Intentional Spending Month One

July first I had the revelation that I was tired of spending our money on things we don’t need. God blessed our family so we can be a blessing. If you haven’t read my post on intentional spending, you can find it here. So, what was the first month like?

Our family has decided to cut back, but for the first time spending less is out of love and a desire to give. That has made a big difference in attitude! When we realized that giving up things we don’t REALLY want can give a child food, it made us want to make do with less. Making these changes gives someone a chance at life and builds up our eternal rewards. When we get to heaven, God isn’t going to look us in the eye, and ask, “Were you happy?” He is going to want to know when we helped the least of these. His children.

Was this month difficult? At times, yes, just as any change is. On vacation we didn’t buy souvenirs and just left with our memories. Walking out of stores when I wanted something was disappointing for a minute. Then excitement kicked in. Because I didn’t buy that, we will be able to use that money in a good and lasting way. I found myself more at peace and more content.

As a family, we are attempting to cut back on food costs and eat out less. I am going to start having the girls help me cook so they have a vested interest in dinner. When we do eat out, we can order water instead of Coke. If the two of us aren’t that hungry, we can share a meal. (That hasn’t happened yet. We are always hungry!)

The new motto in this house is “Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.” So many purchases are not thought out, and that becomes very obvious when you start living this way. You start seeing your old self as wasteful. It is easy to be ashamed, but God just wants us to shake those chains off and live differently now. All it takes is seeing our mistakes and knowing there is freedom in saying “No.”

How have I been blessed so far? God is still in the business of providing what I want. I am throwing myself into this, and He has already rewarded me! When the girls start school next week, I plan on writing a book (not about intentional spending, yet.) I have thought about how there will be days I will want to write at Starbucks. I generally only go there when I have a gift card, and that will be especially true now that we are spending less. Then, two weeks ago, I found out I won a giveaway on a friend’s blog. It includes a $15 Starbucks gift card, which is about 5 or 6 trips for me. Wow! God loves to surprise us. Thank you Faith Along the Way!

How have we been a blessing? Well, my oldest has decided she wants to help kids who don’t have much. She has been doing chores and selling pictures she draws to family members to raise money to donate. We started a sponsorship with Compassion International. The girls picked Deborah from Togo, who is 5 and likes to sing and play with dolls. They can write to her and we will be praying for her. Last week we were also able to make a donation for a friend going to Haiti later this year. I didn’t have to wonder whether we have the money. We made that donation and it felt better than any other impulse purchase!

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My family and I are working at this and reminding each other to stay on course. Last week I wanted to go to Dairy Queen until my darling child reminded me we have ice cream at home. My husband piped in with, “Yeah, Ms. Intentional Spending.” This week, he wanted to go out to eat but I said I had dinner planned. It takes sticking together and holding each other accountable. When one of us falls, we pick them up and keep going. This is a new way of life and our way to honor God with what He has given us.

Our new verses to keep with us always and soak in are 1 John 3:17-18:

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

 

 

I am linking to Faith Along the Way for the Saturday Soiree blog party!

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12 thoughts on “Intentional Spending Month One

  1. i love anything good that’s intentional, ’cause it’s so easy to just sit back and let life happen. i love when we purposefully choose the paths we go each day. and that you’re including your girls in living this out is so cool, Sarah …

    but let’s hear ii for that $15 gift card!

    ;-}

  2. We have been working on this, too. My struggle is always to walk away from things for my kids because I want to give them things so much. I have to remind myself all the time that I’m giving them a lot more than just nice clothes and toys.

  3. This is such an encouraging post. Something we should definitely all try. It is so easy to become ungrateful for all the blessings God has given us and this sounds like a good way to focus our attention back onto him. Thank you for sharing.
    PS, John 3 verse 17 is coming to me all the time lately from lots of different place, thank you for being part of that!

  4. I just found your blog since you visited mine. I loved finding this post. My husband and I are all about missions and it excites us when families become very aware of what they have and others simply don’t. We feel there’s not enough of that going around to be honest.

    And we entered a similar project like yours. Our work in ministry comes with certain financial limitations for ourselves. Still we feel we spend money where it is not ‘needed’ like the famous Starbucks or a dinner out. So we have a project jar going on at our house. If one of us really wants something than we safe for it. Anything we really want to do but don’t do (again Starbucks ;-), we get to put that money into the jar. In this way we were able to finally buy me a bike 2 weeks ago. Having this bike has such worth to me now for we had to save for it, we had to leave other things out for it. It’s great to be aware like this.

    We are also selling things around the house. Maybe also something you can look into?
    Blessings on this journey!!

    1. Thank you for your comment! Those are great ideas, and I told the girls that waiting to get something they really want will make them appreciate it more. 😉 I have sold lots on Craigslist, but not lately. I need to find a safer way, with the stories I hear about CL these days.
      I love not being alone in this. Thank you so much!

  5. SUCH great ideas and I love you are involving the girls! They will grow up with a different perspective and learn how to embrace a way of viewing money that not everyone has. I am SO excited that you won the gift card and can use it when you write. So glad to have even a teeny part in your work!

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