Overcoming Money Mistakes

When I write all of these posts, I can’t help but sit back and think at times, “I can’t even follow some of these things myself”! Today I just wanted to give you some encouragement if you feel like you keep “falling off the wagon” … or spending without planning on it.

I realize the principles of budgeting and saving can be very hard to follow at first … and in time … they do actually get easier. But the fact of the matter is, it’s never that easy to say “no” to yourself when you really want something.

You see that adorable pair of shoes in the store (that are even on sale!) and all you want to do is bring them home with you! Or you are walking through the grocery store, really craving your favorite snack, and you can’t help but sneak it in your cart.

Trust me, I know the feeling. And before you know it, you are just drowning in shame with the fact that you just couldn’t hold yourself back.

I would say most people regret purchases very often. They may not say it out loud, but when you are staring at that new vase you got a few years ago that is accumulating dust and doesn’t match anything in your house, the guilt can start to set in.

So I guess the question is…how do you get back on the wagon?

How do you get back on track, when everything inside you is screaming “You’re a failure! You can’t save money!” Well, there are a few things you must keep in mind through the process of saving and budgeting…

# 1 It’s Never Too Late to Start Reaching for Your Goals

So what if you messed up for a few days now, or years! It’s not the end of the world, and even though you may be facing some serious debt, only good can come out of this from here. Keep your eyes focused on the future goal, and know that there is never a financial situation too hopeless. You can always start today on saving for your future.

#2 If You Truly Regret It, Return It

The other day I went shopping and was determined to find a striped pull-over hoodie (I know, don’t ask why!)…and the only one I could find was in the men’s section! So of course, as stubborn as I am, I bought it! Only to come home and totally regret my purchase. The most simple solution here is to return it. I know it can be a little embarrassing, out of the way, and just plain annoying, but I think in those kind of situations, you will feel a lot better if you do return it! So do it! You will find that even “large” purchases have a return window. Ever heard of buyer’s remorse? It’s a very real thing!

#3 See the Good in Yourself

There will always be categories in our budget that we struggle with. For me, it’s always the food and grocery section of the budget. Sometimes no matter how hard I try, I always seem to fail in this way. Either I go WAY over what I wanted to spend, or just a little bit over every week. But every time I look at our budget, I feel dejected and sad. What I suggest to other women out there who are feeling these same feelings is that you just need to see the good in yourself and not focus on the bad. Sure, I struggle with the grocery side of things, but when it comes to miscellaneous spending like a t-shirt I saw at my favorite store, I can usually hold back. Look at your budget on a holistic level, and make the most of every opportunity to learn what you need to work on, and what you already excel in!

Got any stories on how you’ve fallen off the wagon? I’m sure we can all relate! Leave us a comment below, we would love to help you get through your specific struggle. We can all improve in different ways, and I think that is the beauty of God’s work in us, we are constantly growing!

By: Erika from Faithful with Finances

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I Know the Plans You Have For Me

faithfulwithfinances:

Whenever you are stuck thinking about your “dreams” and maybe even what you have yet to accomplish … remember that God’s plans TRUMP them all! Use this post by Britney L Clark to inspire you that God has great things in store … and His plan is better than anything you could ever imagine.

Originally posted on Britney L. Clark:

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Your Goal for 2015 : Savor Life

 

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Your new resolution to keep for 2015:

“In 2015, I resolve to buy less, waste less, want less, and live more. I will love more, laugh more, give more, ask more, share more. In 2015, I will savor life.”

We think this is a pretty good resolution! What about you?

- Faithful with Finances

Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances : Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin Amaradio. 

10 Verses on Money to Memorize

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We know memorizing scripture is essential to our Christian walk … but did you ever think about memorizing verses on money?

Believe it or not, there are over 2,000 scriptures relating to money and possessions … that’s more than heaven and hell combined!

Jesus continuously mentioned money and possessions throughout His ministry on earth. Knowing that this was so important to Him … don’t you think we should take it seriously too?

After all, money affects our everyday lives constantly, and we want to be equipped to handle each and every situation as if we were acting on behalf of our Lord.

Here are 10 verses on money to memorize this year (or maybe even this month!)

1. Luke 16:10

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

2. Proverbs 24:3-4

“By wisdom a house is built,
    and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
    with all precious and pleasant riches.”

3. Proverbs 11:1 

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
    but a just weight is his delight.”

4. Hebrews 13:5

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”

5. Romans 13:8

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

6. Proverbs 21:5

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”

7.  Deuteronomy 15:10

“You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.”

8. Galatians 6:7

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

9. Proverbs 6:6-8

“Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.”

10. Matthew 6:31-32

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”

Now get memorizing! :)

- Erika from Faithful with Finances

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P.S. Visit Christian Personal Finance to view a comprehensive list of 250 Bible Verses About Money

There’s An App For That!

faithfulwithfinances:

Need help sticking to your resolutions? Look no further! The Huffman Post lays out some great apps that will keep you on track – not only financially, but even with healthy eating! Before you know it, you will be on your way to implementing real and lasting changes that will help you every single day this year.

Originally posted on The Huffman Post:

Alright people, now that the hub-bub of the holidays are over (and it’s a Monday, and we all know diets can’t start on any other day of the week) we can officially start working on our New Year’s Resolutions!

It seems like the toughest part of keeping a resolution past February is lack of accountability. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (or said):  “Well, I would go to the gym/save money/eat healthier, but I don’t have anyone to go with me/know where to start/have motivation.”

Thankfully, there’s an app for that! And by “that” I mean all of your excuses-ha!

Sparkpeople

Used For: Weight Loss, Healthy Living

Price in App Store: Free

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This is one of my FAVORITE apps! I’ve been using this site for over 5 years now. It’s similar to MyFitnessPal (which I’ve also used) but SO much more user-friendly. You can track your calories…

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Going Against the Culture

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Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/412431278350267302/

One of my biggest struggles in writing on different topics of personal finance is at times I have to wonder: Will people actually do these things?

It’s one thing to say you need to save more, but are you actually putting that into action and doing it for yourself?

One of the reasons why I think this is so difficult for millions of people across the globe is simply because of the culture we live in. Having material possessions is considered a type of power, authority, and there is a certain degree of pride that comes with it. Our life is so limited to the temporary, that we miss the bigger picture. We are too easily pleased by what we can do with money, and what we can buy, when the true happiness in life is found outside of these things.

C.S. Lewis gives great perspective on this when he says…

“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Isn’t that sad to think about? We might be living our life making mud pies, when God has something much greater planned for us.

Because of this, I want you to be careful…

Be careful of falling into jealousy, coveting the possession of others, ego, pride, desire for wealth or material success. It’s not worth it, and it can lead you into a very dangerous place. Value the people in your life, value the time you have with them. Put others first, and be characterized by a heart of gold that looks to the needs and interests of your friends and family. Pray for your enemies, and look for ways to serve them also.

I want you to take caution in what you are seemingly finding joy and satisfaction from. Life is not based on the temporal, earthly, or material, but it is based on the end goal of eternity in heaven.

I spend a lot of my time thinking about money. What to do with it, how to save it, what is the best way to spend it, where to stash it, how to make the most of an investment. And I share all of these things with you…

But don’t be mistaken, money is not what my life is centered on. Yes, it is my work, it is a part of what I do every day, but it is not what makes me who I am, and it is not what I put my whole heart and faith into. Yet I must say, at times I have cared a little too much about money…

I have based big decisions off of money when I should have been thinking about something else, or someone else…

I have cried over the thought of “not having enough” money…

I have felt the greed set in when I want more money than I have already earned…

My warning and advice today is not to scare you, but rather to give you a more clear perspective on what our lives are about. Make an effort to put the Lord first in your decisions, and not your emotional view of money. It will never be enough, and it will never satisfy.

The culture will tell you to do whatever you can to get ahead. Make the most of your days, and specifically, make the most of your money…

Buy that car you’ve always wanted, buy the house you can’t afford, and you see that handbag over there, GET IT, you deserve it…

Oh how deceived we are by our surroundings. We take moments that are meant to bring us closer to Christ, and we thwart them to moments of selfishness and greed.

Your challenge today: Go against the grain, and don’t make money the focus of your life.

By: Erika from Faithful with Finances

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5 Financial Resolutions to Make This Year

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We’ve finally reached a break in the holidays where we have a chance to sit down and think about the year ahead. We reflect on what has happened in 2014, and we look forward to the times ahead in 2015.

Whether your goals involve weight loss, saving more, or even simply enjoying your everyday life on a regular basis … your goals are important, and we want to help you achieve them.

We all know the familiar phrase, “People don’t plan to fail … they fail to plan.” This is true of almost all resolutions. People begin by having lofty goals, and they rarely make a concrete path to achieve them.

Here are 5 financial resolutions to make this year.

In the next post, I will detail exactly how to achieve these 5 resolutions … because hey … they’re worth it!

1. Improve Your Spending in 1-3 Budget Categories

The three I’ve chosen to tackle this year are:

1.) Eating Out

2.) Groceries

3.) Cable

Whether it’s a small category, or a big one, it will make a difference by year end … and it’s a great plan to start now!

2. Establish a YEARLY Savings Plan

I’ve started to pin some of these ideas on our Pinterest site but here is one simple example of how you can create your own yearly savings plan … and end up with close to $4,000 at the end of it!

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3. Budget Now for One-Time Expenses

A lot of times “unforeseen” expenses are really things that you can budget for … or at least create an emergency account for. There’s no excuse to be “surprised” by your auto-insurance premium or property taxes.

4. Decide on What’s Important and What’s Not

Do you have a lot of “stuff” in your life? I know I do! At this time of year I always reflect on what I need, and what I don’t. Usually I am paying for subscriptions or memberships that really mean nothing to me. Simplifying is the answer!

5. Out with the Old, In with the New

One of the best things you can do this year is clear out your junk and have a garage sale or start selling old items on ebay. Not only is this a great way to de-clutter your life … you can also make a little extra cash on the side too!

Look out for my next post on some real, tangible ways to accomplish these goals.

Happy New Year to you :)

- Erika from Faithful with Finances

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Help! I’m Broke!

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Photo Credit: https://www.behance.net/gallery/12848761/Bible-Verse-Quote-2

Now that Christmas is over, many of us are realizing the damage we did in spending … mainly over spending. 

The common thread going around is, “Help! I’m Broke!”

We love the gift-giving process, but in the end, we are left wondering how we will make it through the following year.

This inevitably leads many of us to make financial new year’s resolutions!

The list goes something like this …

1. Make a Budget

2. Stick to a Budget

3. Save, Save, Save!

Whether we have bills to pay or expenses coming up, we could all use a little more in savings – and this time of year reminds us of just how real that is!

Let me encourage you to take a few steps this week or next to eliminate stress and give you a great start to the New Year!

1. Breathe, Relax, & Pray About It

Do you have big expenses coming in the next year? Or maybe even a large debt to start paying off? Relax. We are called in scripture to give our requests to God and He will in turn give us peace. Let that be your mantra for heading into the new year. You won’t be able to do anything on your own – only through the grace and power of our Lord. So rely on Him for your worries, and remember to bring it to Him in prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

2. Write Down Your Goals

Nothing is worse than having a goal in mind and never sticking to it. Make it a habit to write down your goals. It’s better to have one solid goal than many hard to attain goals – so if you must, simply write down one! Have it somewhere that you can easily see it. Post it on the fridge, on a bulletin board at work, write it in your calendar and set an alert. Seeing your goal on a consistent basis will make it more of a reality.

3. Start Small

All big goals can be realized in time if you start small. Maybe you have a goal to be financially independent, or to pay off your home. While these goals sound impossible right now, they are not impossible if you start today. Start small with a simple savings schedule. Before you know it your savings can grow and compound and you will be amazed with the amount that is contributed.

If you practice these 3 steps in the new year you will be on the right track, and before you know it, the stress of the Christmas spending will be behind you!

- Erika from Faithful with Finances

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Merry Christmas!

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Photo Credit : Happiness is Homemade

Merry Christmas! Enjoy this day with family and friends. Remember to always thank Christ for why we get to celebrate this special day. As Christians, we know that Christmas is much much more than what is found in a store. We get to celebrate the greatest gift – our Savior!

- Erika from Faithful with Finances

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10 Ways to Practice Generosity This Christmas

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1. Write a Hand-Written Letter to a Loved One

How long has it been since you’ve received a hand-written letter? Probably a LONG time! Nowadays, a hand-written note means much more to the recipient because you actually took the time amidst the busyness of life to sit down and think about what they mean to you. Think about someone in your life that could really use a hand-written note … I’m sure they will love it!

2. Volunteer at Church

Does your church do anything special for Christmas? At the very least they probably have a Christmas Eve service. Call or speak with the leadership and ask if there is any way you can help. They will be more than happy to find a place for you, and a helping hand is always needed at this time of year when more people are inclined to go to church and hear about the “reason for the season”!

3. Do a Family Toast About Blessings

Our family loves to do this around Thanksgiving, and I have to admit, I look forward to it more than the meal! I love to hear what people are especially thankful for – and what God is doing and has done in their lives. Take a moment to go around the table and talk about one thing you are thankful for … the answers just might surprise you!

4. Give Someone Your Undivided Attention

Ever been caught in the middle of a conversation only to realize the person on the other end is totally distracted and isn’t hearing a word you’re saying? Practice the art of listening this Christmas by going out of your way to meet that person’s needs and simply hear what they are saying. A lot of times you can pick up on subtle cues and emotional pain simply by looking into their eyes when they talk about something. Be that listening ear when everyone else is distracted.

5. Help Prepare a Meal

Maybe you don’t have the funds to create the spread and invite everyone over – but you can definitely lend a helping hand! Get in the kitchen and ask your hostess what you can do to “make her life easier”. That will be a  sigh of relief to her, and most hostesses are more than happy to give you an easy (or sometimes difficult!) job.

6. Go Caroling

As a family or with your church this can be a very fun, very joyful experience. So what if you’re not the best singer in the world? Have fun with it! You only get to celebrate your Savior’s birth this one time of year, so make sure the WORLD can hear that joy!

7. Invite a Lonely Friend to Dinner

Many people around this time of year start to feel uncomfortable. They have no spouse or kids to share this season with, and they often feel left-out and may even spend Christmas at a local restaurant. If you know someone in your life that could use a little cheering up, simply invite them to your Christmas celebrations. Who knows … maybe you are the only person that even thought to invite them to a get-together this year.

8. Read the Christmas Story out Loud

One way that my family and I always put things into perspective is by reading the Christmas story BEFORE we open our gifts in the morning. Trust me, when I was younger, this was a hard thing to do! But now that I’m older, I can’t help but appreciate the tradition. The Bible is this wonderful gift we’ve been given, and Jesus was the greatest gift to all humanity … so the reading of this present should definitely come first!

9. Do a Christmas Craft with Your Kids

As a kid, I can certainly remember some of the great gifts I received, but some of my favorite memories are when we did things together as a family … no matter what the activity! Pick out a simple Christmas craft or game to do with your kids and they will remember not just the presents, but the great memories that were created. Need ideas? You can always visit Pinterest!

10. Smile and Say “Merry Christmas!”

I was in Walmart the other day in the checkout line and I remember thinking to myself, “Should I say Merry Christmas?” I’m embarrassed to say that the thought even crossed my mind … but before I knew it … in a loud voice and with a smile the checker said, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!!” Don’t ever be afraid to spread the message of Christmas. It is a wonderful story to tell. By the joy and smile on your face when you share that with someone, they can, in turn, share that joy with someone else. It’s a special time of the year, and we need to remember the joy that we should carry in our hearts as a thanks to our great and awesome Savior.
Have any heartfelt traditions you do with your family? Give us some ideas and leave a comment below!

5 Characteristics to Cultivate Financial Wisdom

 

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What does it mean to “cultivate financial wisdom”?

Put simply … it’s a way of life where you are less interested in “things” and more interested in “people”. You are not obsessed with the latest phone, the latest car, the latest outfit. You take the time to appreciate the things in life you’ve worked for, and you know what it means to stand aside and save while everyone else is out spending.

So what would these characteristics look like in your everyday life?

1. Discipline

Managing money takes discipline. Period. Even the wisest investors practice discipline. They don’t credit their earnings to “luck”. They often make wise decisions, and that involves the characteristic of discipline.

2. Patience

What is the one thing that gets people into financial trouble? They can’t WAIT for what they want. They are too obsessed with the item, or the vacation, that they can’t see through the clouds. Patience means saving for what you want – not giving into impulse buys.

3. Generosity

Some of the wealthiest people in the world are generous. Sure, there are exceptions to this … but often times you will find wealthy people who are more than willing to give generously. As Christians, we are called to be generous in any and every circumstance – and this characteristic should be tied to the attitude of our heart.

4. Humility

If you are committed to practicing financial wisdom – you will be humbled. You may watch others around you basking in material possessions (that they can’t afford), and you will have to sit back and be content with what you have. That takes true humility.

5. Gratitude

Humility and gratitude go hand in hand. In order to be humble, we must realize that God is the one who provides for us, and all of our possessions really belong to Him. This leads us to gratitude. Knowing what God has given us cultivates a grateful heart – where we look less at what we don’t have, and instead focus on what we do have … an abundant life in Him.

- Erika from Faithful with Finances 

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The Simplified Budget

Sometimes all you need to get started is a simple push in the right direction … which is why we’ve created a free resource called “The Simplified Budget”.

This worksheet will give you pre-set categories to help you easily fill in the blanks with your own personal budget.

If you need to add or change any category – feel free to do so! The first step towards creating a better budget is simply knowing  the facts – what is coming in, and what is going out … and this worksheet will help you do that!

If you have any questions or need help with the download, please feel free to email us at info@faithfulwithfinances.org.

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Get Your Free Download Here

- Faithful with Finances

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

 

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What’s not to love about Thanksgiving? Memorable times, your quirky family, and that huge turkey just waiting for all of you to DIG IN!

Whether you are hosting or attending – one thing is for sure … it can be expensive to feed ALL those people!

The truth is that many families struggle during this time of year. They are expected to put on a BIG feast – and that ends up costing them a hefty amount of money to do.

We thought it would be fun to round up the best, most budget-friendly recipes that will give you not only a fun holiday with your family, but one you won’t be left regretting!

Feel free to make one of these budget-savers this Thanksgiving … we guarantee no one will even know the difference!

Apple Pie Bites

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Recipe Here

These lovely little bites involve crescent rolls and slices of apples, along with a few staples you already have in your pantry. The perfect dessert solution to keep your wallet at bay!

Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole

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Recipe Here

The key to saving during Thanksgiving can simply mean “buying around sales”. If you know you will make a sweet potato casserole – be on the lookout for sales on sweet potatoes and pecans. Fortunately, this recipe calls for marshmallows – a very inexpensive ingredient any time of the year!

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Recipe Here

With only 5 ingredients (one being salt & pepper!) this recipe is a total winner. You can count on this recipe stealing the show with it’s high ratings and delicious flavors …

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

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Recipe Here

This may be similar in cost to your typical mashed potato recipe – but it will be a huge time and sanity saver! If you are the one hosting Thanksgiving, you will definitely appreciate this recipe.

Cheesy Pull Apart Rolls

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Recipe Here

Sometimes it’s fun to add a slight spin on the old classics! In comes this recipe … a wonderful twist on classic rolls. With only a few ingredients, they are also shining stars in the budget category.

We hope you enjoyed this recipe round up!! Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite!

- Erika from Faithful with Finances

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Black Friday Dos And Don’ts

faithfulwithfinances:

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With Black Friday right around the corner, it’s great to equip yourself with some good tips and tricks! Here are some awesome ways to save …

Originally posted on The Debt Blog:

With Black friday nine nights away, customers are critically evaluating budgets and their holiday shopping lists while perusing programs and the advertisements because of their favorite shops.

1. Cash doesn’t Equal Love. In case you are striving to decrease expenses, or can not locate the loss leader, the finest presents are seldom the ones you purchase at the shopping center, but presents of love, expertise, ability and time. This might incorporate a playlist or a special scrap-book, or a thing you prepare paint or craft. Presents of love plus time that are significant and private will be far more memorable, thus do not shun guarantee coupons for a home cooked meal nights baby sitting oil-change,, garage-cleanup, or doing taxes.

2. Buddy Your chosen Retailers. Many retailers are providing special deals on FB and Twitter. It is advisable to incorporate your preferred shops for your friend listing (at least for for…

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Kick Your Bad Habits and Make New Ones

Kick Your Bad Habits

What makes a bad habit?

Something you’ve been doing for years that only makes your situation worse.

A good habit may be hard to develop at first, but changing what you already do now will make life much easier in the long run. Consider what you might be doing right now that causes hardships on you financially. Are you a spender? Are you late on payments? Do you keep your documents organized? There are so many little things we can do to get ourselves on a better path financially, so let’s take a look at some ideas on how to fix our bad habits.

Here are some examples of things you might need to work through:

  1. Putting expenses on your credit card and not paying them off at the end of the month
  2. Assuming you’re too young or too old to start investing for the future
  3. Having debt left to pay off, other than student loans or mortgage
  4. Keeping all of your money in a checking account
  5. Impulse shopping- failing to learn to buy what you actually need
  6. Waiting to start your financial planning until after you’re married
  7. Only focusing on yourself without doing any charitable giving
  8. Not having a firm grasp on your budget, knowing when to save
  9. Not saving a set amount automatically out of every paycheck
  10. Ignoring coupons
  11. Living beyond your means

Many people go through the fear of facing their habits and not knowing whether they can change. The good news is, we have the victory in Christ to change, and God is doing a new work in us! Romans 12:2 states this clearly, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

He does not want us to spend time in our old habits, because this distracts us from truly working hard to become stewards of His resources.

So what do we do now? How do we change our habits that we’ve developed for years? The first tip is to pick just one. Don’t tackle on all of them just yet, but instead, pick one habit that really hinders your stewardship, and work on it for 30 days. Set your mind to it, and after 30 days, you will see the fruit of your labor. Whether it be at a certain time of day, or as a trigger from something else, purpose in your heart to lean on the Lord and not your own way of doing things.

Here are some good habits to look towards and to replace your bad habits:

  1. De-cluttering  & Organizing your financial papers
  2. Saving up for a purchase (avoiding credit)
  3. Using a 30-day list for all non-essential purchases-(When you desire something, don’t purchase it immediately, put it on a list and look at it 30 days later to see if you really need it.)
  4. Pay your bills right when you get them
  5. Take 20 minutes a week to update your budget
  6. Search through the 2,000 verses that speak on money/possessions
  7. Use an envelope system (only cash)
  8. Find accountability in a friend

Remember, practice makes perfect, and the Lord loves to see His children honoring Him in their everyday lives.  Think about what you might need to change, consider that the Lord needs to be your rock and security, not your finances.

Do you have a bad habit you want to kick? Share it below!

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Lentils and Spanish Rice

faithfulwithfinances:

In need of a healthy budget-friendly recipe? Look no further! We love this awesome lentil and spanish rice dish from “The Collection: Broadening My World”. This would be a great possibility for a meatless-Monday dinner, or any dinner of the week, and will save your grocery bill MAJOR bucks! Do you have a go-to inexpensive recipe? Share with us below!

 

Originally posted on The Collection: Broadening My World:

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Trying to find new meals for dinner is difficult. Then trying to think of new meals to make on a budget that are vegetarian can become even trickier. This lentils and spanish rice recipe is a healthy vegetarian recipe on a budget. I felt pretty accomplished when I came up with the idea personally. I found a recipe on Pinterest that I adapted to create this meal.

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Ingredients:

Yields 6 Servings

  • 1 cup of Instant Brown Rice
  • 1 cup of Lentils
  • 3/4 cup of onion
  • 3/4 of a Green Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp of Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper (If you like your food mild only add 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 (10 ounce) Can of Rotel Mexican Festival Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Package of Romaine Hearts
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees

2.) Cook…

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Do You Consider Yourself a Steward?

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Believe it or not, if you are a Christian … you are called to be a steward.

You may have never realized until now that this is the job you were called to, but God takes great delight in making you a steward of His resources, and He is waiting for you to become faithful with what He has blessed you with.

Charles Spurgeon puts it this way …

“Every child of God is where God has placed him for some purpose, and the practical use of this first point is to lead you to inquire for what practical purpose has God placed each one of you where you now are? You have been wishing for another position where you could do something for Jesus: do not wish anything of the kind, but serve him where you are. If you are sitting at the King’s gate there is something for you to do there, and if you were on the queen’s throne, there would be something for you to do there; do not ask either to be gatekeeper or queen, but whichever you are, serve God therein. Brother, are you rich? God has made you a steward, take care that you are a good steward.”

If you have ever spent your days wishing or hoping for a different position in life – it’s time to stop!

God has placed you EXACTLY where you are for a reason … and He wants you to be a steward in that position.

What does this look like if you’re a stay at home mom? Or a cubical worker? Or a garbage collector?

All occupations, all callings, all lives can be lived for the glory of God – no matter where you are or what you do.

Here are 3 Ways to Become a Better Steward Today:

  1. Look for Opportunities to Share the Gospel

We are stewards of the great message that Christ has given us – the gospel! Because you have been entrusted with this, don’t be afraid to share it. Take special care of that message and reach souls for Christ when you get those opportunities.

  1. Live Your Life Out In Front of Others with GREAT Stewardship

Do you take care of the little things? The big things? People will notice. Let the words of your mouth be gratefulness, an attitude of contentment & gratitude. (Need inspiration on how to do this? Check out our last post on gratitude.) Before you know it, others around you will see the stewardship in your life.

  1. Take a Hard Look at How You Spend Your Time, Talents, & Treasures

The three important areas we are called to be stewards of is our “time, talent & treasures”. Take a look at how and where you spend your time, if you are using your talents to your full ability, and the way you handle and give your money.

Remember that becoming a good steward doesn’t happen overnight … it is a slow process that grows us to become more and more like our Savior.

Do you have ways that you practice stewardship in your life? Share with us!

- Erika from Faithful with Finances 

How to Not Blow Your Budget This Weekend

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When the weekend comes, many of us find ourselves in a spending frenzy…

We have dinner with friends, we have friends over for dinner, we see family, we drive to see a new place, we go on a date night, we have football parties …

Let’s face it, if there was ever a time to “blow the budget” it would be the weekend!

In a normal workweek, it can be easy to simply pack your lunch, come home & make dinner, and there’s really little time left in the day to do too much damage.

But when you have an ENTIRE day off … that’s when the spending begins!

Here are 5 sure ways to NOT blow your budget this weekend:

1. Remind Yourself of Your Categories

You once set up a budget … a long time ago … at the beginning of this month. Revisit the categories you might be spending in, and make sure to check yourself and see if you can even spend this weekend. Do you have money left in your “eating out” category? Can you afford to go shopping – even for something small? If not, find other fun things to do. Have a picnic, or play a new sport. Need inspiration? Visit our post on the 10 free things you can do today.

2. Look for Sales Ahead of Time

Planning a football party? They are pretty popular this time of the year! Plan your menu around the sales. If pork is 50% off in your weekly flyer – make pork carnitas, or something “partyish” that involves the item that is on sale. You will save MAJOR bucks doing this instead of creating a fancy menu with 1,000 ingredients.

3. Don’t Impulse Buy

Have you been wanting to go check out a new car this weekend? Take the time to make your purchase – DON’T feel pressured by the salespeople, DON’T make a decision right on the spot, and DON’T follow your impulses when you see something shiny and new. Go home, think about it, analyze it with your spouse or someone you can be accountable to, and then make your decision. It’s also a great idea to do the “30 day” rule where you wait 30 days to make a big purchase. Your mind can easily change in that time period.

4. Plan for the Week Ahead

Use the time you have at home this weekend to do some planning. Plan out your meals, your budget, and look over your expenses. Reminding yourself of the spending you will do in the coming week will be the ultimate “reality check” to help you stop spending this weekend.

5. Visit Somewhere Close

Depending on where you live, there are so many fun things to do in your area. With gas prices so high, it can be tough to take long trips over the weekend, only to come back Sunday night and fill up your tank again. Play “tourist” in your area and do some of the things that you normally wouldn’t do. Want to earn bonus points in the frugal category? Bike to your destination! You and your family will have lots of fun, and you will save money by not burning through gas.

Ultimately, we hope you enjoy your weekend and have lots of fun. We are here simply to give you great ideas to still have an amazing time without breaking the bank!

Have an idea to share? We love to hear from you, leave a comment below!

- Erika from Faithful with Finances

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