A testimony from Beverly who blogs at Grace For Seven
From the beginning of our marriage, my husband wanted us to solely rely on his income. It was fine with me: I wanted to stay home with my babies.
We were living paycheck to paycheck. We had one credit card and a home equity line, but we found out quickly we weren’t a credit kind of family.
We were a little irresponsible. Credit companies kept upping our limit because we were such good customers. Year after year was the same: we always had enough to make ends meet and to have a little fun. We were able to live within our means.
Cutting Everything We Could to Pay Off Our Debt
A couple of years ago, I heard about Dave Ramsey from MoneySavingMom.com. We read his book. We were so excited to make a difference in our finances, we had Gazelle Intensity.
We only had $10,000 in debt and our mortgage. We looked for services we could give up to payoff the debt quickly. We turned off cable and paid off our smallest bill. The Christmas bonus and tax refund paid off the rest.
We were able to save our $1000 emergency fund and a little extra. Our eyes were on the prize of funding a 3-month emergency fund, but we were still living paycheck to paycheck.
I went over our statements and financial reports and there was nothing else to cut. I looked for things to sell in a yard sale or on eBay and make a couple hundred dollars, but I couldn’t find anything.
Our Budget Doesn’t Make Sense on Paper
We made a few decisions after reading Dave’s book. We decided that “Cash is King” and we were going to live like no one else.
Then, some dental work was needed, the van needed work to pass inspection and I just sat back and watched our savings dwindle. I didn’t see how we were going build it back up.
I looked over the The Total Money Makeover again, thinking I missed something. We spent time budgeting everything. We were cutting coupons and using the cash system and I was just not seeing the Gazelle Intensity gain I should have been seeing. Our budget was not making sense on paper.
Thriving When We Shouldn’t Even Be Breaking Even
What we did notice is over the years we have continually tithed 10% and God has faithfully met all our needs. No budget can explain the fact that we were able to break even.
On paper, if I start with my husband’s salary, subtract all bills and necessities, we would have nothing left for saving or fun. However, at the end of the pay period we were able to pay our bills, put a little in savings, and go on a date.
We want to be good stewards of what God puts in our care. We are still working on completely funding our emergency savings. I know that whatever amount we are able to save for retirement or our children’s education, that God will help us and always supplies our needs.
Beverly is a homeschooling mom of 5. She has just recently taken the plunge into blogging and shares her struggles and victories of a life filled with grace at Grace For Seven.