For years now God has been working in different areas regarding our finances and we have made many changes. We stopped using credit cards, we got rid of satellite TV, we only have one cell phone, we drive cars that don't require us have a car payment, we don't go on fancy vacations, we live in a modest rental home, we wait for movies to come out on DVD rather than go to the movies, although we do splurge for family fun night occassionally:-). We have scaled back in many ways. It has been a process that has occurred over the past 5 or six years, although most of it happenned when Michael was unemployed for 6 months in 2008. It has happenned so gradually that most of the time we haven't even felt the effects. But in the past couple of months WITHIN our means, we have not done well with living on a budget. So, at the end of the month, while all our bills are paid and we have had food and clothing and even some fun, what we don't have is extra. Not extra to spend but extra to save and give. I sat down with a calculator and our bills and our last months bank statement and devised a budget. It includes necessities only. It will be interesting to see how God uses this 3 months to grow us as a family.
Here are the rules of the 3 month challenge:
1. We MUST live according to our budget and do a zero balance worksheet with each paycheck
2. No eating out
3. No new clothing (except for shoes for back to school)
4. No household projects
5. No new books, games, movies, etc.
6. Kids must save every penny of their allowance for the 3 months
7. We must find free things to do for date night and family nights
So there you go. It will be hard but it will be fun to see how things turn out. Stay tuned, I will be updating.