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Showing posts from August, 2014

Family of 4 Health Insurance Options

I've found that a lot of people do not actually know about the various ways to afford healthcare that are available today and meet the law requirements.  I will start out with the obvious ones that most people know about and then share with you some others that are available to Christians.  I'm just going to talk about the ones that I'm personally familiar with - if you know another option that is better, leave a comment! Traditional Health Insurance - this is your basic health insurance that has a premium, deductible and then copays or coinsurance.   These plans are usually the highest of all the ones I'm going to talk about today.  They are also usually NOT the best choice as your total yearly costs are the most expensive.  You can purchase these online, through the exchange (what a joke) or they are normally offered from your husband's employer and given at a reduced rate and you can pay your premiums with pre-tax dollars in a payroll deduction. Health Savin

Force vs. Choice

I share a lot of my thoughts on here because this is MY blog, so obviously it will reflect MY thoughts.  I'm not a preacher, teacher or self-proclaimed prophetess (thank God!) - I simply share my thoughts, opinions and convictions/beliefs as a Christian wife and mother.  There are some people that will not allow you to have your own opinions because they simply don't think anyone should have a differing opinion from their own or they don't feel free to have their own and don't want you to either. Here is the problem we face in the church-world today.  People are being forced to follow a method or opinion and they are not allowed to have a CHOICE by exercising their free-will, which is God-given.  You can't take your opinion and force people to follow it.  We should only follow the Bible and anything outside of that is open to interpretation and many people have differing views or convictions.  However, if it is something that is in the Bible, no Christian should

Summary of Financial Budgeting 101

I hope you all enjoyed this series on financial budgeting, here is the summary of what we talked about a few more things I wanted to share.  I'm also including a link to my Scribd account that has free printables for budget planning. I shared with you all our financial story and how we learned many lessons the hard way that brought us to where we are at today.  Thankfully, we were able to pick up the pieces and put them back together again and this time do it correctly.  We are still working towards our financial goals but have learned enough to share with others what not to do!  Thanks to Dave Ramsey, we have learned how to really have financial freedom and live like no one else. Credit can be tempting because it gives you immediate access to what you want, even though you don't have the money for it.  Using credit is actually a sign of immaturity - just like a child wanting it NOW - think about the girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, sadly, that is most adults

Family of 4 Living On $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, and $60,000 a Year NET

I've showed you our family budget and now I would like to show some budget scenarios for a family of 4 to give you an idea of how all this works.  To make it easier, I'm using these annual incomes and considering that they are AFTER-tax incomes .  Generally for a family of 4, you would subtract $5,000 in taxes - factoring in state tax and the child tax credits.  That will give you a nice buffer.  So if you make $35,000, budget for $30,000 and so forth but as the income goes up, so do the taxes but I'm keeping these incomes low so that shouldn't be an issue.  Also, don't forget that your retirement contributions are pre-tax, which lowers your taxable income.  That is how I make these average monthly incomes work.  If you have an HSA account with your insurance plan, you will lower your taxable income even more!  But that is another topic in itself. *I'm going to estimate that these families have a fully-funded emergency fund of $5-10K, so that they can purc

Our Family Budget

My husband doesn't want me to share our income or amounts of our expenses but he did say I could share our percentages.  You can read about recommended percentages in the last post I did .  Here is our budget and where our money goes: We have always given more than needed to cover anything that we may have forgotten that was given to us in gifts, food or whatever.  Sure, we probably don't need to do that but we choose too and besides - it is all God's anyway and He said to prove Him in Malachi: Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Give God 10% and give yourself 10%!   Currently we are building our long-term savings, moving expenses and our retirement fund.  We have been building our retirement since our 20's and will b

The Why and How of Budgeting

What is a budget and why do we need one?  A budget is simply a way to keep track of where your money goes.  The Google definition is: an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.  The reason why it would be good to have a budget is simply so you can SEE or find out where your money is being spent.   You don't really know unless you see it on paper - exactly what goes where.  If you want to get anywhere in life financially, you need to name every dollar! Now onto how you do a budget.  There are some numbers you will need to find out before starting your budget, so write these down in a place you can refer to whenever you need to readjust your budget. Income - how much money is coming in to your home in any given month.  If you don't know, look at your pay stubs or take the hourly pay and multiply it by 160 hours for a typical 4-week month.  Include any child support or any miscellaneous incomes into this number.   Expenses - this is anything that go

Our Financial Story

What better way to start this series than to tell you our financial story.  I will begin at the beginning of our marriage about 15 years ago when we were both working.  We had money rolling in and we were 20, we didn't budget and had no idea where that money went every month.  Once I started staying at home, we only lived on my husband's pay and it was a big shock to us to say the least!  There were times we didn't even have money in the bank and just prayed we would make it to the 1st or the 15th! We moved a lot in town from apartment to apartment because I was never satisfied where I was and I gave my husband a hard time about it.  He let us move those many times because he wanted me to be happy.  Here I was, supposedly a "Christian" wife and discontent with everything my husband tried to provide for us.   Needless to say, our marriage wasn't going very well either.  We had our first child 3 years into our marriage and we had no money to pay the medical

Financial Budgeting 101 - Index of Upcoming Posts

I've had a lot of response and traffic to my budget post of a family living on $40,000 a year .  I realize that this is an area that we need more help in and though I'm not a financial expert, I sure know the way to deal with your finances is by following Biblical principles.  I hope to make this a series worthy of your time and may you be able to gain insight in bettering your financial future. I will be linking to these as I go through the series over the next week or so, this will serve as in index of these posts: Our Financial Story - here I will tell you our family story and how we learned the hard way financially The Why and How of Budgeting - this is where I tell you why you should budget and how to do it Our Family Budget - I will show you our budget in percentages on how we divide our money Budget scenarios - I will share with you various financial scenarios on varying incomes/expenditures Summary - this is where I sum up the entire series up and share

My Herbal Medicine Cabinet

I've always been interested in natural things for healing of the body as opposed to taking medications that may not even work but almost all the time cause a myriad of side effects .  Also considering that, medications have caused my weight gain over years.  I'm actually finding more relief in natural herbs, than I ever did on medication! I'm stocking up my herbal medicine cabinet slowly but I eventually want to have it all on hand, learn how to make more remedies and be able to rely on those and steer clear of harmful toxic drugs.  I know there are some situations that may call for such things, but in reality, most ailments can be easily treated with natural herbs, remedies and/or diet and exercise . I've done some posts on this before, which you can find under the " natural remedies " category but here are things I'm using or going to be trying this month: What I Already Use (or have used) Garlic Turmeric Ginger Fish Oil Black Currant Oil M

Serving Others in Humility

My mind was brought back to my dad once again and his humility.  My dad would hold foot washings at our church growing up a few times a year.  We would move the pews to face each other in a long line across the church.  Then, a volunteer would get a large basin full of water, a pitcher to refill along the way and a towel for my dad and a woman volunteer.  The woman would go along and wash the women's feet and my dad would wash the men's. I remember my dad with that towel strapped around him, kneeling down at each of the men's feet and quoting: John 13:14-15 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. This is what Jesus said to his disciples after he washed all their feet.  You can read the full account in John 13.  Jesus was showing them how they should treat one another, but most importantly how none of us should think ourselves better

Why I Love My Husband

I get a lot of requests for posts on marriage and though I don't feel like a marriage expert, I know what love is and entails.  Our marriage has been tested in some of the most extreme forms and it has withstood the storms and temptations to dissolve.  This post is going to help propel women to think on what they love about their husbands.  I find that a lot of time, women that want to leave their husbands or say they 'fell out of love' with him - have forgotten what it is that attracted them in the first place and all that they love about him since they've been married.   May this inspire you to think on the ways you love your man! I've been married to the most wonderful man on this earth for 14 years now and our love is even stronger than those many years ago when we first began a life together.  We have been through so many things over the years that others may have threw in the towel for but our love stood the test of time.  There are so many things I love a

Purging - A Lesson in Faith

Purging sounds so much more accomplished than decluttering, don't you think?  Not only has God been purging things in my life and even those around me but I've also been purging physical things in my home.  I held on to a lot of things but realized that maybe I'm holding on to some of them because I'm afraid of poverty.  I hadn't voiced this to anyone but God knew and it was recently shared by my pastor in a bible study - the fear of poverty.  I was thinking - wow, I hadn't even shared that and yet, God let the man of God know that someone needed to hear it! Fear of poverty can cause you to hoard things or hold on to things.  In my case it was thinking that I wouldn't have the money to replace the items later on when I would need them.  For example, I was saving my daughter's old clothes from all the way back to when she was a toddler up until recently.  I was saving the clothes for our next baby, but we got a boy - so, I realized that if I saved for