Friday, May 11, 2012
Saturday Scripture Speaks
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest." Proverbs 6:6-8 (KJV)
Money and the handling of it is an often talked about topic. We need money to survive in today's world. In Biblical times, people needed it too. The issue is not whether or not we really need currency but, rather, how do we obtain enough to meet our needs? And do we really want "just enough" or more than enough? Why do we want to have a lot of money? I am not lying when I say that I want to build wealth - but my reasons for doing so are honarable (I think). I desperately want to have financial peace AND be free to help others in need. As it stands now, we don't have anything to offer charities or hurting people other than our weekly tithe to the church. That's sad.
I think women have a responsibility to work hard and "earn" for the good of the family. Don't give up on this blog post yet! I'm definitely NOT saying that a wife should seek a job out of the home, though some have done that and it is not unBiblical to do so. What I AM saying is that laziness in the area of finance is bad. As the above Proverb illustrates, failing to work hard to provide for the individual and the family results in disaster.
You and your husband (if you are married) should absolutely make out a budget and firmly resolve to stick to it. Personally speaking, my husband and I are working up a budget plan and excpect to get ourselves out of all debt except for our mortgage within two years.
One way for wives and moms to contribute to the family's financial well-being is the obvious: Earn an income. Some women choose to work away from home full-time or part-time. If that is your choice, do not allow other moms make you feel guilty. On the flip side, you should never - I mean never - make another woman feel guilty because she chooses to stay at home to raise her children. I have been there and felt tremendous pain because other moms said things like, "Haven't you EVER worked before?" Well, duh, I worked harder than a lot of moms for many years as I raised five children, homeschooled all of them, and worked as a freelance writer (and, by the way, I AM published - and for real money too).
Another way women contribute to their family's finances is to do as I did - work from home doing whatever you can to earn extra moola. In the past, I have taken countless internet surveys to earn cash, Amazon.com gift cards, and other perks. They aren't big money makers, but they do add up. I have earned money with this blog by writing sponsored posts (which I only agree to do if the advertiser's product is relevant to my blog). If you go this route, you should only advertise that which does not conflict with your own personal belief system. In my case, that belief system is Christianity. I have been faithful to never accept advertising for something that caused me to cringe as a believer in Christ.
The most important way for the Proverbs 31 Woman to earn money is not really to earn it at all. She should be a great saver - don't spend needlessly. Use coupons as much as you can at the grocery store, but don't buy something you never would normally buy simply because you have, say, a coupon for $0.35 off an expensive brand of toothpaste. If that expensive brand is priced at $3.99, have you saved enough to make it worth it when you normally pay only $1.00 for that tube of Pepsodent? Wisdom is needed to go at couponing seriously. Some folks have gone to couponing classes or seminars. They recommend the classes highly.
Go to garage sales and auctions to find great deals. Dave Ramsey, in his Financial Peace seminars, says you should always bargain at garage sales and estate sales. As for auctions, be careful you don't overbid your firm "price." Again - wisdom. Utilize thrift stores like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Oftentimes these stores will have half-price sales. Hunt out bargains as if you were a bloodhound.
One of the best ways to save or make money is to have a garden. Raise your own organic fruits and vegetables. Preserve them for winter use by canning, freezing, and dehydrating. The ant stores up for winter and so should you! Also, if you have far more produce than your family can possibly use, consider giving some away to the poor in your community. You can also make cash by selling it at your local farmer's market. A word of caution: Farmer's markets expect you to sell only that which is organic and that you have grown yourself. Follow the rules and you'll be surprised at how much cash you can earn in one summer. Then, if possible, place that money in a savings account - possibly for Christmas or birthday gifts? Perhaps you should just keep it for emergencies.
Keeping to the food theme, making a menu plan each week as well as a shopping list before visiting the grocery store can keep you from making unwise decisions later. A well-organized mom is a thrifty mom. You'd be surprised how much money you save when you're not browsing the stores for whatever sounds good at the time. Store circulars or websites are invaluable in making grocery lists. Match up sales with the coupons you have on hand.
Use Redbox or another rental kiosk for video rentals. Libraries are worth their weight in gold for borrowing books, movies, and books on cd or cassette. Go to the library when you need to use the internet if having internet in your home is not in your current budget. Trade books at Paperback Swap. If you have a blog, you can do book reviews for many publishers via Booksneeze, Net Galley, etc. Do a search for "book reviews for free books online. Many of them offer e-reader books as well as print copies. Amazon.com offers free Kindle downloads every now and then. Insprired Reads alerts people to Christian ones as they become available.
Each woman should prayerfully consider her role in area of family finances. Lift your head high with a smile on your face as you really understand your worth in the circle of loved ones we call family.