Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Six Tips Towards Living With Less

Our pastor does a series every year on finances and last week was the first in the series for this year.  He gave six problems that America has with money.  They are all common sense to me but are things that people are just beginning to learn thanks to the economy.  Here are his six points and a few comments for each.

1. Too much eating out.  There is nothing wrong with eating out as long as it is in moderation and a part of your budget.  He said that on average, drinking only water when eating out will make about every fifth meal free - good food for thought.

2. Too many college loans.  We are huge Dave Ramsey fans and I know he tells people to work their way through college so you do not wind up with loans.  People are constantly amazed that we paid cash for my husband's college even though we did not have full time income.  We worked every odd job we could so we could pay for his school debt free.

3. Too many clothes.  The mood hit this week for me to clean my closet and my husband quickly joined in.  Between the two of us, we cleared out 3 boxes and 6 bags of clothes and we still had plenty of clothes left in our closets.  Neither of us buy expensive clothes but we quickly realized we owned a ton more than we needed.

4. Too much house.  Kids do not realize that their parents did not start out in the house they currently live in.  You have to start small and work your way up.  People are buying too much house in order to have the lifestyle they grew up in.  Let your kids know what your first house was like.  Including taxes and insurance your house should be about 25% of take home pay.

5. Too much car.  The average car payment is $378 a month.  Save this much (and more) each month in a car fund so you can pay cash for a decent used car the next time around.

6. Too much credit card.  Our pastor found a fact that said you will spend 30% more when buying with credit instead of cash.

The key point of his sermon was that we need to be in control of our finances so that we can give back to others.  I'm glad he stated this as this was one of the first things we did when we finally came back to full time income.  We love to give and found it hard when we could barely pay our bills.  We've committed to still living on less so that we can help others in need.


Design by Amanda @ BloggerBuster