A Perfect Year, Area #1: An income.

We all need one.  If you are single, then it all falls on you.  But if your hubby is working, can you find a way to work less, and live on less?  The majority of people actually can, but won't.  That is up to you.  Where there is a will there is a way kind of thing. 

If you want to work, that is fine.  I'm not trying to get you to quit.  Just keep in mind that the "Research shows that women who work 41 to 50 hours a week are 1.6 times as likely to develop heart disease and 1.5 times as likely to get cancer compared to those who work 30-40 hours per week (averaged over a 32-year period).  The more hours you toil, the higher your risk."  Allard Dembe, Sc.D., Good Housekeeping, Jan 2017.

This is mainly because once you get home, your work doesn't end - it's just beginning.  So your life is nothing but work.  And I'm concerned about the women I see who work themselves to death.  End of speech.

So here goes:  Begin with where you are and budget.  It's a "money map" - where you WANT your money to go, and where it IS going.  So the food goal may be $400, but at the end of the month when you total receipts the actual may be $775. 

Then you keep adjusting it as you go each month.  Do you need to add more to food, or were you buying gift cards?  Are you budgeting for gifts?  Or eating out too much?  Or does miscellaneous keep going on the credit card?  What are you spending your money on?

What is the one thing you can't pass up?  Lipstick, shoes, candy, cute stuff? My son said for him it is stuffed animals.  For me, I used to say, "It's only $15."  ONLY?  When you identify YOUR "widget" then you can recognize that spending hole in your pocket. 

Put it on PAPER!  It's the only way to gain control.  And if you fill in boxes as you pay something (mine has the months of the year across the top on 4 sheets of paper), then when you wake up at 2:00 am wondering if you paid a bill, you can glance at your map and see that you did, because your chart was filled in.  I have the day paid, and the date due, next to my pymt amount.

Paycheck #1
Paycheck #2
Extra pyck
Tithe on extra
Automatic Savings
Automatic Savings
Cash for month
Lawn guy
Heat, trash, water
Phone and internet
Visa bill
Grocery store visa
Dept store visa
Home Goods visa
Prop Taxes
Dec & Feb
Life Ins due Jan
House Ins due April
Erthqke Ins Apr
Car Ins due July
Car Reg Dec/Jan

For me, "cash for month" includes a small amount of unbudgeted spending money for each of us, our gasoline money, haircuts, pizza, stamps/office supplies/misc money, all in their own envelopes to keep track of. 

A. Sarnoff
Several years ago we needed a new roof, and $17k to pay for it.  The roof was leaking.  We put up tarps for years.  It took over one year of planning, repairing items, and selling items, to work and raise the money for this.  It took prayer and what felt like miraculous answers on what to sell to come up with this extra money.  But we did it - debt free!  The Lord led us with ideas, and doors closing and doors opening.  It was difficult.  But we did it!

I've written much on finances.  Many times it is easier to quit spending money than it is to bring in new money.  Remember, it is only for a season.  Try and find books from your library on how to make money.  I've read some excellent ones on how people survive without steady employment, and it all has to do with seeing opportunities and following through.  Working diligently and asking God for help and discernment. 

Again, you have to know what you WANT or you'll never get it.  I WANT a roof over my head that doesn't leak.  Start writing down the ideas on how to achieve that.  Start reading the money books.  Listen to Renee Ellison's CDs on money or get the written version.  Listen to or read Mary Hunt's books. 

How am I going to get out of debt?  Use Mary Hunt's Rapid Debt Repayment Program.  Subscribe to her website debtproofliving.com.  You can read all her newsletters.  Print them and read several a week until you change your mindset.

We have been 100% debt-free for several years now and I've written a book How to Thrive on One Income on what we did to become debt-free while I was at home raising our child. 

This is important!  Only you can control your own finances!  


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