Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Money Experiment

I am the absolute worst when it comes to a budget. So I think it's funny that God would have me marry the budget director of the valley's largest employer, Fresno Unified. Goodness, He truly does want us to conform to His image, right?

Lately the issue of stewardship has been on my heart and mind a lot lately. Especially in the area of spending/finances. I don't know why?

Perhaps it's because of this book: Radical

OR that I saw a friend post a picture as he was about to leave for Thailand (to relocate his family of 4) with all of his worldly possessions packed into just a few suitcases.

OR because I sat and listened to a few of my students tell me about how their family members "shoot squirrel to eat" and find "birds in the street to cook".

OR that I just I'm just appalled at how much I spend at Costco!! We've only had a membership there for a year and I can't figure out if I'm actually saving money or buying more?

I dont' know, but something just isn't sitting right with me.

But it go me thinking . . . how much of what I buy do I actually "need"? Do I really need 2 cans of Lysol? 3 different floor cleaners? What about clothes? My jeans were cheap and they're fading, but do I really "need" another pair? Shoes, they're cute, but do I "need" them?

OR what about food? How much of the food do I buy that goes to waste? What if we just ate what we had for the week instead of going out or ordering in? What about having a PBJ for lunch instead of Deli Delicious?

How much of the money I spend each month goes to what I want, instead of just what I need?

So I started to ask Santino about our budget and how we could be better at spending less, saving more, and being more generous.

We've looked through our budget and realized the place where we can cut out a lot of spending is dining out. We go out on a date every week, pick up sandwiches for lunch here and there, and it all adds up!

So in order to motivate ourselves and have a fun incentive for cutting our spending he came up with a great idea. I'm calling it the "March Money Experiment". Whatever we save this month from our "normal" spending, we're going to donate half to local or global missions.

For example: Let's say our average monthly household expenses were $1,000 (groceries, dining out, gifts for others, entertainment, household items, etc.). So if we only spend $800 this month, we'll save $100 and give $100 away! Doesn't that sound fun??!?

For me, I need something to motivate me to spend less and usually thinking of others is much more of a motivator than building a savings account. For my husband, the planner, the savings account is much more of a motivator! So we both win!

And we're being better stewards, not spending frivolously, and being able to give more away at the end of the month!

So I'm hoping on Tuesdays I can update you about how this little experiment is going and what I'm doing to spend less and save more! Can't wait to see how it all turns out at the end of the month!

Let me know if you'd like to try the March Money Experiment too!

1 comment:

  1. It aggrevates me how much we spend on our wants and don't even take into consideration how little we actually need. This has been in our discussions for the past few months. It comes down to contentment. Am I content with what I actually need? I may be, but what about the other four people living with me? I'm up for your challenge. Although, I must say that neither of us (me and my hubby) are fortunate enough to be accounting inclined. We will be starting from scratch. I know that Santino has his tithe down to the penny via electronic withdrawal. We actually put cash in the tithe box and it is never the same amount. Pretty old school, I know.