A Life Worth Living by Nancy Buxton

Posts tagged ‘economy’

Financial Peace University

I think I told you we, my man and I, signed up to attend Financial Peace University.  We have been to our first meeting.

In front of the room they had a jar, some scissors and some cut up credit cards.  Now my man loves his credit cards, not that he over uses them and he always pays them off at the end of every month.  However, he L O V E S the little benefits he gets like 5% for every gas purchase.  I will let you know how that goes, do you think he will cut up his credit cards?

The next thing was, we had to go home and make a simple budget.  We have, and I am ashamed to tell you this, never lived on a budget.  Well I should not say never when we first started out I guess it was a budget, we knew exactly what we could spend or we wouldn’t have enough to pay the rent.

Yesterday we made our simple budget, budgeting in a certain amount to save every month.  As it is now we just save what’s left over, now we are going to save a certain amount every month. Working on a budget we will only spend what is allotted for each item.  For instance, we budgeted $150 a month for entertainment, this includes eating out.  When that’s gone we won’t be eating out until the next month.  Hummmmmmmm wonder how that will go.  We don’t eat out tons I suspect we will have money left over each month.  If we do I wonder what we will do with it?  Just kidding, we will S A V E it.

At the top of our budget, just a Dave Ramsey suggests, we put the amount we will give back to Jesus.  Our whole purpose in attending this seminar is to be able to give more. My man and I are reading the book, Three Cups of Tea, the book makes us want to help others.  It takes such a little amount of money to make a big difference.

PS–Weight–down 2 1/2 pounds finally–that makes 32 1/2 pounds.  It is slow going but it is worth it.  I had to put that in the budget too.  $120 a month is what I think it costs, I know what you’re thinking, no I can’t seem to do it on my own.

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Financial Peace University

Ramsey blog 007

Our church is holding Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and we are committed to attending.  We paid our fee and we have our material now all we have to do is go.

I know what you are thinking, at their age do they need to attend this seminar, are their finances in that big of a mess.  Yes and no, we have no credit card debt, we have an emergency fund and we have some savings and we give to our church.  We feel we can do better and we want to do better because we want to be able to give more and to be more responsible with our money.

Just this weekend I read in our local newspaper that 80% of men die married, 80% of women die single.  Women outlive men and they pay the price for poor financial decisions made earlier in life.

Here are the 5 financial rules:

Don’t spend more than three times your annual household income on a home.

No more than one third of your annual household should be spent on cars.

Don’t take on more debt than you expect to earn, on average, over your first 10 year out of school

It costs more than $130,000 to raise a middle class child to age 18, and that is before any higher education. Think about that before having children.

It is best to never loan money to family, if you do consider it a gift or get the repayment terms in writing.

I know this is a boring subject to most of us, but I think it is one we all need to address.  If you don’t know about your finances find out!

What About the Bargains?

Have you missed me telling you about the bargains I have been finding.  Have you missed my LOL’s when I  come home with several bags of products for pennies?

I have to tell you the bargains in couponing have dwindled considerably.  Is it a sign of the times?  Idk–if you don’t know what that means you must not text LOL. (I don’t know)  I don’t text much myself so don’t think you are the only one that still talks on the phone.  I miss my couponing days and I hope they come back soon.  I still find a good deal now and then but not like I use to.

In the mean time, I still believe we must take care of our money.  As I garage sale during the summer months, I am astounded at the things people pay big money for and then turn around and nearly give it away at a garage sale.

When I look around my house and see the stuff I have spent good money on and realize I don’t even like most of it, it makes me stop and think how much money I would have had I not spent  foolishly.

Today I bought my grand daughter a mocha something or other from Starbuck’s, it was pennies short of $5.00 for one drink.  Think of the people who do this nearly every day.

We have some friends who were paying nearly $100 for cable tv, they didn’t even use half the channels they were paying for.  They also were paying by the minute for their long distance.  They didn’t know there are plans that have a flat fee for long distance.

My sisters, we must get smart about our spending.  Think about your expenses, is it necessary to have unlimited texting for the whole family? Do you need a land line?  What about gym fees, downloads, bottled water, eating out and a dozen other expenses. 

The Lord expects us to be good stewards, let’s start now.

Still Another L.O.L

You already know I love a bargain and yesterday was a great day for a good bargain.  Before I left home, I knew I was  about to enter the doors of Walgreen’s or CVS, I could feel the excitement building.  I don’t have a Spiritual application from this except I wish I had this same feeling when it is time to sit down and open my Bible.  I am going to pray about that.

Here is what I brought yesterday at Walgreen’s: Rembrandt Toothpaste, $5.99  and received a $6.00 Register Reward (same as cash but has to be used at Walgreen’s), Bayer Quick Release Crystals, $2.49 and I had a $1.00 coupon that I found on the display at the store, I got $2.50 back in RR’s (Register Rewards), Ecotrin 81mg, 45 count, $2.00 and I got back $2.00 in RR’s.  Get this, when I opened the box there was a $2.00 coupon on the inside so when I take this to the store I will make $2.00 on my Ecotrin deal.  Nivea Body Wash, $4.99, I had a $1.00 coupon and got back $5.00 so I made $1.01.  I had a lot of RR’s from last week so I paid very little out of pocket and I have all of these products and  lots of RR’s to spend.  I must warn you don’t use the RR’s on the same item, you won’t get another.  In other words, don’t use your $2.00 from Ecotrin to buy another Ecotrin, use it to buy Bayers.  I must also add, always be honest, if the  advertisement  says one per person that means you can only buy one–that’s it only one. 

I have given many items away either to friends or to The Good Neighbor Center or to Bags of Love.  This is a fun hobby that helps me and helps others too.

Town Hall for Hope

 Town Hall for Hope is your opportunity to sit down with people in your community for a nationwide town hall meeting led by Dave Ramsey.  Mark it on your calendar, April 23, 7:00 p.m. CDT.

When Dave decided to do this meeting he said he would be happy if 500 sites would be willing to host this pod-cast, well guess what, thousands of venues across the country will host this event.

I went to daveramsey.com and searched for a host site near my home and to my surprise my church, The College View Church is one of many sites in my city to host this event.

In the opening half hour, Dave will offer straight talk about the economy, recession, foreclosures and more.  He will explain where we have come from, where we are now, and what we should be doing with our money during this time.  Then, Dave will spend an hour answering your questions.

Is it Biblical to think about finances and to plan for the future?  Of course it is, we are expected to be wise and at the same time generous with our resources.  I can honestly say I have never missed any money I have given away.

Why Are We in This Mess?

I read this account of what our financial problem is. It gave me food for thought.

David Beim, a former banker who is now a professor at the Columbia Business School, has something to say for people who want to pin this whole thing on the banks.

He has a chart illustrating how much debt American citizens owe, how much we all owe — with our mortgages and credit cards — compared with the economy as a whole. For most of American history, that consumer debt level represented less than 50 percent of the total U.S. economy, as measured by gross domestic product.

And then …

“From 2000 to 2008, it’s almost a hockey stick. It just goes dramatically upward,” Beim says. “It hits 100 percent of GDP. That is to say, currently, consumers owe $13 trillion when GDP is $13 trillion. That is a ton.”

This has happened before. The chart shows two peaks when consumer debt levels equaled the GDP: One occurred in 2007, the other in 1929.

And that scares Beim.

“That chart is the most striking piece of evidence that I have that what is happening to us is something that goes way beyond toxic assets in banks. It’s something that has little to do with the mechanics of mortgage securitization, or ethics on Wall Street, or anything else,” Beim says. “It says: The problem is us. The problem is not the banks, greedy though they may be, overpaid though they may be. The problem is us.”

What do you think? Do you agree?

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