Friday, February 17, 2012

Budgets: A Mom's Best Friend

Thinking back to when a was a teenager, I never thought about or was concerned with money.  If I needed gas in my '72 Oldsmobile, I asked my parents for the gas card.  If I wanted to go to the skating rink with my friends one Friday nigh (I WAS an 80s child!), I asked for the money to do so and to get snacks while there.  When I got married, my husband and I stayed in denial of our financial irresponsibility and we were constantly in debt.  By the time we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary, we had filed bankruptcy.  We believed this would really help us get back on track with money.  We were clearly still in denial.  Our habits had not changed as far as spending was concerned, and we soon fell back into the same bad decision making we had been rescued from a few years earlier. 
As our family grew and my husband began working two and three jobs to support our family, we realized we were in need of intervention to fix our financial state.  We began to adhere to a budget in which we organized envelopes for bills, gas and tithe.  Additionally, we had an envelope for extras/misc.  This system worked well for a while...until we began borrowing from certain envelopes for our extras fund.  We still battle with the temptation to spend outside of our means, especially when we receive financial stipends such as student financial aid as college students and our tax refund.  This year we didn't blow the tax refund on frivolous things (at least not too many!), and we were able to bless members of our family with much needed items from a new stove to a washer to a new mattress.  I read an article about one of their giveaway items: a book called "The Money Saving Mom's Budget" by Crystal Paine.  In her book she gives practical ideas of how to: 
  • set big goals and break them down into bite-sized pieces.
  •  prioritize your time and life in order to live intentionally.
  •  streamline your home and life in order to have breathing room to work toward your financial goals.
  •  go from no budget at all to a full-fledged, realistic, written budget by following a simple three-step plan.
  •  make a cash envelope system work for you.
  •  cut your grocery bill in half (including 25 ways to save money without using coupons!).
  • save big on restaurants, travel, clothing, utility bills, prescription glasses, gym memberships, and much more.
  • And cultivate contentment, embrace today, and live a rich and full life, no matter your income.           
Whether we win this book in the Giveaway or not, one thing is certain, my husband and I know that we need to change, and we need help to do it.  God can cause things to work on our behalf and can help break this cycle of bondage we feel money has over us.  He can do it through this book or another book or can supernaturally cause our eyes and minds to be open to the wisdom of finances.  Do it for your children; do it for yourself; do it for GOD!

For more information on RooMag, visit:  For more information about Crystal Paine and her words of wisdom regarding budgeting, visit:

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