"I wasted a lot of last year just spending whatever I wanted. I felt like I was filling an empty void in my life--I would get on social media and see all the fun everyone was having, all the nice and shiny gadgets that they owned, the big homes, the nice vacations, the new clothes, and it left me wanting. Now I am broke and want to change and start the new year out right. Can you recommend anything that can help?"
Let me just start out by saying that I am not a professional financial counselor but I do know what it is like wanting to learn how to be better in the handling of finances. When my husband and I were a young couple we made mistakes like many couples do. Now looking back I want to make sure my children do not make the same mistakes.
It is so important to keep learning more in the area of finances because there is so much to learn. I had no idea that eventually one day I would have to be in charge of feeding and clothing a large family of eleven and be responsible for how most of how most my husband's paycheck it spent. What a huge responsibility and it definitely requires lots of planning, prayer, and hard work!
Contentment is something that I know all struggle with--we need to learn to be content with God and what He has provided and to keep our eyes focused on what really matters. It is so easy to get distracted, especially somewhere like social media, so if you are tempted there to be discontent, remind yourself of your true goals and maybe take some time away it to get refocused!
I really enjoyed much of Dave Ramsey's financial wisdom in The Total Money Makeover (I am sure you have heard of this best-seller). Ramsey wisely urges us to:
1. Stay out of debt and pay it off as quickly as you can - buy with cash or not at all
2. Save money, don't spend it all
3. Start an emergency fund and then keep it somewhere safe from spending
4. He stresses that the some of the major hurdles are to financial stability is to be in denial and too busy keeping up with the Joneses!
5. I would also add to read up about what the Bible says about money so that you can learn the principals of what God says about it.
Recently his daughter came out with a book on this very topic which I think is helpful as well. Here is a description:
The Joneses are broke.
Life looks good, but hidden beneath that glossy exterior are credit card bills, student loans, car payments, and an out-of-control mortgage. Their money situation is a mess, and they're trying to live a life they simply can't afford. So why exactly do we try so hard to keep up with the Joneses?
Are we really living the lives we want, or are we chasing someone else's dream, just trying to keep up appearances on social media, at church, and in our community? Why are we letting other people set the pace for our own family's finances?
In Love Your Life, Not Theirs, Rachel shows you how to buy and do the things that are important to you--the right way. That starts by choosing to quit the comparisons, reframing the way you think about money, and developing new habits like avoiding debt, living on a plan, watching your spending, saving for the future, having healthy conversations about money, and giving.
These habits work, and Rachel is living proof. Now, she wants to empower you to live the life you've always dreamed of without creating the debt, stress, and worry that are all too often part of the deal.
Social media isn't real life, and trying to keep up with the Joneses will never get you anywhere. It's time to live--and love--your life, not theirs.
You can find Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want HERE.
I hope these books are blessing to you!
Are you struggling with finances?
What helped you?
Please share them in the comments below!
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