Season Of Giving, Season Of Sacrifice

December 7th, 2011

We call Christmas the season of giving, but it can also be a season of sacrifice.

Sacrifice not a bad thing, though it can hurt.

My husband and I have day jobs. In the spirit of giving, our companies gave us each a Christmas bonus. It would have been nice to just take the money and spend it on whatever we wanted, but my practical side just wouldn’t allow that. Why? Because spending freely has put us in the same boat as many others. We have a mountain of debt and a valley of income.

The sacrifice for us has come in using most of our bonus checks to begin paying our way out of the huge debt we’ve accumulated.

It doesn’t end there.

Paying our debts down is great, but we have to do more. We need to pull the reins back on future purchases, to sacrifice the spur of the moment wants and the consumerist “needs.”

It’s just as important to really consider each purchase, to weigh our wants against our needs, as it is to dig ourselves out from under the mountain. If we continue to max out credit cards on those items advertisers have convinced us we need, then we’ll never be free from the stress of wondering just how we are going to cover this month’s bills.

When we live within our means — or better yet, below it — then we make way for something even greater.

Live simply so others can simply live.

Spending less than we make means we can give more. When we give a little more to charity and buy a little less for ourselves we can begin leading a simpler life. Enjoying what we have instead of craving what we don’t, makes for greater happiness. And being happy is so much better than being stressed out over bills.

If you need help getting your debt to income ratio under control, here are two blogs that give excellent advice on money matters:

What sacrifices have you made to live a happier life? What other sites, books, etc. have you found to help you get a handle on your finances?

Simply Prayer Advent Giveaway…

I believe prayer is an important part of life, especially during Advent and Lent. I also know that sometimes we get stuck in the details and make having a conversation with our loving Creator more difficult than it needs to be. That’s why I wrote Simply Prayer, to give you some tools to break through what’s holding you back.

With that in mind, I’m giving away a free copy of the Simply Prayer ebook during Advent (Nov. 27-Dec. 26).

To find out how to receive your free copy, check out my post, Simply Prayer Advent eBook Giveaway.

A Fool And Her Money

October 22nd, 2011

Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

The saying goes, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” I’ve lived that saying for a long time, unfortunately, so when I saw The Money Book by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese I wondered what sage (unusable) advice I would find between the covers. I wondered if it was going to be another Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a book that promises to give you secrets to accumulating wealth, but never delivers.

To be honest, I first picked it up because I liked the cover (remember the 8-second rule?). I decided to take a look inside when I realized they were speaking specifically to people like myself, a part-timer trying to make enough to eventually go freelance. The very first example the authors shared felt almost like a story from my own past. I was sold. I immediately found out if I could by it on Amazon for less than Borders was asking for it, which I could. So I shelved the copy I was perusing, went home, and bought a used copy.

From there it’s been an exciting ride of digging out past financial statements, cringing before lists of foolish purchases and working diligently on putting together a plan to make a go of it — financially speaking. (My husband thought their no nonsense language regarding credit cards being “dragons” we must slay was particularly well said. :)) I’m also looking forward to increasing the percentages we’re able to sock away for ourselves in the various savings accounts Kiernan and D’Agnese suggest those of us “with not-so-regular jobs” open.

The Money Book plan is so simple, I think even we can follow it.

What have you done to make changes in your finances? What’s worked? What hasn’t?

***

Catch up on the adventure with other books in the Malkin series.

Apprentice Cat CoverApprentice Cat available in paperback and for KindleNookKoboScribd and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Also available as an audiobook on AudibleAmazon and iTunes.

 

 

Journeyman-Cat15percentJourneyman Cat available in paperback and KindleNookScribdiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

Audiobook coming soon.

 

 

Secrets-of-the-Malkin-sidebar-newsletterSecrets of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

 

 

 

Huntress of the MalkinHuntress of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookKobo and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now