Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Acting my "wage" & now teaching my husband to do the same.

My sister at coming the end of this month with her baby. I saw this sun shade for $20 and immediately thought to myself "i want one and the baby needs it! why should I borrow a shade if I can have one myself for $20?" I really wanted to buy it. But I stopped and asked myself "do I really need it now?" and the answer was no. So I walked away from the tent. At first i was sad but then i ended up smiling at myself coz I had once again mastered the art of "acting my wage".

As long as i've been a single mom (11 years now), I've lived an extremely frugal life style. A single income (of about $1200 a month) with 2 people to feed meant learning to pinch your pennies and saying NO to yourself (and your child) when you want to buy certain things, because I couldn't afford it at all. But I also learned to say no because I found out about Dave Ramsey and i was very determined to "act my wage" and "give every dollar a name" and it all went to food, shelter, christian's needs and getting out of debt.

Even Christian started listening to Dave Ramsey Jr. And he learned to use his money wisely, to give to tithes and offerings and save up. For someone who doesn't get any allowance, he's saved up $500 of his own money for his college fund! That's a big chunk of savings from someone who doesn't even get allowance since he's homeschooled.

There was no dollar that didn't have a name or an allocation. Each dollar went into an "envelope". Because of that I was able to live off of $1200 a month paying rent, food, and all our needs. But I never had enough to save.

So when I left my comfort zone and ventured into ministry and raising support... it also meant an unstable amount of income coming in on a monthly basis. (On some months like this month - I only have about $1000...On other months I have $1500). Every month is an adventure :) and because it's not a fixed income, I still live the life of pinching pennies and saving and saying NO to buying unnecessary things.... But now with a lil bit of extra money, I used that to save up for an "emergency fund". And I was able to save my first $1000 emergency fund and even add to that.

Then, i got married and I thought things would change a bit.... I thought i'd be able to buy more things and actually splurge a lil bit more since it's now a two income household. BUT i realized that i cannot shake off the lifestyle I live to give every dollar a name....

Sooooo I introduced my then boyfriend to Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University. I told him if he ever wanted to marry me, he had to listen to the cd's first. And now he's hooked. :))))))

I told him we were not going to get married with debt on our heads. He wanted to give me the world and the wedding of my dreams (because he loves to shower people he loves with gifts), but i wanted him to learn about financial peace. So we decided to have a small wedding here in hawaii. We had enough money saved up so we could both pay for all expenses in cash. The dress and alteration paid for in cash. The rings were paid for in cash. The food was paid for in cash. And we had to say NO to inviting more people because we had to stick with our budget. The wedding was simple yet beautiful, meaningful and fun and God's presence was definitely felt...and it was all within our budget. 

Now that we have another wedding in LA to save up for, we are once again pinching pennies to pay for the whole thing in cash. It means making a choice to inviting only family and really close friends (even if I want to invite the world), having the wedding at a backyard instead of some grand hotel with an ocean view and finding way and ideas to get creative but not spend a fortune.

We are now also working on our envelope system, our budget, how to give, how to live on cash, to stop splurging on unnecessary expenses (ex: learning to eat at home instead of outside... brewing your own coffee instead of buying at starbucks) and we are going to try our hardest to save for an emergency fund, life insurance, retirement, etc and fight our way to get out of debt.

Because just like Dave Ramsey says: "We desire to live like no one else, so tomorrow we can live like no one else."

If u want to live in financial peace and start acting your wage....Let me introduce you to "Dave Ramsey". :)