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Archive for January, 2010

Month Five

January 29th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Where did January go? It seems like I blinked and it was over. I'm working now a few hours a week and did get my first paycheck this month. It was for $1100 which all went to Sallie Mae. We paid $3,733 towards debt this month bringing the total down to $92,305. I'm almost done with our taxes, just waiting on a few more things to come in the mail but we should get around a $3,500 refund, hopefully in the month of February which will also all go to Sallie Mae. It seems like it's going slow but I know every dollar counts.

Another big event for the month my husband finished his Master's degree in Engineering Management. He's in the Navy so it won't lead to a pay raise anytime soon but it's nice to have it done. We go on a small trip this month. The YMCA of the Rockies had a military special where you could stay for two nights, including food for $148. We went and including gas and activities spent $227 on the trip. We had a lot of fun. The girls went sledding, ice skating, and roller skating. The only activities we paid for was archery and rock climbing. The prices were around $3 per person, very reasonable. The kids had a great time and it was fun watching them try new things.

It's getting close to time to sign the girls up for school for next year. Our neighborhood school is not very good but we have the girls on waitlists for a few different schools out of our district. One of them has gotten in each school but not both of them in the same one. As of we are planning on homeschooling again next year. There is a local school that offers a homeschool option that our oldest is a part of this year. She goes once a week for a full day for classes like Spanish, Music, PE, Art and Phonics. The Kindergarten option goes three days a week. It will be a lot of driving but it's a way to get them in a class with other kids. They are both on the waitlist for the full-time program. It's a great program and it's free.

I'm going to post an updated budget soon. Hope everyone had a good January.

The issue is not how much a person makes but what they do with it

January 8th, 2010 at 05:33 pm

Here is something to think about for today, an excerpt from Desiring God, chapter 7, pp. 202-203:

In Ephesians 4:28, Paul says 'Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.' In other words, there are three levels of how to live with things: (1) you can steal to get; (2) or you can work to get; (3) or you can work to get in order to give.

Too many professing Christians live on level 2. Almost all the forces of our culture urge them to live on level two. But the Bible pushes us relentlessly to level three. 'God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work' (2 Corinthians 9:8). Why does God bless us with abundance? So we can have enough to live on, and then use the rest for all manner of good works to alleviate spiritual and physical misery. Enough for us; abundance for others.

The issue is not how much a person makes. Big industry and big salaries are a fact of our times, and they are not necessarily evil. The evil is in being deceived into thinking a six-digit salary must be accompanied by a six-digit lifestyle. God has made us to be conduits of His grace. The danger is in thinking the conduit should be lined with gold. It shouldn't. Copper will do.

I read this yesterday and it really hit home. My husband and I got married very young (18 yrs old) and we will be celebrating our 11 year of marriage this year. We've lived on next to nothing when we first got married and as our salary has increased so as our lifestyle. We both felt a sense of entitlement to things and a certain increase in our standard of living. The problem was we began to spend more than we had. This is how we have gotten ourselves into debt. We've finally reached a point in our lives where we realize we shouldn't be spending it all and we're sick of our paycheck going to others. We're learning to be content with what we have and be thankful for all the things we've been blessed with. I hope you do the same.

1.) "Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that... Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life" 1 Timothy chapter 6, verses 6 through 8 and 17 through 19.

Month Four

January 1st, 2010 at 08:21 pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR! A new year comes with new years resolutions, a new start to goals, a recharge of sorts. We managed to make it through our first Christmas without incurring any additional debt. We flew to visit my parents, for the first week in December and then my in laws came to our house for Christmas. We kept the presents really simple, the kids made gifts for all of the adults, my husband and I did not exchange gifts this year and we only got the girls two presents each.

Another big event for the month.... I am an official graduate again. I turned in my final report (all 72 pages) on December 11th. It is such a relief to be done. I feel a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Although, I won't feel like it's mine till I get my student loans paid off but I'm working on it.

I worked my first day at my job on December 21st. I'll turn my first time-sheet in on Monday. I've heard horror stories from other interns about the turn around time for payment so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will come through. It should be about $600 which I'll send straight to Sallie Mae.

We paid $1442 towards our debt this month for a total of $7664 in four months. I have high hopes for January. I'll keep you posted.