Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Savings & Emergency Fund, Elimanating Debt/Bills, and Investments/Retirement Series from a SAHM's Perspective

This has been a post that I have been planning on writing for some time and since I am up early this morning, I'd thought this would be the perfect time. It comes from a christian, 1 income point of view.

Saving money is VERY important to me and my family. It gives us a sense of calmness whenever something unexpected happens. There's never a need to fret because we have what we need to get by. But it hasn't always been like this. There was a time when I would be so afraid of looking at the account. It made my stomach hurts to have to see a negative red number. We'd have to rob Peter to pay Paul because things were bad. Now, with the recent downturn of the economy, it has been even more important to be wiser regarding our money. People are losing jobs, their 401ks, IRA'S, and other investments due to the wall street collapse. As a result people turn to their credit cards to help them get by until they find another job or a way to bring in some more funds; which in turn increases their debt.

Being a young couple (I'm 24 & hubby is 29) and living on 1 income, it is even more important that we use what money we have the best way we can. We have to save more, be wiser, and more frugal than a 2 income household. We have the same bills, students loans, and now a mortgage to pay for. Yes, their are times when money gets tight and that's why I strongly encourage budgeting. It not only allows you and your mate to know exactly where every single penny is going but it also prevents unnecessary arguments, which can lead to an unhappy marriage and household. And statistics shows that money is the #1 cause of divorce nowadays, even among Christians.

Being a saved couple, we strive to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us. That includes giving without expecting anything in return, not wasting money, and saving some for those times when it's truly needed. We believe that GOD gives his people a little to see how they treat it; if they do good by it, then he knows that they will do right by a lot. Besides, if we can't be responsible with our own, then how do we expect GOD to allow us to be responsible over others. Like I mentioned before, would I want someone to run my company's finances if their own finances are not good.

Now, when we got married, both me and hubby was working. We were that example of having 2 incomes and NEVER saved a dime. We always spent, spent, spent. Never put nothing away or gave to others. I used credit cards, paid bills late, always wanted to eat out somewhere. We were irresponsible with our money. God knew and saw this. When I was 6 months or so pregnant, my hubby and I decided that I would quit my job and become a SAHM. I mean, we couldn't complain because we were already in the red and at rock bottom so going to 1 income wouldn't be much different we thought. We knew that even on 1 income, if we did our best with our money and be responsible stewards, the Lord would not only make the 1 income work, but possibly add on to it or stretch it a long way ( and we all know that no one can stretch a dollar like GOD can!).

When we finally sat down and reviewed our finances, we realized that we wanted to have a stable financial future for ourselves as well as our daughter. We knew GOD would be with us but we also knew GOD expected us to do right by what he had given us. We understood that if we weren't doing right by the money that GOD would see us through any situation but not without suffering for a little while first. And trust me nothing can cause you heartburn like getting a financial whipping from GOD.

To get on the right track We had 3 basic steps we wanted to concur: Savings & Emergency Fund, Eliminating Debt/Bills, and Investments/Retirement. We finally reached this point and it took us years but it doesn't have to take others the same amount of time. We did it and so can you!

Now, each of these topics needs a separate post of it's own because they are quite lengthy. Today, I will post about Savings/Emergency Fund, and will continue tomorrow and Saturday (Lord's will) with Eliminating debt/bills and Investments/Retirement. I hope you get something out of this series and any feedback/responses would be great!


The Lady Riposter said...

It's so great that you're being proactive and making plans now! I'm a student again now and since I don't have an income I feel really funny seeing my bank balance go down instead of up each month. Thankfully I had a lot saved before I started this so I'll be okay!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I actually posted a macaroni and cheese recipe last year. Enjoy!

Sheena said...

Thanks for the comment; and good luck in school! I'll checkout the recipe. Thanks again!

Porter Prodigies II said...

Love your blog! "Ring around the Blog"

Jennifer said...

"Ring around the Blog!"

Good plans!! Its never to early to start!!

Sheena said...

@ Porter Prodigies II....
-Thanks! Welcome!

@ Jennifer......
- Thanks! You are so right!