Monday, September 29, 2008

Financial Crisis

Well yesterday's blog was about money and today's is as well... but this time it's not so much about what's going on in our life. (Although I DO still want the cheap meal suggestions: see my post from yesterday).

This is a time of great anxiety and uncertainty in our country... and for good reason. People are losing their homes, their retirements, savings for their kids' college, etc...

Hopefully, this will also be a time of revival. A time when people can be reminded that building your hope, your future plans, your well-being on anything other than Jesus will most certainly, at some point, fall away and disappoint.

A little encouragement from the Word to remind you of how great our God is.... God will provide.

I Tim 6: 17-19 "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

Money......

So Money is on every one's mind right now!! We are no exception! Luckily, we are not in the unfortunate group of people whose lives are being directly rocked by the situation on wall street. It does of course remind us all of the uncertainty of life and make us think more carefully about the ways that we're spending our money and what kind of stewards we're being of what God has given us. It also brings into light the great need that will be arising of those in our community. We've decided to take action. We are going to buckle down on our finances and pray for and look for ways to help those who are struggling around us. Matthew decided the best way to do this was to first become more aware of where our money is going and what we're spending it on. That way we can be more aware of where we're faltering and where we're blowing money that we may not even realize. So Saturday afternoon Matthew downloaded Microsoft Money to our computer and synced it with our bank account, investments, etc.... WHAT A SHOCK!!

We realized that our only frivolous expense is our cable and Internet. However, last month we downgraded both of these and have cut our monthly expense on these things significantly.

But our eyes were opened to where we're throwing our money away at!!!!! Are you ready???

Drum roll please.................


FOOD!! My goodness..... you would think we each weighed 500lbs if you looked at the money we spend on food! Up to this point we were going out to eat twice a week. We would go out once on Friday or Saturday night for "date night," and once after church for lunch. We occasionally get fast food type lunches on the run, or a milkshake for a treat. Boy do those luxuries come with a price when you look at it over the span of a month or two. And the money we had budgeted for food...... we more than doubled!! SO... we are going to take action....

A couple of weeks ago I was on Facebook and the "status" of one of my "facebook friends" caught my eye. It said "looking for more ideas on $7 meals... check out my blog." (Or something close to that....) Well it caught my eye. She's obviously a smart gal and has been coming up with $7 meals for her and her husband!! Well that's one bandwagon that I'm hopping on.

So how are we going to put what we learned in action??

1) We're limiting our eating out to once a week. This has already proved to be difficult, but we succeeded last week... so we're off to a good start.

2) Cut WAY down on grocery bills. This means less snack-type foods to put in our lunch bags, less junk food (which will be good for us anyways), less individually packaged (therefore more expensive) lunch alternatives (AKA my Campbell's sippable soups at $1.67 each instead of regular canned soups at $0.87 each.)

4) Try the $7.00 meal plan (preferably ones that can provide left overs for lunches.)

5) Coupons.... I'm going to try really hard to start using these!! This requires much more organization than my current complete LACK of organization when it comes to planning meals and planning my shopping.

SO this is where I need your help!!!!

Please email me any ideas you have on cheap meal ideas. This can be casseroles, crock pot meals.... whatever!! So please put them in the comment section so anyone who visits can see!!

Thanks!!