By: Abby Custer
A few years ago, my daughter received a cupcake shaped piggy bank as a birthday gift. The bank has four slots at the top, which are divided into the following categories: Spend, Save, Invest, Give. While she is still a little young to fully understand what these categories really mean, it reminds me how important it is to start creating good habits with our cash flow early on.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
As a parent, I am often praying for wisdom, especially when it comes to words (kids have so many questions, and so often I don’t have the answer!) But I wonder what would happen if we began to pray for financial wisdom? America is often dubbed as the “land of excess.” And that excess seems to easily creep in, without us even realizing it.
I think it starts young. Most of us can remember how exciting it was to have a few extra dollars to spend as a kid on whatever our hearts desired. And most of us probably chose something frivolous, like a pack of gum or a bouncy ball or some other destructible toy.
But somewhere along the line, we learned that there was value to that dollar bill, and it became something more meaningful. We realized that impulse spending leads to excess and that our choices have consequences. Two great resources (one local, one national) are listed below to help guide those choices in a wiser direction.
We also learned that dollars were earned and didn’t always come easy. Fast forward a decade or two, and that dollar bill became something even bigger. Now it is the means to how we take care of our basic needs, and possibly the needs of others. Our “wants” no longer matter as much.
Check out the following two websites for a great tool on how to divide your spending while still leaving you saving (called the 50/30/20 rule). Right below that, you can find a free sample budget to help give you a visual, as well as create your own.
It can be a terrifying feeling to bear the full weight of being financially responsible for someone else’s everyday necessities. Thankfully, there are a lot of great resources out there that can help to gain a greater understanding of what it means to be financially stable, especially when an unexpected cost, such as a major life change takes place. You aren’t alone. There is power in knowledge, and with a few simple but effective changes, you can be on the path to living wisely and comfortably.
*One last note*
Be sure to check out some of our local consignment shops and sales. I’ve had good luck in both selling and buying (Christmas dress for $5, yes please!). Cool Kids consignment on the Mileground, Once Upon a Child, and the annual fall/spring consignment sale at the Armory –
Blog post: 02: Let’s Talk About Money