I’m on Day Two of my resolved motivation to live a more disciplined life… Yesterday went okay.
I felt success in several areas but maybe at the groaning of other areas. I sat down yesterday with our bills, etc and began looking at what we spend, etc. You see, we have long term dreams that will be reality, but we don’t have real goals sets. And, we also don’t really have a plan to accomplish those goals… we know that we need them but we’ve not written them out or thought through them logistically.
Anyways, two of those long term goals are… in probably 4 – 6 years we will need another car/van/suv. Our van now is a 2003 and in great shape but I feel that a realistic view would be to think that it will last approximately 10 years… so in 2013 we’ll be needing to secure another vehicle.
The second one is… we currently live in a parsonage in a neighborhood. We love the house and the neighborhood. But the dream would be to own a home a little further out of town with a little bit of acreage. The forever home… you know the one with lilac bushes, a big porch, hardwood flooring, a library with a mahogany baby grand, a spiral staircase somewhere in it… hey, a girl can dream, right?!? Anyways, we would love to look at that 5 to 7 years down the road so that even if we went with a conventional 30-year mortgage it would be paid off right around retirement… With that, we’d love to go in with a 20% down-payment… that’s a LOT of money. So, realistically, should we think about a 10 – 15% down-payment, probably. Anywho… so where do we start saving for that? If you divide out that money into months… we’d be looking at having to save $450 a month for a down-payment and $250 for a car on top of our current bills and expenditures… that’s a lot.
So, it got me thinking… I know that on Thursday, payday, we can’t automatically begin putting $700 into saving every month. It just can’t happen. But, when we accepted this position out here we had determined that we would begin saving money, be it a little, be it a lot. And, we’ve been doing that. Sometimes better than others but we’ve begun. (One of the most exciting things for me and my stress level is the fact that we set up a Christmas account and come November we’ll have our Christmas money handed to us and there won’t be a second thought about how we’re going to do Christmas… can I hear a big sigh of relief?!?)
Anyways, so in mulling all this around yesterday I pulled out Burkett’s book and was re-looking at numbers and various stuff and we’re going to be taking another step… it may seem small but it’s a step and I’m thinking that a two-month trial commitment would be a realistic goal. I divided out all our fixed expenses and flexible expenditures and figured out each week what percentage goes in each category… And starting this week, I’m going to put our fixed expense money in the bank like normal, but I’m going to withhold our gas money, food money, gift money, fun money, etc… into envelopes and we’ll use cash for those items.
The only thing that snags me is the fact that we earn reward points off of our debit card when we run it as credit and we’ll be losing out on those… but, I think that by going to cash we’ll be able to watch/monitor/ or at least see our spending habits better. And, maybe down the road we can live by the same principles but use the debit cards for those categories, too. But, for the time being the benefits of the structure will outweigh the point values.
The other thing that this will curb is our, okay, I’ll say my habit of taking advantage of the convenience of fast food, McD’s or Subway, as lunch options. It’s simply an unhealthy and stupid waste of $12… That’s my confession… I like McD’s… I have switched myself to unsweetened tea but still… it’s not a healthy habit.
I sat down this morning and re-opened a Bible Study that I loved when I was going through it and I thought… you know, this really spoke to me several years ago, I think I’ll go through it again and just use the margins… I opened up the book and realized I was a MAJOR slacker on it… My ‘Believing God’ book is mostly empty. I have a lot of the video notes filled in but the study part… man, I checked out somewhere along the way… So, I dove into that this morning. Of course the first week is filled in because I start all things with gusto… it’s the week two and three where the notes start fading… but, anyways… a verse was used that spoke to me…
Do not be conformed to this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWAL of YOUR MIND, that by testing you may discern WHAT IS the WILL of GOD, what is GOOD, ACCEPTABLE, and PERFECT.” Romans 12:2
The way that I can transform my bad habits, my undisciplined life is by the renewing of my mind and that will help me discern, discover what God’s plan for my life is short and long term…
Day Two… check. (So, far…)