Step #2: Stop Over-Spending

Guess what?! You can read all the finance books in the world, and go to all the investing seminars, and buy all the fancy budget apps and tools, and more. But unless you have learned this one thing, it won’t amount to a hill of beans.

You have to stop spending so much.

Far too many of my generation don’t even know what it means to budget.

The majority of guys spend more on their trucks and phones every month than saving for their future family. They don’t have a plan for how to buy a house and provide for a family on their current income since most of it gets spent immediately.

Way too many girls don’t even save anything, because they assume that they don’t need to save for the future. They don’t even consider putting away a portion of their money instead of spending it all. When they want to buy something, they do. When they want to travel somewhere, they go. When they want college or courses or missions trips they sign up whether or not it will drain their bank account (if the money is even there).

Now, obviously, the above statements are general and not true of all young people. But in general, it’s more this way than that young people are frugal, wise, and goal-oriented with their money.

“It’s not your salary that makes you rich. It’s your spending habits.” -Charles A. Jaffe

If you live in American, you have the opportunity to be rich, and you don’t have to be making six figures to do it.

Too many people live with the mentality that they have to make more money in order to save. They think it’s only “rich” people that invest in mutual funds.

People think the more money they make, the more money they will have. It’s simply now true. There are broke people making millions and financially prepared and secure people making a very modest amount. What’s the difference?

It IS NOT about what you make.

It’s about how you spend.

Here are two practical tips to start cleaning up your spending habits TODAY:

  1. Write down everything you spend. (this will come in handy later when we talk about budgeting.)
  2. Think about one unnecessary thing you spend money on, and cut it out for at least a week. A few ideas would be music downloads, clothes (hello girls!!!!), coffee, or going out to eat. Don’t worry, you’ll live without it!

Thanks for all the comments and feedback, ya’ll! Know that I read every one and keep filing away your ideas and questions as I continue with this series. Let me know if you have a specific question or money topic you would like to see addressed. 

-Allison

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A Few of My Favorite Things

This is just a random post with a few snapshots of some recent blessings + joys. This morning my amazing father brought me a huge cold pressed coffee at work, “with lots of cream”, and it was so good. Even more, it totally blessed me that he is thoughtful like that. I am pretty blessed to not only have the world’s best dad, but a pretty awesome boss too!

What’s better than dark chocolate and tea during the evening? It could become a ritual!

A little candlelight dinner with my little sis.

The sunsets through the window at the hotel (where I work) have been incredible! I love watching the sky change colors, and I have the perfect view of the sky through the windows facing the west.

My really kind + thoughtful brother brought me roses. All the sweet things he said were enough to make me cry, and I did shed tears as I was enveloped in one of his sweet big hugs. How I love Mitch and all my dear brothers. He’s such a solid man, and knows how to make a girl feel loved.

A little quiet in the morning to get in the Word……some fresh air……and a good mug of strong coffee…….that’s the powerful way to start a day, in my opinion! Truly “His mercies are new every morning”, and that’s something I am really so grateful for.

What are a few of your favorite things of late?

much love,

Allison

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Step #1: Take Responsibility for Your Finances

Hey friends! I am kickin’ off this new series by starting at what I believe to be Step #1 when it comes to this whole thing of finances:

Take Responsibility for Your Finances.

I’m tired of young people complaining about not having enough money to pay their bills.

I think it’s a crying shame that it’s normal for teenagers to beg for money to go on mission trips! What happened to good ole’ fashioned summer jobs to save money?

And how about ADULTS (which everyone should be by the age of 18) expecting their parents to pay for their college? Ridiculous.

Let’s bring it a little closer to home…….I see no reason why ANY child or adult should not be responsible for their own cell phone. If you’re old enough to have one, you’re old enough to pay for it. Now I understand that some parents work out deals with their kids (or adult children) to exchange work for the cell phone bill. I’m not talking about that. I am talking about free loading.

We are a generation of financially irresponsible young people, and no one is exempt. If nothing else, we prove our financial irresponsibility by failing to plan and save for the future. It’s time for a change. We need to see the imperative necessity of knowing how to handle money well NOW.

It is time for young people, and that includes young women, to realize that their paycheck should not all be spent. First of all, they need to have a paycheck. Secondly, it needs to be budgeted and spent, saved, and given accordingly.

Regularly putting money into saving and investing is a habit learned through diligence.

Saving more than you spend takes self denial.

Being a generous giver isn’t automatic.

Getting up every day (instead of hitting snooze) to go to work takes discipline.

As we start this series, I want to challenge you:

Decide that you are going to be financially responsible. Today is the day. START NOW.

Do you want to have extra money on hand to be able to spontaneously give to others? Do you want to always have the money to pay your bills and only spend extra only when the money is in your budget? Do you want to save for the future? Do you want to be able to spend for special things that are important to you?

You can do all this and more, but I promise you it won’t be easy.

It’s going to take discipline, hard work, and good ole’ fashioned grit.

And if you’re a teenage girl thinking, “how can I save any amount of money when I make so little?” or a twenty-something wondering, “is it really possible to have this kind of financial freedom when I have so many bills to pay?”, let me encourage you with this:

You don’t have to make big money to save big money.

You have to have an iron will that you will be financially responsible whether or not you were taught or showed how.

You have to know that YOU ALONE determine whether or not you succeed.

And then, you have to be committed to the principles that will bring about that success.

I close with this quote, “There are not shortcuts to anywhere worth going.” -Beverly Sills

-Allison

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Introducing “Money Mondays”

Hey friends!

Money. We all have to have it to live, yet sometimes we have not much idea how to go about keeping those dollar bills from all being gone to the wind before we hardly see them enter our hands.

I just am so passionate about this topic that I decided to take a little leap and turn it into a series of weekly posts.

Specifically what is on my heart is practical teaching on finances for young people. More specifically, for girls (but you guys are welcome to read along.:)

Girls today are getting ripped off. Or maybe we’re ripping ourselves off.

We live in a culture that isn’t big on smart finances. It’s all about “my stuff, my way, in my time….whatever it takes to make me happy”. That’s selfish, and it’s very dumb financially.

And it gets worse…..not only is culture not telling us how to be smart with money, the church usually isn’t doing much better. Most parents these days aren’t teaching their kids about wise stewardship either.

I have seen too many girls broke at the prime of their life, going into debt when they should be putting away significant savings, or begging money for missions trips when there is no logical reason why they shouldn’t have the money to pay their own way.

There is a better way. That’s what I want to write about. If you’re wondering what I will be covering in this series, it includes (but is not limited to):

-budgetting

-living frugally

-saving

-investing

-giving

-stewardship (which includes all of the above)

-earning money

-cultural misconceptions about money

Thanks for reading, friends. If there you have a question you would like to see covered, leave a comment or shoot me an email. 

I am excited to talk about money!!! We all need it to live, so we might as well figure out how to be the smartest with it that we possibly can! At least that’s what I figure.

-Allison

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10 Things I Love About Home

#1. The Beautiful Countryside

We arrived home in the wee hours of the morning, Monday. I got up around 4am and grabbed up an armload of stuff from the bus, then RAN inside! I was greeted by the most wonderful smells, sights, and sounds of the farm. HOME.

#2. Quiet Places

In the bus, it is HARD to find quiet time to be alone. I try to be creative and make it happen, but some days it ends up being the “quiet” of blocking noise out with earbuds while retreating to my bunk.:) On the farm, it’s not so complicated, because even if the house is loud, there’s the orchard, or the woods, or a field. When we come home I appreciate the simple option of going somewhere to be alone SO much more after the challenges of road life in this area!

#3. My Brothers

Boy, did I miss Mitch and Carson over the summer! There were so many times when I wanted to ask Carson to grill, or fix something, or ask Mitchell for a backrub, or to give me counsel on something. We kept in touch through our phones, but it isn’t the same at all. I am really enjoying the last few days with them before they get married and I never live with them again.

#4. A Kitchen

Having a fully stocked kitchen. Things not going crashing off the counters (as the bus goes around corners). Limitless water for washing dishes. REAL DISHES. Big freezers + pantry with huge variety. I miss these things when we’re gone, and how I am enjoying them once again!

#5. My Territory

I am absolutely LOVING waking up every morning and knowing that I have awesome options for places to run! On the road, you never know from day to day……one morning we are parked in a Walmart parking lot, the next in the sticks of Alberta. While there are opportunities, it takes more creativity and isn’t always available. I have a number of “routes” I am thoroughly enjoying taking advantage of now that we’re home again. My current favorite is running the trail back in our woods. It is beautiful and peaceful. Pretty much like a little piece of heaven on earth.

#6. Change of Routines

I am grateful for the opportunity to once again head out the door for grocery shopping, errands, meetings, church, and events. It’s a change from exiting the bus door for concerts almost daily, but I am enjoying it!

#7. Fresh Flowers

It’s amazing to be able to pick a fresh bouquet of flowers at any given time! I was so excited about getting home to my flower gardens, and one of the first things I did when we got home was go arrange some fresh florals.

#8. Cornfields

The corn grew SO MUCH while we were gone! I was excited to get home and see it in all its beauty, since it was just a few inches tall when we left.

#9. Ordinary Things

There are so many things that I take for granted…..until we go on road and I don’t have them. Then I realize how much I expect certain things and how little I appreciate them. This time around I am endeavoring to be more grateful- to take joy in the “little” things that are actually so big:

Constant running water. Ever-available fresh milk! Big coffee pot. An oven. A big table. Views from the kitchen window. Cows mooing. Breezes through the window. Night sounds. Fresh cream. Plenty of meat in the freezer. Garden veggies. Lonngggg showers (2+ minutes is long in my book). Hot water at anytime. Washer + dryer. Ice.

#10. Bedroom

On the bus, getting ready is downright comical at times! Waiting in line for 5+ minutes for the bathroom or shower, leaning over someone else to see a corner of a mirror, standing in line for a room in which to get dressed……..these are all everyday occurrences. I wouldn’t trade the crazy and hilarious bus memories, but just running into the bedroom to get ready at home? It’s a novel luxury!

 

 

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