This week’s readings were all about getting a reality check…
First, was the memory verse (feel free to click on it to get the larger size and print it out to help you memorize it):
How exactly can we achieve this? Well… it starts off with planning for the future – for the time when you are old and will need money to care for yourself so your children do not have to…
The week started off with getting us to think about what would happen if we lost our husbands – which is scary and depressing – but very important. Women often do outlive their spouses and in many cases, the husband is the one who makes the bulk (or all) of the family’s income. Although this is not something that I want to think about, it is very important that I do, just in case… especially since my husband is about 7 years older than me. I pray that I get to keep him around for many more years because I enjoy spending time with him, but if something were to happen, I would probably need to go back to teaching. It is a good reminder to me to make sure I renew my teaching certificate since it expires this summer.
Some other tips that were reviewed this week were:
- Check out online retirement planning tools – I still need to do this.
- Prepay on our mortgage – We do this when we can. It is by no means consistent and is not the amount we would like, but we are getting there. We are still trying to recover from 7 years of paying for my RA medications – that really put a pinch on our family budget for a long time.
- Repent of selfishness that can impact the family’s pocketbook and piggybank – I am sure I have some selfishness that I can repent of in regards to this, but I haven’t been able to see it yet. When I do find an area that I am being selfish in, I am certainly going to address it, but for now, I will pray that God will show me if there is an area I need to work on.I do not get my hair done regularly at the salon, I rarely wear makeup, I am not into jewelry or fashionable clothing (my husband has to make me go clothes shopping for myself – then stand there and make sure I buy something), I do not worry about manicures, and I will wear the same pair of shoes until they literally fall apart. In many ways, I feel this has helped us financially – but for many years it developed out of necessity – when the money is not there to begin with, there were things that I never started doing in the first place. That makes it a little easier in some ways. Everything has its upside… even growing up relatively poor. I became accustomed to a simple lifestyle early on and it has stuck with me through the years. (I think I can thank my smart, frugal, depression-generation grandmother for that – Mommom’s ways have rubbed off on me quite a bit!)
- Do no cosign anyone’s loan or rescue people from their own financial foolishness – We do not have the means to cosign for anyone. Since Kevin and I both have exes that were not financially-wise, our credit got destroyed in the process of our respective divorces. So, again there is an upside to that difficult reality – no one is going to come knocking on our door asking for us to cosign anything. LOL. Everyone has family that needs help from time to time and it is difficult NOT to help them, especially when it is your parent that needs the help. That is my reality, but with my medical bills and high price prescriptions over the past 7 years, I have had to turn my family away when they asked for money. We had no other choice. Turn’s out, Donna Partow might see that as a blessing in disguise. God can make GOOD from ANY difficult circumstance.
The last piece of the retirement puzzle that was reviewed this week was a plan to get my financial affairs in order. I really like this plan. My husband has said on more than one occasion the famous quote: “If we fail to plan, then we should plan to fail.” Being a former marine, planning and thinking ahead is often on his mind.
In regards to our financial well being, the author suggested setting up an Emergency Contact section in our notebooks. Since my “Notebook” is electronic, in Evernote, I think there are a couple extra steps I need to take with this as well. If there were an emergency, personnel might not be able to find that page in my notebook on my phone. So, I am thinking of also putting this information on a 5×7 notecard and put a copy of it in each of our vehicles, as well as on the refrigerator. That way, our emergency contact info is readily accessible if it is ever needed.
It was also suggested that we set up a Vital Information folder, to be stored in a fireproof safe. We already have the safe, so it would be easy to set this up – I just have not done it yet (it is definitely on the plan for this weekend). I can put the copies I need in there and the documents I have that are important if anything happened to me or to Kevin. There are some things we need to look into getting created – like the legal documents – so we will have a plan already in place for when the need arises.
I believe this week was all about planning – or failing to plan. Either way, we have to live with the consequences. God can and does make good things happen from bad all the time, but he wants us to plan ahead – maybe to minimize the hard times in our lives. If we take the time to plan ahead, we will have less stress when hard times come and it will be easier to see the blessings that God is giving us.