BEING BROKE

 
No, money isn’t everything and you know what they say, money won’t bring you happiness. I say, neither will being broke.

I am not ashamed to admitted I’ve being dead broke and it ain’t funny. No, I am not a millionaire I’m a baler on a budget! I do not depend on my own strength or intelligence I trust and I depend completely on God, and by the grace of God I now know and understand that money don’t make one rich, financial education does. This kind of knowledge lead me to build an emergency fund and I do my very best to stay out of debt. (Refer to My Emergency Fund is a Blessing )

Proverbs 6:4- 5 Says, Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, And like a bird from the hand of the Fowler.




I remember as it was yesterday, when a few years back in 2013 to be exact I got a letter from my bank saying that they shut all my accounts and that I owe them $20.00 insane I thought who do that? They said I most make a payment and if I want my accounts back I also needed to make a deposit. Yup! You might have never been in that position before. Creditors calling breathing down your neck, too much month at the end of the money, sick only at the end of the month when your rent is due. I been there broke, confused, and embarrassed asking myself how I got to that point.

But that’s not all, I’ve also been on the other side of the spectrum and I like it more. When money is not an issue, I am not a spender by nature, I don’t care much about brands and luxury handbags no, but I’m seriously terrified of being broke. Like seriously, seriously.

I’m one of those people that gets peace of mind from having a fully funded emergency fund and from having savings accounts that are tracking (on date) towards long term goals. Financial security is at the very top on my lists of priorities and goals. (Refer to The Secret to Saving Money )




I want to be able to pay my bills enjoy life and live comfortably with my family to me Having the right money mindset matters that is the reason why I’m committed to saving money in the form of paying myself just the way I pay my bills. I take paying myself as paying a bill. When I started saving though I could not afford to pay myself that way. I mended my errors I had an income problem I fixed it. Dave Ramsey says, a great place to go when you are broke is to work. I did that I am a certify teacher I guess I’m qualified to do something that can generate me some kind of income. I payed the bank, re-opened my accounts and here I am every penny matters to me I been to the point when all I put in my bank account is $1 yup again I’m not ashamed to admit it. Can’t be dollar smart if you’re not penny wise.

 For many people $1 is nothing since can’t buy you much of anything with it but I’m of the opinion that a little + a little + a little = a lot and me making even the small deposit to my savings account, made a difference in my bank account and I saw my account steadily growing over time.

Hey! “A little + a little + a little = a lot”

Not just that, making those consistent transfers and deposits no matter how small, helped me to solidify my savings habit and helped me get accustomed to making consistent transfers to my savings. It also helped improve my money mindset and the way I thought about my finances. I believed (and still believe) that I could save a ton of money and I’m well on my way.

If you don’t know how to start take it from me start little by little or do the 52 weeks money challenge 

 
The Money Challenge is a way to save by putting away a small amount of money each week. As the year progresses, your savings will gradually increase so that by the end of the year you will have saved $1,378! This challenge is perfect for paying off debt or even vacation planning. This could even be the start of your emergency fund! How does it work? It’s pretty simple. It’s all about saving a little more each week.

Deposit $1 on week 1

Deposit $2 on week 2

Deposit $3 on week 3

………. and so on!

While these are tiny amounts, as the chart above shows, they will add up quickly!

I’ve heard some say they actually put in more money at the start of the challenge and less at the end when money is tight for them.  I would suggest putting in more money when you have it to make up for the times when you might be low on funds. This will help you stay on track!



Are you ready to take the 52 Week Money Challenge? If so, I wish you the best of luck! Have fun with it! Share the Money Challenge with your friends and family as well!
Share with us after reading this blog post what are you willing to do to save money? 

Have you ever been broke or feel broke?

Please share this post with someone and leave us a comment.

EMERGENCY FUND

 

I remember as if it was yesterday, the day we finally conpleted our starter emergency fund. It was a day full of joy and celebration well you know the saying; money isn’t everything. But not having it when you most need it can be really stressful.

Yes, now I can say that my emergency fund is a blessing, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when one day we said enough is enough, we both my amazing husband and I work too hard to have nothing to show for it. And we were no strangers to the stress and discouragement that comes with not having enough money to put gas in the car or even replace a tire, maybe you never been there. When there’s too much month at the end of the money? Well that’s exactly where we come from and it is our hope that one of these days you can also say that your emergency fund is a blessing, make that your statement

We’ve all had those big expenses we didn’t see coming. That was our case That’s life. But that future (inevitable) emergency doesn’t have to stress you out.

Well one day we had this doctor’s appointment and I had to go through surgery, we went to the hospital to pre-reg. Fortunally we had get rid of Murphy and he no longer lived nor travel with us no more.

We, useed our emergency fund! 

Your emergency fund is money provides a cushion between you and all the stuff that hits the fan. We had it! We were able to pre-reg and walked out of the place with a feeling everyone should experience.




One day we decided to kick Murphy out, he knock on our door from time to time and we gladly wave our emergency fund in his face, so he goes to check on our neighbors.

Well here are four common questions about emergency funds and how to set yours up:

    1.  How much should I save? We recommend a starter emergency fund of $1,000. That’s an amount you can save quickly and still cover most issues. Eventually, you’ll want to build it up to three to six months’ worth of expenses. But that’s later. For now, focus on getting it started—and fast. Do this before you pay down debt or save for anything else. 
    2. How do I find the money for it? You never know Budgets are desinged to help you get traction and ultimately win with your moneyuntil you make one. You’ll probably find cash you didn’t know you had! Plus, you can cut back in a few areas (like restaurants and entertainment) and find even more. You can also boost your savings by selling stuff online or picking up a bit of side work.




    1. Where should I keep it? Put a category marked “emergency fund” in your budget with a certain amount you want to save each month. This account will gradually build up and be ready to cover your immediate needs—like your heater making that-can’t-be-good noises when it’s freezing outside! Keep this cash in your regular bank account, or transfer it over in a new account when it hits $1,000. It’s up to you!




  1. What happens when I’m done saving?Once you have enough saved for emergencies, focus on your other debt or savings goals. But when you use your emergency fund, be sure to refill it as soon as possible. That way, it’ll be waiting for you when you need it next (and you will!) Refer to The secret to saving money you can also contact us for more tips on saving, paying off debt  and staying out of debt. 

WHY GIVING

 
There’s usually for must people a mental war around giving; this topic brings up the question I hear all the time: “If I’m in debt, how can I possibly give?”

the truth is that giving should not be a burden to the giver, giving is a blessing and the most important of all fundamentals. Of course, your family and your obligations are priority but, let’s check your investments where’s your noney really going? When you have an itching for giving you should give how much you give and who you give is up to you. Some of us give out of obedience and gratitude for all the blessing we’ve been given and also because the Bible says God loves a cheerful giver.

 If you’re doing your best to pay all your bills and provide for your family, put giving at the top of your budget.

you can also see Budgets Are Designed to Help You Get Traction and Ultimately Win With Your Money




When you put giving at the top of your list somehow all your needs will be taken care of God doesn’t stays with anything.

There are two types of giving in the Bible as evangelical Christians we see. There are tithes and offerings. The tithe is off the top of your income before you do anything. That’s why tithing is on the first line of our budgets.

After that, other offerings are almost impossible to find in Scripture until your family is first taken care of. What we suggest is, unless you feel very strongly that God is telling you to do otherwise, the normative storyline that we find in Scripture is that offerings are from surplus. While your family is in debt and you are cleaning up your mess, there’s no surplus.

Just because something pulls at your heartstrings or somebody puts you in an arm twist or you hear a toxic sermon or something does not mean you need to give offerings above a tithe.
 In all cases make sure you pray about your givibg and give gladly, no one should control nor manipulate you into giving, maybe you feel lead to give out of your surplus if it is something you think you should do just ask yourself, am I giving beyond my means? Because giving beyond your means living beyond your means, unless you’re willing to cut back on your cable bill.




How much could you give if you cut back your cable bill? Do you really need all those channels? Or what if you cut back on eating out to one night a week? How much could you save by going to a new grocery store?

You can also see The Secret to Saving Money

You’ll be amazed at how just a few sacrifices can make a major difference and allow you to give in ways you’ve never given before.
when you give is not only the receiver who is in the receiving side, you’re also on the receiving side but in a different way. You receive the joy and satisfaction of being a blessing to someone in need and at the end giving does more for you the giver than the receiver.

HOW TO PAY FOR COLLEGE WITHOUT USING STUDENT LOANS

 
I was motivated to write this post after having a college planning chat with a good friend of mine. I know planning for college can seem overwhelming for the student and the parents.

my friend is a parents educator and the mom of Three. This was a good conversation but, it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, I was excited and anxious to hear what my friend had to share with her parents. I most mention that only one of my friend’s kids still lived with her and had to make a college decision at the time of our conversation, my friend started her speech to her parents that day by saying: “it is impossible to save and plan your children education, knowing that you’ll always have a car payment. I knew right there and then that this wasn’t an easy topic for her in spite of the fact that two of her children were grown and gone.




But, there’re so many options to help your teenager get ready. I know, I know,  you have to deal with the SAT and ACT scores, keeping grades up in high school and researching the best schools, but your teenager also has to start filling out applications for colleges, scholarships and grants. Stay positive There’s so much to do that it’s easy for your mind to go numb because of all the details.

But as much as your teen might want to get lost in their video games and forget about application deadlines, you can’t let them do that! This is their future we’re talking about.

As much as you and your teen may want to wait and procrastinate, it’s not a good idea to put all these applications off until the last minute. When they do that,they’re more likely to make mistakes, which could cause delays in the application process. Or they could cause their applications to be rejected altogether!
Sit down and make a plan. Once the acceptance letters start rolling in, I promise you won’t regret it!

Consider also an ESA (Education Savings Account) you not always have to have a car oayment that is a shallow way of thinking. An ESA are Funds in these accounts that grow tax-free and are tax-free when withdrawn for K-12 or college education expenses before age 30. ESAs also offer increased flexibility. Investment options are virtually limitless, and you can make investment changes at any time the reason I like ESA vrs 529 is because with an ESA you have more control of the money and therefore you can make decisions as to the 529 where you invest more but have no control. Yes with an ESA Contributions are limited to $2,000 a year per child. You’ll be subject to the same taxes and penalties as a 529 plan if the funds aren’t used for eligible expenses. The ability to contribute is subject to income limits, but children also can contribute on their own behalf.

At a Glance of ESA vrs 529

 529 College Savings PlanCoverdell ESA
Tax advantagesXX
Qualified withdrawals can be used for K-12 expenses X
Qualified withdrawals can be used for post-secondary expensesXX
Wide variety of investment options X
High contribution limit (more than $250,000)X 
No income limits for contributorsX 
No withdrawal age limitX 

You can considere also: Federal Aid: The good news about federal aid is that it accounts for the largest amount of aid available. The bad news is that federal aid is largely based on financial need. So if your family’s income is above the maximum income for eligibility,don’t be discouraged. You can take advantage of several other sources of aid.

State Aid: This is based on a combination of financial need and achievements. From now until you head to college, you should work on your grades, test scores and extracurricular achievements to increase your eligibility for these scholarships





Military Aid: If you or an immediate family member have served or plan to serve in the military, then look into military aid. This is a great way to serve your country and get your college paid for!