Thursday, May 14, 2009

Money, Money, Money...

April writing...

I hate the need for money.

I'm gonna be a bit vulnerable here...(and I may ramble heehee)

Cory and I have done well...we aren't rich by any means, but we handle our finances well for the most part. Then we have tight weeks and this is one of those weeks. Partially due to a minor flub-up on my part...but oh well. So, it's probably why the topic of finances are on my mind.

We have seen God work through our finances to help others, we have been taught great lessons in regards to our finances as well. For years past we weren't always consistent in paying tithes. In 2008 we challenged ourselves to pay tithes continually throughout the entire year, and we did. Funny thing was we got back in taxes almost to the penny what we paid in tithes. Chance? Coincidental? God? <----- I'll take that option. We have months were we can enjoy our extra going out to eat, going out to the movies, buying clothes, buying stuff for the house, etc. Sure, we could take every extra penny and add it to the "Reduce the Eslick Debt" fund...but we feel that it is a little easier at times to enjoy some extra pennies rather than pushing it all towards debt. We have slowly been picking away at debt...i.e., the car is almost paid off...we are down to only two credit cards. We still have a mortgage and a HELOC (home equity line of credit)...but we are considering those to be just part of life and we will pick away or combine those two at some point.

We know that while there are times when things are tight, God is still blessing us in ways that we may not even notice at first. We know that there are plenty of ways we could cut back if we needed to. Cable, internet, cell phones, groceries, even energy and power usage, and home improvement projects. Then there is always eating out and entertainment. We know that if push came to shove...we could and would make some changes. We have seen how money can impact relationships in a bad way and in a positive way.

It does that with everything right? I mean, admit it. When there is money in the bank, we are all less stressed, less on edge, less worried. However when there isn't so much money...we worry, we argue, we blame even.

I think it is important for us to have Faith. To believe and firmly accept that God will take care of us. That doesn't mean we won't have tough times...gosh, our world is having tough times now, just because we have God on our side does not make us immune to that. We have to work together, especially those of us in relationships.

I know for Cory and I...communication is the key. We have to be open and honest and even make each other aware of our concerns and our suggestions. In our relationship I mainly do the bills. That's my job that I take very seriously, I am methodical and organized. Although when I am doing them, there are many times that I consult with Cory. After all, if I am the CFO of our household, then he most certainly is the President, and what company has a President that keeps his nose out of the finances? I make him aware of our status...for's basically, "Babe, this week we are tight," or "this week we are good," or "dress up baby, we are going OUT this week!" haha. We each know what that means, and if not...we ask in order to clarify.

I think it's important for us all to learn from one another. Each of us have had different financial scenarios creep up in our lives. Just think of how much we can teach and learn from each other! So I guess I will just take a moment to list some of the lessons we have learned, some suggestions and some things to watch out for...from our little box of life's financial lessons. (I say this NOT because I think we have it all figured out, or because I feel we are all's because I know that I have learned from others, and if something I do can help someone...why would I not say it?!)

Lesson's we've learned:
  • Always keep an open line of financial communication between you and your significant other (SO). There is NO harm in over communication. Especially in regards to planning and allocating your finances.
  • Remember to be patient, at first you with both have different ways of doing things, you together have to find your own flow. (Cory is a spender, I am took us a while.)
  • If you mess up, pick yourself up, and move on. If your SO messes up, again, be patient. Don't fly off the handle. Half the time they have probably already beaten themselves up enough.
  • Centralize and Organize. Whether it's you or your SO that handles the should all be centralized and organized. Each person in the relationship should be aware of how the process of paying bills, filing, etc works.
  • Make short term and long term goals, both financially and with anything that relates to finances. For example, your debt-payoff plan, your home improvement plans, etc. Everything on your list should be given adequate priority that is agreed upon by both parties.
  • Make changes if need be. Do it now. Don't think about it...don't think you can do things differently without changes. If cut backs need to be it. The biggest enemy of someone trying to change their financial outlook is procrastination.
  • Open the mail as soon as you get it...put bills in due date order and file...remember centralize and organize.
  • Sign up for home banking. This was the greatest thing we ever did. It makes things SO much easier...and most banking systems have great filing systems built right in. They are also accessible from any location with internet access! Call me crazy, but I access our account at least every other day to stay aware of where we are. There won't be any surprises for me!
  • Take responsibility. Each person in your relationship has a job to do in relation to the finances...whether it is spending it wisely, paying the bills, whatever. Know your job and do it well.
Watch out for:
  • Your downfalls. We all have them. Is it spending? Eating out? Too many groceries? Jumping ahead on your priority list? Whatever it is, identify and watch out. Be accountable to your SO and be honest.
  • The un-avoidable. Car trouble? Health care costs? Birthday presents? They all creep up on us sometimes and we aren't ready for them! Plan ahead. That means put money into savings if you have a bum car or just have an emergency or present fund available to pull from if need be.
  • The blame game. It never helps...ever. Just don't do it. For any reason.
At the end of the day...we NEED money to service...I don't know any of you who are living in at tree reading this blog with free floating wi-fi. So figure out your stance on it, plan and get organized. Work together as a team and don't worry.

What are your lessons learned, suggestions and things to watch out for?! Remember we can help each other!

1 comment:

Regina said...

Good stuff April!

One suggestion -- Pay your (tithe and) savings first.

My paycheck is directly deposited to my account. I was able to keep myself on a tighter budget and actually become a "saver" by setting up different sub-accounts. And instead of transferring money into them later, I have my direct deposit go to multiple places.

It keeps me honest. *And* makes me think twice about things. Because it's much more painful to take money -out- of savings to cover extravagances, than to put less money -in-.

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