The Tortoise and the Hare – Project Gutenberg etext 19994 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the past two weeks I have gotten a little discouraged about the progress we are making financially. It just seems like this financial freedom is going to take a long time. I think we have been doing a budget for 8 weeks now. Yes, I do feel better, but when I look ahead getting out of debt seems a long way off. In one of our most recent lessons in Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey mentioned Aesop’s Fable about the tortoise and the hare and reminded us that “slow and steady wins the race.” I really needed to be reminded that this is going to take patience.
Unfortunately, I am not the most patient person. I don’t think I am the only person that lacks patience, because our society is totally about immediate gratification. I need to keep in mind that I need to “live like no one else now, so that later I can live like no one else.” It takes patience.
In Luke 8, Jesus tells a parable where the sower scattered seeds which fell on many different types of ground. Some of the seeds fell on the path, others on rocky ground, others among thorns, and some on good soil. The type of ground they landed on influenced their growth. When I apply that parable to my own life I can see how the different areas of my life have produced growth, change quickly, or don’t even grow. But sometimes the changes wither and die because they weren’t planted in the right soil. I can really see this principle in my financial life. I have thrown my money on things that won’t produce anything, but will be destroyed by moth and rust. I know my husband is worried about this financial change withering and dying….but I assure him that the freedom I feel now is my motivator to slowly plod forward.
Luke 8:15 “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” What kind of crop will I produce?
I can even apply patience and perseverance to my overall health, which maybe I will be brave enough to post about my weight loss journey one day…
What are areas in your life where you need to develop more patience and perseverance?
For those of you who know me, I have had a “slight” shopping problem in the past. You might be wondering how long ago am I talking? Well just five short weeks ago I was charging things on credit like my life depended on it. Also, to many people’s surprise I have not used a credit card in those 5 weeks. Daringly, I cut up my credit cards during a Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey) class two weeks ago. Dave Ramsey talks about being a gazelle and out running the lion (debt) because your life depends on your speed. I feel so fast and liberated! I am not scared of the lion anymore. I don’t worry if we are going to have enough money at the end of the week or worry about what might be coming out of the bank. Wes and I actually sat down and did a budget! Now we know where every dollar we earn is going. For those of you who have been doing budgets, you are part of a secret world I didn’t know existed. In Proverbs 19:14 it states “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” My poor husband had a shopaholic wife (I am still in recovery), with whom he had to contend. Let me tell you I could wear him down by convincing him of things like getting a 0% interest credit card is a good idea (five of those cards later it is not such a good idea). I am praying that God continues to transform me into a financially prudent wife.
Dave Ramsey says…yes I am one of those people that does name dropping to reinforce what I say….that making a budget is crucial to getting your finances in order. We actually will take out cash for certain items in our budget and use that money until we spend it for that week. For those that think this is archaic, it is. Society has convinced us that credit and debt are just a fact of life. THEY ARE WRONG! We can choose for debt to be our life or we can choose to take control of our finances. In Proverbs 22:7 it says “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” I have totally fallen for the debt trap and unfortunately I pulled my husband down too (He just said he is not totally guilt free). I no longer want to be a slave to my debtors…I am ready to break free!
So far below are the changes we have made financially:
1. I am no longer getting my hair enhanced (colored;). Savings of over $600 a year
2. We are no longer buying plastic bottles of water. Savings of over $200 a year
3. Wes is allowing me to cut his hair (haven’t had too many mistakes). Savings of over $700 a year
4. We stopped buying coffee and started making it at home. Savings of over $780 a year
5. We have budgeted spending money, so we know where our money is going.
6. We started actually saving money.
7. We started doing a debt snowball, where we focus on the smallest debt and pay it off fast. Then we apply that payment to the next debt and work our way down the long list.
8. We decreased eating out and stay in our budget.
I have been throwing around the idea of starting a blog because I want to share my struggles and growth in all areas of my life. Hopefully, through sharing I can inspire and encourage others. Not only is it my goal to affect others but also to keep myself accountable for the changes I want to make and the changes I am making. At first I was like…oh yeah, I can start a blog. I mean everyone is doing it so why can’t I? Honestly, after day one I am completely overwhelmed about writing a blog. This computer coding is completely out of my realm. After one day I have realized that this is going to take up a lot of my time, of which I don’t have much. I figure though like most things there will be a steep learning curve. I have saved a document with my ideas for blogs and yesterday this idea using the word prudential seemed to stick. We will see if it is received well and if I can relay my intentions for the blog.
So, what in the world does being a Prudential Woman mean? The definition of prudent is “acting with or showing care and thought for the future.” The Bible also speaks of being prudent. In Proverbs 14:5 it says “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.” My husband and I have started a new chapter in our life…and I am calling it financial prudence. We have been living paycheck-to-paycheck and have more debt than the Federal Government…well not really but it sure feels like it. I began to think not just about the financial aspect of my life but also other areas like my health, spiritualality, parenting, marriage, friendships, and community/church involvement. So I thought, well being prudent in all areas of my life would do me well (not to mention it will do others well too). I realized I could be prudent in so many areas of my life that I have just been neglecting or just floating along being complacent. Okay, so in this blog I am going to write about a lot of areas in my life. Hopefully, some of you will help me stay accountable and also maybe be encouraged in your own life. So, here it goes….I am jumping into the blogging world!