Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Financial Considerations

Sometimes life can seem so overwhelming - right now it is financial for us.  Yes, we are paying our bills, yes we are eating healthy, yes we are getting Abby to rehearsal each night (45 minutes each way), yes we paid for Isaac to go to camp for a week - but we have absolutely nothing - no savings, and very little in 
our checking.

Yesterday, we were blessed to receive $300 in orders with our busiest month, historically, coming up in August but still, money can seem so hard to figure out.

Sometimes I have such a hard time figuring out how much to save (property taxes coming due, replace our ancient wood stove, car seats for the children, etc..), how frugal to be, how much to deny, how much to give away.  And all the while I am holding on to faith - the knowledge that God does provide.  

How do you prioritize?  Do you budget?  We spend so little on anything extra, but when it comes to our children, when do we say yes and when do we say no?  When it comes to extra trips - when can we afford to do it and when can we not?   I know having our business makes these questions harder to answer, but I would love to hear how others manage their money.


  1. I don't think I can be much help only encouragement...

    We have had money issues through our whole marriage....

    I know we should save more..we also don't have a savings or a retirement put aside. We spend a lot on groceries but really not on much else. God has always provided for what we needed and sometimes what we wanted:) :)

    I know it helps me to write down all our bills and our up coming expenses...like car taxes ect.. It makes my life easier when there isn't any surprises..

    We all need our eyes checked it has been 4 years not the two they recommend...glasses for 4 people are expensive..that is what we are working on right now...and you know what we will get our glasses some way...not sure how yet but soon we will all have new glasses:)

    I look around and see how very blessed we are..there is a family at our church that we just found out about.. that has been eating hotdogs for every meal this month....we are finding away to help them....that should never happen to a family....but it does ugh...

    Tonya...praying that you have a Very blessed month in August...I know God will bless you and your family....


  2. oh dear....there is so much to think about in this post.I cannot imagine trying to manage financially with 7 beautiful children...we barely managed 2 and made so many mistakes by making bad financial choices.We saved and used credit to pay for necessities, ending up in a seemingly never-ending circle of mortgage refinancing.We struggled and had to make hard choices about wants and needs. Lots of sleepless nights...good luck with your challenges. One of the biggest gains I have learned from reading your post is how important it is to live our lives with purpose. Blessings

  3. Hi Renee,
    It sounds as if our families live so much alike in terms of our daily financial means. Also, like you we are sooo blessed - that when we learn of others in "real need" give freely because we have been given so much. Then there are other times, like now, where the savings we had built up to go toward our property taxes has dwindled down to 0, that I wonder if we are being responsible enough with what we have been given... not something I will ever figure out I am sure. But, I am grateful for my faith that keeps me on a path that doesn't make sense to most of the world.

  4. We too are having financial struggles. my husband cut off his thumb and forefinger and although i am only 41 i have to compete with the younger people for work. Around here they want the young ones. when you do have any money everybody wants some of it and it is getting more difficult to stretch the paycheck. we estimate what our next month's bills will be and start a fund the previous month. We don't have the next month's money in full, but any extra we can scrape up goes in the envelope. For example if we have some cans saved and we turn them in the money goes in the envelope. if I send in a rebate that money goes in the envelope and a few other little things. We are really learning how to be creative, but sometimes it seems like no matter what we do there just isn't enough. You know the old saying feast or famine? I think that when we have faith and remain faithful through the famine it gives us a greater appreciation for the feast. It may not make sense to most of the world, but it does make sense to some of us. I feel we are blessed because although we may have a huge stack of bills we still have a roof over our head and food to put on the table. And I'm not sure if we're supposed to feel pride, I've always been confused about that one, but i am proud of the things that i do with the resources that we have like free sunshine to dry my clothes and the food that i grow in my garden to last for the winter so i don't have to purchase it at the store. Oops sorry to ramble on, but it feels so good to know that there are like minded others who feel and experience the same things! Most around here are not like me whatsoever!.

  5. oh my goodness girlfriend - are you living in my head! The fact that you have your own small business is a huge factor in this. I could have given you a pat answer 3 yrs ago "you set aside this much for this, and this much for this" etc. But now as small business people ourselves my perspective is so much. In fact I have no advice.

    Everyone's financial priorities are so different. We prioritize adventure over dental cleanings or savings for example. But adventure is also where we want to earn our livelihood so we take that into consideration. We live very close the edge Tonya and I would like to move away from this edge so there was more of a cushion in our lives but we are still in a growing phase.

    We are building, from the ground up, something new in our late thirties/early 40s, so of course we're "behind" financially or perhaps not where other people our age aim to be. And of course this is the time of life when our kids have the greatest financial needs also . Babies are so cheap (if you're using cloth and breastfeeding) but feeding teenagers and providing for their education and social opportunities starts getting pricey. But you understand...

  6. Thank you, again, for your openness, Tonya. We are very much in the same boat, as my husband has recently gone into business for himself. It can be so discouraging at times, I do know! Though I am reminded of God's daily provisions. He is so very faithful and constantly reminds me of how weak I am in my trust of Him. Thanks for sharing what many of us are going through!

  7. Oh yes Renee - you probably are living so much like us in many ways regarding finances - some days I am in love with out and other days I imagine the luxury of a predictable weekly income but then I just think about all that we would lose with that - freedom! So for now we continue to choose freedom.

    1. Tonya, we need to support each other as we each strive for freedom in our family lives. xo,

  8. Great post, Tonya. Thanks for the honesty. We don't budget, but that's mostly because we've pretty much stripped everything down to the bare essentials. Every year or so, we revisit our spending habits to see if we can trim any fat, and generally have difficulty finding anything.

    That said, one of our so-called "essentials" is the wilderness skills program Fin goes to and the mentoring we find for Rye (this is mostly barter). We also pay for some music lessons for the boys. All of this does add up, and we also struggle with determining how much of it really is "essential" and how much of it is us telling ourselves stories about what our children need.

    Oh, and we don't really take trips, but that also has an awful lot to do with the fact that it's pretty hard to leave this place.

  9. I don't know what to say either, really. We are similar although we have managed to keep some savings from when we got married (occasionally borrowing from it and then eventually repaying). One thing I like about our lifestyle though, is that we really have to let go and trust God. We are not in control of any of it, really. And when I get into a cycle of worrying, it never helps. When I can finally let go (with Adam's help) and trust that God will provide, he does...in one way or another.
    I wish that you could have a small cushion of savings for comfort.
    We are so blessed with a beautlful place to live, good food, living and working as a family--those are worth more than the extras that our kids may want right now. I think you are doing a great job providing both a simple life for your kids with some special extras for them, too. <3

  10. Today I read a verse in Deut. - 31:8 which I found really encouraging, hope it encourages you too. I haven't commented on your blog before, hope you don't mind a stranger from the UK! Linda J

  11. We have also known rough times financially - but a few years back (after my husband was laid off and could not find a job for 13 months) we decided to follow the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Plan. You should be able to find the book at your local library, then follow step by step. Pay off debt first and then things get better. We have now been debt free for over two years - not even a mortgage. My husband worked out of town for two years, then quit that job so he could get one closer to home. It took a few weeks for him to get a job, but I wasn't even worried because we are debt free. It is a great blessing to the family when you don't owe any money - it is hard word to get there, but it is worth it. God bless you.

  12. I was just putting two of my children to sleep and mulling over our money situation. We have in the past five years had our finances rocked and crushed. Sometimes I feel like when you are living with your convictions it sure makes the world a difficult place to be. There are opportunities but at night I start down a negative thinking spiral and oh boy, they seem few and far between. I feel honored to read your blog where you share so much. I read your posts like this,nod my head and feel a little less alone. Thank you.

  13. I understand your "up against it" feeling. My husband lost his job 5 years ago, and we had to sell our house at a loss, move in with family and try to rebuild. We live in our own place now, but there's much less money coming in, and it's very hard to manage. We are where you are often--too often. You are not alone. Many people I have met in the last year have, in some way or another, confided that they also live paycheck to paycheck. It's tough all over.

    Thank you for sharing. Money is a hard thing to talk about.

  14. Thanks or sharing. We are in the same situation. The only thing we can do now is pray. And read bible for comfort. This is my favorite:

    Matthew 6:26-30
    King James Version (KJV)
    26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

    27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

    28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

    29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

    30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

  15. We went through job loss,foreclosure, moving in with relatives, and now renting. I earned two degrees online and have had to go to work, give up home school and put the three remaining children in school.
    Together we can almost earn what my husband earned back when times were good.
    I try to be thankful and count my blessings.
    The rain has been plentiful here so the garden is producing abundantly.
    We have a small savings.
    I keep thinking we'll be O.K.
    I've also learned that O.K.is a relative term.

  16. I second the advice about the Dave Ramsey program. It works for any income and has changed our lives.