What do you do when there just doesn’t seem to be enough?
Most of us have probably had some pretty tight pay periods in our history, but for some reason most people cringe and look for the nearest exit when you mention the word budget. As I wrote in a previous article, if you want to head for the hills when you hear the word budget (or diet), you’re probably doing it wrong!
It’s all in the mindset. Budgets and diets don’t mean you cut out all the fun and enjoyment. On the contrary! They just mean that you have a plan for them so you can really make them count.
I’d also written not too long ago about my own efforts to be more healthy. I may have shared that I started using myfitnesspal.com. (Bear with me, I’ll bring it back around to money, I promise!!) I loved how the site is set up because once you enter your information and goals, you keep a food diary each day. The best part is that when you exercise, it calculates how many calories you burned and adds those calories back to your allowance.
Exercise earns extra calories. It’s one of those common sense things that just didn’t really click before. I knew exercising burned calories. Who doesn’t, right? BUT… my mindset was all wrong before. I was only focused on the limitations and what all I couldn’t have, so it made it more difficult.
Now comes where we apply the concept to the budget. Budgeting doesn’t mean cutting out fun stuff, it means having a plan for spending what you’ve got. We talked before about setting your priorities, etc., but I want to encourage you to go a step further. Consider challenging yourselves to work a little harder to bring in money for the “extras” that are not priorities. You don’t have to deprive yourselves of the wants, you just have to work a little harder for them. Exercise for your bank account. If something isn’t in the plan (budget), have a yard sale to raise money for it. Start taking items to a consignment shop and start a rainy day fund with the proceeds. Be creative!
God has given each of us aptitudes and interests for a reason (I highly recommend Max Lucado’s book, “Cure for the Common Life” on this topic). Pay attention to what your passions are and you might find a “fun” way to bring in the extra money to do things that aren’t really in your prioritized budget.
|Cure for the Common LifeBy Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson* You work all day, arrive home exhausted, watch TV to unwind, and then go to bed—only to wake up the next morning and do it again. Is there a remedy for routine? Lucado says yes—and helps you embrace your uniqueness and use your singular talents to experience the “uncommon” life God intends for you. 240 pages, softcover from Nelson.|
Here are some ideas to get your started on your own Budget-Exercise brainstorming list!
– have a yardsale
– take items to a consignment shop
– cleaning houses
– opening a shop on ebay or etsy.com (if you’re not familiar with etsy, it’s for only handmade or vintage items, or craft supplies. plants are considered homemade if you have a green thumb!)
– advertise to run errands for pay
– start a business (I recently came across this page with 999 business ideas. http://www.sixmonthmba.com/2009/02/999ideas.html)
– look into selling Pampered Chef, Thirty One, BeautiControl, etc.
What ideas do you have for being a good steward of your money/resources?
How could you involve your family in a fun challenge to earn extra money for something exciting (think vacation, game system, etc.)?
It may even be a great family project to earn “extra” money to buy Christmas gifts for a family without this Christmas.
The possibilities are endless!
Keri Kitchen is a devoted wife and mother, blogger, licensed mental health counselor, and founder of The Carys Rainn Foundation. To read more about what God is doing in her life, visit her blog at www.aftertherainn.com