuary, don't you think?! After I finished my Master's Degree (we were already married with a 2 year old), we felt God calling me to stay home until our children were all in school. We decided that we would have to make some sacrifices, financially, to create the home environment we longed for! I am going to just bullet list some of the ways that we have found work for us to make it work on a shoestring, as Rachel would say!

*I would have to say firstly, and MOST importantly is that we always seek God's guidance in our finances, and we always try to be on the same page (I know that this sounds absurdly obvious, but you'd be surprised...!) I know that everyone says you're not supposed to, but we use our debit cards for EVERYTHING! We have found that this is the easiest way for us to keep track of our spending. The trick is to 1)keep all of your receipts and 2)keep track of them. We use a small basket on the desk to gather receipts, and then once a day or every other day, I enter them into Microsoft Money, itemizing everything. Once a week, we have a "finance meeting", which starts off with prayer. The day before, I print up spending reports for the past week, and make an agenda of any money-related business. On John's day off (Teuesday), we sit down with coffee first thing and go over everything. It makes me think twice on each transaction, because I know that it is going to be scrutinized in black and white at our next meeting!
*We have no cable and dial up (YES, you read that right!) internet. When I was in school, all of my friends called me the "amish" one because I had no cell phone when everyone else did! We do have them now. You don't always have to have the newest-latest. You will survive!!(;
*We stay home! This is one of the biggest things we have found in saving money. Everytime we go do something outside the home, we spend money! Gas, snacks, events, food, etc. are all expenses, and little ones add up! It's virtually free to have a bonfire out back while the kids run through the yard catching fireflies (and so much less stressful than Disney World)
*We try to be content in the Lord. This is hard sometimes. Our sinful nature makes us want, want, want. I constantly pray for contentment, and try to faithfully seek it in Him!
I could go on and on, but I will restrain myself! Thank you for stopping in, I am so looking forward to snooping around and see what great ideas you have! Have a wonderful wonderful weekend!


Diane said...

We aren't supposed to use debit cards for everything?! News to me - like you, I use it for everything, keep the receipts and use Quicken to track.

How wonderful that you surround the issue with prayer, and talk everything out between you. How much of the current crisis could have been avoided if more people did the same?

Have a wonderful weekend!

One More Equals Four said...

We use our debit cards all the time also. I find it cuts down on impulse spending. I almost never have cash and using a debit card makes me stop and really consider the purchase.

Ya'll are so wise to cover everything in prayer

Crazy Lady Cheryl said...

Wow - you have a great handle on your spending. That's GREAT! I use a credit card for almost everything (for the airline miles), but then pay it off each month.

Janet said...

Seeking God's guidance with finances--that's the best tip ever! Thanks.

Rachel Anne said...

I love the weekly meeting idea. You'd think that two people who live and work together could manage a financial meeting...but maybe because we always think we'll have more time later, we put it off.

Online banking is a good way to stay in check. Sometimes I'll get home from errands and my husband will say, "I see you stopped at Starbucks..." because the debit charge has already posted. Shame keeps me in line.

Awesome tips!!

samantha said...

We also use our debit for everything. Well, almost everything. We save our reciepts for about a week. I'll have to check out Microsoft Money. I've never heard of it. I love the meeting once a week, and I love the idea of beginning it with prayer. That could be an idea for me and my husband. We got rid of our cable last fall. I just have a cheap $20 cell phone, but it works just as good. It can be very hard to be content sometimes. Thanks for the great ideas.

She's So There said...

You are so fun! Thank you for sharing and being transparent....its not what others think is it, its what gives us peace!

Anonymous said...

I agree, the weekly meeting is such a smart idea. Budgeting & finances really intimidate me, so husband deals with all of that stuff usually. It'd be very helpful to talk about these types of things more regularly, rather than waiting for a crisis situation!

secondofwett said...

I LOVE your weekly mtg smart of you to do that right off the bat at the beginning of your marriage! I also use my debit card....I hate using charge cards.....but as one of the ladies already does bring me up short when my husband calls and says 'just what did you buy at the Walmart for 63.98?' :0)