Our focus for the last several months in our family has been to create a surplus in our budget. We went from 2 incomes back down to one and it has taken some major adjustments. We are still cutting back and cutting out.
If you missed my last post on finances you can find it here….http://thejourneyofasteward.com/action-steps-for-financial-freedom.html This post goes into greater depth on the one of the points, creating a surplus.
Just to give you a closer look into our situation, we have six growing kids and three of them are teenagers. We do not receive food stamps, although, we more than qualify. We really feel that God will provide for our needs and we do not want to be dependent on the system. I can say we do not go without! God is so faithful to provide just when we need it. His timing is perfect.
God has truly blessed us with some different means to find money and some of them are quite fun.
- Have a yard sale– We just had a yard sale last month and it was very fruitful. We were able to get rid of so much “stuff” and we made over $500. We killed two birds with one stone.
- Sell books– I have so many homeschooling resources and books. I have been selling them on ebay for some extra cash.
- Sell things that are wants versus needs– We all had recumbent trikes and we have been selling them a couple at a time, also killing two birds with one stone as we have no place to store them.
- Cut back on unnecessary things or find a way to get them cheaper– If you have cable television that should be one of the first things to go. We have never had cable tv in the 23 years we have been married. Our cable company that we get our internet service from just got bought out. The new company is running a one year bundle special. We will be taking advantage of this to help lower our bill. We also, now get reimbursed for our internet for our daughter’s schooling. That will shave our internet bill down to almost nothing. Another huge money saver for us was when we switched our cell phones to Straight Talk. We went from over $200 a month for 2 phones to $120 for 3 ( 2 smartphones and 1 dumb phone).
- Find a side hustle– I have been on a mission to find a side hustle that I can do from home. I have tried many things, some to no avail. There are ways to earn extra out there, you just have to find something that fits you and your time schedule.
- Learn to say no– This is my least favorite thing to do. I am the one who likes to go and do, but sacrifices have to be made. I do try to find things for my kids to do without spending a bunch of money, but the older they get the harder it becomes.
- Let people be a blessing– This is a hard one for me too. I have to swallow my pride and let people bless our family sometimes. Many times they are just being obedient to God’s prompting.
There are three essential keys to creating a surplus in your budget.
- Change your attitude. The key to creating a surplus in your budget is to change your attitude. You will not create a surplus if you have a bad attitude. Stay positive. Look at your progress not at how far you still need to go.
- Change your words. Instead of saying, “I can’t afford it”. Say “I am choosing to spend my money here instead.” Realize it is all in your choices you make. Our words can directly effect our attitudes. So, if we can keep our words positive it will feed into a better attitude.
- Change your thinking. Much of our financial state, is directly correlated to our thinking. Start looking at your budget as a freedom versus a limitation. We have been trained into thinking that a budget is much like a diet….a list of things you can’t do. We all know what that does to our thinking. We automatically have this rebellious attitude and extreme desire to have. Start thinking of your budget as a means to freedom.
Our financial state is simply a matter of daily decisions, daily disciplines, and the desire to bring honor and glory to God through our finances. I want to live as a good steward with the money that he has blessed our family with. Instead of complaining about the lack of money, I want to change my attitude to thankfulness, speak words of blessing, and thoughts of freedom.
Do you have any helpful tips to create a surplus in your budget? I would love to hear them!