Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘Money Money Money’

Money Management and Real Food: lessons we can learn from both

Some years ago Papa Bear and I attended a Dave Ramsey Money Management course in our Church. It was great, and even though we’re only starting to implement the principles now (#1: emergency fund. Hmm..), we learnt a lot and it certainly affected our attitudes and perspectives.

This week I discovered a clever application of these principles in my research  into SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), so I’m sharing it here. The article comes from Kelly the Kitchen Kop and the full post (and others) can be read here.

Dave Ramsey’s Money Principle #1:

  • Implement the Debt Snowball – Attack one debt at a time, the smallest first.  When that’s done, attack the next smallest debt.  Soon you’ll have gained the momentum you need to keep it going.

Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Principle #1:

  • Implement the Good Health Snowball – Start with one thing at a time so you’re not overwhelmed.  (You could go through these Rookie Tips.)  Change that one thing in your kitchen or in your diet, and when you’ve got that down, move to the next goal.  Soon you’ll have gained the momentum needed to keep you motivated for each next step!  (My Rookie class could help with this, too!)

Dave Ramsey’s Money Principle #2:

  • “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.” Drive beaters without payments, don’t spend money you don’t have, live within your means, save your money.  Then later when you’ve built up wealth, you can live like no one else.  You won’t be too buried in debt to have peace in your life.

Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Principle #2:

  • “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.” Don’t load up onsugar any old time you feel like it. (A good reminder for myself, too.)  Cook most of your food at home.  Don’t eat out for convenience sake.  Don’t keep processed foods around.  Then later when you’re in your 50’s or 60’s and haven’t been to the doctor in years, or you’re in your 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and still on the floor wrestling with your grand kids or out walking each morning pain-free, you’ll be living like no one else.

Dave Ramsey’s Money Principle #3:

  • Don’t be “normal”. Many may mock you for being “weird”, but remember that “normal” is broke and in debt.

Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Principle #3:

  • Don’t be “normal”. Many may mock you for being “weird”, but remember that “normal” is sick and tired.

Dave Ramsey’s Money Principle #4:

  • Don’t take advice from broke people.

Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Principle #4:

  • Don’t take advice from those whose advice has kept us sick.

Dave Ramsey’s Money Principle #5:

  • “The Borrower is slave to the lender.” (From the book of Proverbs.) Debt does not create peace in your life.

Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Principle #5:

  • The Truth will set you free.” (From the book of John.) Nutritional advice that makes common sense can free us from health issues that may have weighed on us for years or that could be right around the corner.  Good health can set you free to enjoy the life you’ve been given.

This week I’m starting SCD with my family, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

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Wasting money and saving money

A very big part of Joy on a Shoestring is supposed to be recording ways to economise on life. The idea is that we can and should live more frugally in every way: saving time, money, the environment etc. It just makes cents. (See what I did there?). MyfriendJane has promised to email me her Frightfully Frugal meal plans, which seem to comprise lentils and love and not much else, yet keep her family happy, healthy and in the black. Obviously I will share those here as soon as she sends them. Until she does, I found this article semi-useful. I already do pretty much all of these things, but I didn’t in the past and they have made a difference since I started. Also, not all of these apply all over the world (do we even have cooupons in SA?), but they are still good ideas, by and large.

Top 10 Wastes of Money Families Can Avoid

By The Circle of Moms Editors – Aug 1, 2011

What is the biggest waste of money every family could easily avoid? We asked our Top 25 Money-Saving Tips Bloggers and they divulged over 60 smart ways to trim family expenses. Here, we reveal the 10 most popular tips. Time to stop these money-wasting habits, and start saving!

#10 Buying Things You Don’t Need

“Buying things you don’t need or can’t afford is the biggest waste of money. This is true for grocery, drugstore, household, big-ticket items, things for your kids — anything and everything. You really have to ask yourself, is this something I (we) REALLY need?” –Michelle HovestadtWicked Cool Deals

#9 Eating Junk Food While Traveling

“It is amazing how much money you can waste just by stopping at fast food places and convenience stores. Make sure to pack a cooler with snacks, sandwiches and drinks for the driver and all passengers!…If you wait until you are on the road, not only will you pay full price, you will normally pay an inflated price for the convenience.” –Mommy’s Money-Saving Obsession

#8 Paying Full Price for Toothpaste

“There are plenty of coupons in the Sunday inserts for a variety of toothpaste…every family can find one or many that suits their needs…Smaller sizes combined with coupons will have the biggest savings.” –Rebecca Autry,Moms Saving Money

#7 Eating Out

“Many families are on busy schedules and trying to fit in a sit down meal at the dinner table is hectic. One of the quick answers is to hit the drive through, or order a pizza. These ‘quick fixes’ add up to major money! … A little planning can go a long way and save a lot of money!” –Wendy PesceSaving With Wendy

#6 Skipping Meal-Planning

“By creating a meal plan you not only save money at the grocery store, but you save money by not eating out as much. If you already have a plan for dinner that night you are less likely to deviate from it.” –Lauren GreutmanI am THAT lady

#5 Residential Phone Bill

“Many people have already deleted their home phone bill through the use of cell phones…but what if your plan isn’t unlimited? Ooma is VOIP that has very little cost after you buy it. It costs around $200 and then you only pay about $3.50 per month thereafter. Ooma gives you unlimited local and long-distance calling, caller ID, call waiting, and voice-mail.” –King Dealio

#4 “Now” Thinking

“Black Eyed Peas talk about being a “Now Generation.” We don’t have to get things now unless we can afford them! How many people get things now and pay for them later? The only thing is…[then] people really pay for them! –Enza’s Bargains

#3 Not Using Coupons

“There are so many great high value coupons and ways to ‘stack’ and ‘double’ your coupon savings, that it is a waste of money to pay full price for just about anything! You can shop according to the weekly sales and match them up with available coupons to get the most savings power! There are many items that you can get for free or very close to it when you use this method!” –Adventures of a Couponista

#2 Being a Brand Snob

“Do not rely on certain brands. Do not only buy a brand you think your family loves…Different brands will have sales and coupons at different times. This means that even the most expensive brand may be free or close to it at a certain time….Once you start getting the brands that are on sale or have coupons, you will really save a LOT MORE MONEY!” –SarahRaining Hot Coupons

#1 Your Family’s Personal Money Waster

“I believe the biggest money waster a family can avoid resides right inside each of our heads. Changing your habits, planning ahead and vowing to work together as a family will make all the difference. Everyone is different and must find their shortcomings and resolutions…You have to find out what’s costing you, and take steps to change your habits.” –Wendy S.Gimmie Freebies 

Lesson #5: Money matters

This spoke to me this week. (from AlphaOmega)

Playing with Money7 June 2012

“The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again” (Psalm 37:21a).Playing shopkeeper was one of my children’s favorite math games while homeschooling. Frequently, we would set aside our math workbooks and set up our little store to learn money values, counting, and subtraction principles. Using miniature replicas of food items, a toy shopping cart, and a cash register, my children played for hours and never realized they were learning in the process. Substituting real money for play money made this educational game even more exciting and lifelike. Playing frequently, my children progressed until they could easily add amounts mentally and count back change correctly. Due to their play, handling money became second nature. Plus, they also learned a lifelong principle — no money, no purchase.

Unfortunately, the correct handling of money in real life is not as easy for some Christian families today. Although the Bible sets forth principles of being good stewards of God’s blessings, many believers fail because they make purchases based on fleshly desires with the convenience of credit. Forgetting that these charges require an actual payment of real money, many Christians sink themselves and their families into large debts with no ability to pay. Interest rates accrue, and soon the debt load becomes so great that there is no hope of ever getting out of bondage. Breaking under the financial stress, some Christians lose friendships, ruin marriages, and perform foolish acts. The Bible speaks to this problem when it says, “The borrower is servant to the lender,” and “Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts” (Proverbs 22:7b, 26).

What about you? Are you being tempted to abuse credit as you face homeschooling on one income? Don’t do it! Heed God’s warnings in His Word and run to Him with your needs instead. If He has called you to homeschool your children, He will provide, but He also expects you to handle what He provides correctly.

Lord, forgive me for purchasing items I have no way of repaying. Help me to discipline my spending before I destroy the things in life I truly love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

New day, new week … new distractions

Happy Easter, everyone! This year, more than ever before, I was filled with the joy of the Lord and the anticipation and excitement of being in His house, with His people, on the day when we remember and honour His greatest sacrifice, and greatest victory! We had a fantastic weekend. Starting with a Good Friday picnic and hike at Cumberland Nature Reserve, we spent Saturday relaxing (mostly), and then spent Sunday at Church, where we followed a great service with a delicious (and baptistically over-catered tea).

From there we headed to Granny’s House, where the Easter Bunny had outdone himself (well, herself), with this year’s map and treasures. The afternoon was spent relaxing together, and on Monday we had brunch with friends. It was a wonderful weekend, all in all. I didn’t do one stitch of actual work, including any kind of education for my girls.

Unfortunately, I did have a lot to do.

Last night I made a very reasonable and achievable weekly planner, which includes enough sleep (!). I was excited about it this morning and frustrated to have overslept by an hour and a half! (Stupid Chuck keeping me up all night :)). That meant that I started work a little late (only an hour; I’d managed to catch up). However, I’ve recently started an “educate myself into ministry” programme which basically involves reading 100 appropriate books on the subject until I am officially ready to serve. This has proven to be fascinating and very gripping, so a lot of other stuff has fallen by the wayside. It’s good, though. Today I started book 2, and almost immediately the theology sounded suspect. I don’t have time to waste on irrelevant stuff I won’t use (and I’m easily led so I could be led astray), so I decided to research the author. That led to research of the other authors and in the end I spent nearly three hours online, NOT earning any money (or meeting any deadlines, I might add).

In the end I have to turf out about 10 books but I got another 30-odd books for free – and they’re goooood. So that worked out okay. But now I have two hours of work time left, the planned art lesson is on the shelf, and all I want to do is bake stuff. Not the vaguest inclination to code a single line or create the faintest vector. *Sigh* – the trouble with days that start out well is that they continue that way … and it’s not always a good thing.

And another week …

Here we are again, at Monday. How did the last seven days shoot past so fast?

We’ve been studying the history of South Africa as part of our attentiveness unit. We’ve learnt about Strandlopers, Bushmen (San), Hottentots (Khoi Khoi) and early Nguni people. It’s fascinating stuff. The girls have drawn cave art and labelled a map of South Africa and Africa. They love Geography almost as much as I do.

Last week we finished reading the railway children and have just started on the life story of Louis Braille, aimed at children. It’s well written and they’re enjoying it thoroughly.

I, on the other hand, have hit that overwhelming slump that seems such a feature of my life at the moment. The combination of too much work, too little time, too much chaos and very little money at all, it sneaks up on me at random and unexpected moments, leaving me utterly paralysed.

I’ve just restarted my wellness plan, which may be contributing to my funk as my body detoxes itself. I expect to feel bright, focused, energetic and motivated in just a few short days! In the meantime I’ve made rearranged the house on paper, only to be bed-ridden at the thought of trying to find space for everything that doesn’t fit into the picture. I’ve cancelled a meeting, paid a bill, read the news online, and consigned the kids to play in their room. Their token “schoolwork” for today has been feeding the dogs (a first for them).

I’ll have to rouse myself from the depths in a few minutes to make lunch, then do enough work to bill enough to get paid enough to pay the rent. Please pray for me!

Feeling better.

Today we got back into the swing of things. Since Friday the 9th of December I’ve had my nose firmly attached to yon grindstone. As a result, I finished (nearly) all my work for the year! – AND all the billing that goes with it. This is all very good news and rather rare for this frantic time of year. It means that I can chill out a bit, and spend my time chasing debts, rather than earning an income.

Actually, it means I can spend time with my girls.

The side effect of all that work is slight neglect of the children, and by last night I was feeling rather panic-stricken about the poor job I’m doing at being a home school mom. That’s why it was such a  relief to sit down this morning and assess. First of all, while I was working so hard, the kids had a holiday. All their friends are now doing the same, while they’re back at school, so that balances things out. Secondly, it only amounts to 6 days of actual school that they’ve missed, which is not a lot. During that time they played educational computer games, read (a tiny amount), drew, painted, cut, coloured, pasted and played (together and with friends). They swam and went to see a live show. They helped with meal preparation and took care of their pets. And every night I read at least one chapter of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” to them. We looked stuff up and answered questions and they made dolls’ clothes and house and plans for rocket ships. So all-in-all, it’s not as if they’ve gone wild in the last week, is it?

I’ve also taken charge.

I’m reading a great book at the moment (well, three great books, but one in particular applies here). It’s called “12 Great Choices Smart Moms Make”. I’m only on the introduction and it’s already helping me. Step one is to take charge, and it means deciding what matters to your family (and what doesn’t), and using that as the basis of your family decisions. And making it clear to all involved that that is how it works.

So, yes, I am frustrated in this small space, and yes, I do wish I could give my kids horse-riding lessons AND ballet AND gymnastics AND Spanish dancing AND drama AND new clothes/toys/shoes/adventures. But I can’t. Our goal is to get debt free. It will take time. We have to make the most of the time so we will go for walks in the nature reserve down the road. (This doubles as exercise time and I’ve said the girls can both climb the trees and swim in the river). The girls will do drama next year, because the drama programme includes dance. Ballet/Spanish dancing & gymnastics will have to wait. And I’m very sad about horse-riding but it can’t be helped. Maybe later. And we’ll move when we can afford to move, and to a place that doesn’t bankrupt us. That may take some time.

*Deep breath*.

Now that I’ve made some clear plans, I feel much better about it all. The funny thing is: so does everyone else. I guess we all need to be told where we stand once in a while.

(We did some school today, which also helped. Just reading and maths, but those are the main things, right?)

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