Are you a good steward of your finances? Here are 3 lifestyle choices you can make right now, no matter what your current money situation. These are things that Heather wishes she had done when she had more money!
Guest post by Heather of My Overflowing Cup
Things have not always been as tight for our family as they are now. They’ve always felt like they have been, but as our income has consistently declined over the last eight or so years, we’ve had to learn to make do with less and less.
In retrospect, we had it pretty good before. We had consistency and reliability. Now we have neither. I wish we had realized then how good we had it. Instead, we focused more on how little we had.
They say hindsight is 20/20, right? I’m sharing this personal information in hopes that you can learn from our experience.
Here’s what we wish we had done when we had more money:
1. We wish we had really budgeted.
We had a budget, but we used it more like a guideline than a rule that needed sticking to. If we had been more faithful with our budget, things might be a little more comfortable now. We weren’t living wasteful or extravagant lives, by any means, but we wish we had made better choices with our money. You can’t afford not to have a budget, whether you’re in a time of plenty or a time of want.
Note from Erin: If you need help making a budget, I have good news! The You Need A Budget (YNAB) app is offering 3 months FREE for my readers! Claim this freebie here.
2. We wish we had lived more simply.
We’ve always lived pretty simple lives, and as time goes on, things get simpler and simpler. However, if we had been living then like we do now, we’d have a little more cushion today. For some tips on living simply and frugally, read this post.
3. We wish we had been gazelle intense about paying down our mortgage.
If you’ve read any Dave Ramsey, you know that is his way of describing a serious commitment to paying down debt. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know our desire to have our mortgage paid off. For one thing, the freedom from the monthly payment would give us a lot more breathing room. Secondly, the thought of the interest we pay each month turns my stomach, as we’d much rather be spending that money on food or saving for retirement.
The main thing I would like to convey to you is that things may not always be as they are today. Because we thought things were tight before, we didn’t really consider that they could continue to get tighter and tighter.
Ask yourself some tough questions. What if our income or financial situation changes? What would we do if we lost an income stream?
And most importantly, if our finances changed tomorrow, would we be spending the money that we are at this moment? That one often stops me in my tracks.
Let me also be quick to say that I in no way think that we should live in fear. We know Who is writing our story and that it ends well. I do, however, believe that we should be intentional about being good stewards of what God has blessed us with. I believe that it is not only for His glory, but for our good.
In the future, I have plans to write more about budgets, living simply, and debt, but for now I wanted to share the things we have learned in hopes of giving you something to ponder. In the meantime, for some encouragement, please see my thoughts on 7 Things To Keep When Money Is Tight.
There are lots of posts here on The Humbled Homemaker for living on a low income! You can browse those posts here.
What do you think? When it comes to matters of finances do you live for today, or do you plan for the future?
Heather is a follower of Jesus Christ, devoted wife of over 21 years to her high school sweetheart, and homeschooling mother of their two teenage boys. She can be found blogging about faith, food, and frugality at www.myoverflowingcup.com