we took this picture almost exactly a year ago. when i think of how much our life has changed since then, one of the biggest changes has to do with how we handle money now.
this talk by Elder Hales really hit home for me and has helped us refine our financial planning and spending. here are a few little pieces of wisdom from the talk.. enjoy :)
"Another important way we help our children learn to be provident providers is by establishing a family budget. We should regularly review our family income, savings, and spending plan in family council meetings. This will teach our children to recognize the difference between wants and needs and to plan ahead for meaningful use of family resources."
i've always been a budgeter, but this talk propelled me to a whole new level of budgeteering - one that is so specific to each dime that we make, that we find we're never short of what we planned.
" We must want more than anything else to change our lives so that we can break the cycle of debt and our uncontrolled wants."
my parents are the ultimate example to me in this area. they hate debt. a week or two after last general conference, steven and i used some extra money that we had been saving for a long time to pay off our credit card. it felt amazing. Elder Hales' comment about the "cycle of debt" really rang true to me, because we definitely were stuck in the cyclone of debt last summer. we'd put almost all of our income toward credit card debt, then end up having to use the credit card again for our basic needs, which put us even further in debt. very, very frustrating.
"Whenever we want to experience or possess something that will impact us and our resources, we may want to ask ourselves, “Is the benefit temporary, or will it have eternal value and significance?” Truthfully answering these questions may help us avoid excessive debt and other addictive behavior."
asking each other this question has saved us from making a lot of purchases that aren't necessary: ice cream, new cell phones, a bed frame, clothes, manicures, trips, a big tv, movies, going out to eat... and as a result has saved us a heck of a lot of money that would be spent on things that we definitely don't need.
which isn't to say that we live like monks... obviously we don't - we definitely spoiled ourselves last weekend in utah, and are planning a big trip next summer (more to come when i have the details hammered out)... but living by the simple guidelines outlined in this talk and the personal revelation we've received about our finances, we have confidence in each other and our own abilities to only buy what we can afford, and to penny pinch so that we can afford to buy the necessities of life, and to fulfill our dreams at the appropriate times.
this talk is absolutely excellent, whether you're LDS or not, it yield great advice for how to live frugally when the economy makes everything uncertain.
hope you're having a great sunday!