…Mon-ey! (C’mon, you started singing the song as you were reading the title, admit it. I know I wasn’t the only one!)
We all know that I’ve never been one to shy away from touchy subjects, and money is one of those that for many of us increase the heart rate, tighten the muscles, raise the blood pressure, and even make us feel a little warm under the collar. It’s personal! Just like our physical health, our habits, our fitness, our nutrition, our emotional well-being, and so much more…we don’t like getting deep in conversation about our financial health and wellness.
I’m going to give it to you straight–suck it up, pull off the band-aid, and have the hard conversations around money.
Now I’m going to soften that blow a bit through some of our experiences and hopefully make that idea seem like less of a blow. For those just joining the party, you don’t know that in the beginning of 2020 my husband and I walked away from a life dedicated to service. Though the stipend for our living expenses was humble, it was a steady and reliable income with benefits that we chose to leave behind. We made that choice for more reasons than we even chose to express in our two-page resignation letter; God had something different.
Not only did God have something different, God had something far better when we chose to walk in that obedience. But, of course, that doesn’t mean everyday is sunshine and roses either–because we still have to support ourselves and function in a society where cash is king above the One we worship.
One of the first things that we did was create a family budget. This needs to be an easy working document that you can come back to and alter often. For us, the biggest edits we have made are income with sources of income from my husband’s employment changing, and then as my business started to become solvent, the process of what I pay myself and how expenses between our household and a residential business are determined. We love online calculators because we can take the numbers from our different spreadsheets and get a fast determination on what we need to alter and where without the headache of doing the math.
In setting up that family budget and determining our household expenses, we also had to consider how debt played into the equation. Starting over as “brand new adults” with only six months severance in our pocket, at the outset of moving, we accrued some consumer debt. In setting a plan with how to eliminate that debt without paying more interest than necessary, again, we hit the calculators to give us a clear picture of how much to budget for each payment and where that debt was best seated between creditors to pay things off quickly.
We don’t completely institute all steps of Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps, we do employ a number of the concepts into our savings and spending. The radio show is usually on in our car when we’re driving about in the evenings, and Financial Peace University is a great place to develop accountability around money.
The big piece to the financial puzzle that has been the hardest to conquer with the greatest amount of reward, is conquering money mindset. We did not realize that due to the work we had done for so many years that deeply engrained a scarcity mindset around those dollars. We don’t just wake up one day and live in freedom and with an abundance mindset, it takes careful and intentional cultivation, prayer, trust, and courage to make the transformation. The biggest helps that I have had in the journey are the mentorship of my two (yes, two) business coaches, Caterina Rando and Laura Gisborne–as I affectionately call my dynamic duo. These women have helped me to position myself in business and personally to grow and thrive, to increase my value (incoming and what I put out to the world through my business), and move the needle from fretting over every dollar to understanding and trusting that I am just a conduit for God’s money and giving freely of what I have been entrusted–and through that, all my needs are met.
Through this money mindset transformation, we have been able to support our church above and beyond our tithe, my business engages in monthly giving, I have developed a program to support others that are not able to afford my services with no-cost and low-cost options, we invest in the our future, and meet our current financial obligations.
Easy? No. Totally worth it? Absolutely!
Let’s hear from you on what your best financial successes or tips that help you thrive!