Photo Credit: © 2006 Lynne Holder

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Next Month's Focus

You thought I was going to say something about budgets, cutting costs, and not eating, didn't you?


For the next 2 weeks, my focus is on family reunion time. All 4 kids, their spouses and one significant other, and 1 granddaughter. My whole family. All in one place at the same time.


Bonus: we're going to be on the beach, in a huge, very nice house (even if the pool is teeny--when have I ever had a house with a pool?).

I can't wait to do nothing but laugh. It's guaranteed when these amazing human beings I birthed are all together. I'll be up to my eyeballs in intelligence, quick-wittedness, sarcasm, razor-sharp humor, and wisdom; and most importantly, love.

Oh yeah, and mixed drinks.

I'm smiling just thinking about it.

Look at this face. How could you not smile?

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Budget

Dwayne visited last night. We went over March's income and expenditures. It felt a bit like handing in a test to my teacher and standing there waiting to be graded.

The soundtrack from Jaws begins playing in my head--the part where the shark approaches its unsuspecting victim--as Dwayne began a budget spreadsheet for April.

The victim? Food...$250 worth. For the life of me, I don't know how this is going to come off.

I have actually caught myself skipping meals this past week, for the sole reason that, if I'm not hungry I will save money by not eating just because it's meal time. Now, I think about the cost of everything as I approach eating. By the time I'm done thinking about it, I've made myself just about sick, so I turn around and walk away.

Good way to lose weight at least.

Now hold on just a darn minute. This whole thing strikes me as ri-freaking-diculous.

So what if I eat in a healthy manner? 

So what if it costs me more to eat that way than it costs you to eat yourself into obesity?

We live very modestly and don't spend money frivolously, but it is what it is--this is the only thing left to cut after we have determined what it takes to live indoors and drive to jobs that earn us money.

Yes, I'm mad. Like always, I'll get over it and adapt.

This is what it's like to be shaped and molded by the Master Craftsman. It can hurt. Do I trust the process and the hands shaping me into a work of art?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Person In The Mirror

Meeting #2 with Dwayne finally happened! Yay!


We have it in black and white, and it ain't pretty. After all the drastic cutbacks there's only one thing left that we can possibly cut back. Care to hazard a guess?


But I hardly eat anything! Looking over at Leland, I declared, YOU eat a boatload of food!

Again, I slumped in my chair and tried to take in what Dwayne was saying. Fear began to creep in while my mind started racing about how I could possibly cut something so essential.

I can't cut back on food. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't eat much, but what I eat is very healthy. If I cut back, I won't eat a damn thing!

Regardless of the fact that I didn't even eat dinner tonight, there it is--the cold, hard truth. We have to look in the mirror and realize that the problem is not money, it's the person looking back.

According to The Total Money Makeover, we need behavior modification in the manner in which we shop for food. Cut the number of trips to the store, first off, but since I am not likely to exchange my healthy food for Kraft mac and cheese, bologna and Wonder Bread, we (*cough* Leland) will simply have to eat less of what we like, or maybe we'll eat none of some of those things.

Next modification is to keep the debit card in the wallet and use cash. Does anyone use cash anymore?

However we buy food, I don't see cutting one or two small things every couple weeks is going to amount to more than chump change--but we are going to give it a go.

The road to financial freedom is a one lane dirt path, full of potholes and rocks, and my shock absorbers are beginning to wear out.

I'm curious to know others who have traveled that road before us. Care to share your story?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Silver Lining

We've made some serious sacrifices these last several weeks, but we've been willing to do the painful stuff to get to the payoff--financial freedom.

We've also seen the unmistakable fingerprint of God on our lives recently. Allow me to share:

  • An anonymous $100 Wal-Mart gift card.
  • Christian Healthcare Ministries forgiving a $600 payment that we owed.
  • Contract work for me and a call just yesterday regarding a front office position opening in a chiropractic office (still praying for the tack shop job).
  • Business continues to come in for Leland, and several payments have recently been received.
Leland and I have resolved to make a conscious effort to be more positive in our thinking. We keep this in mind, a man thinks in his heart, so is he... 

We have had wonderful support from our small group and love our weekly get-togethers with them, "doing life together".  Most of my life I have been one of those people who goes through my challenges alone, but I've found out how much better it is to face them with people who will be there for you if you need help. Being that this is atypical for me, I have to add this to the list of things that have God's fingerprint all over them. He knew what I needed before I did. 

Tonight is our next meeting with Dwayne, our Moneywise mentor. I'll fill you in on that later. 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us... Ephesians 3:20

Update: As Dwayne says, "We're snakebit", trying to get to meet. Something has come up causing him to cancel twice, and last week Leland was coughing up a lung, so we canceled. We need some angelic intervention here, I think.