When Your Budget Comes Up Short

What do you do when your budget comes up short?  When there just isn't enough income to take care of your outgo?  We have had many times in our married lives when it just would NOT work on paper.  But you know what?  God always made it work somehow!

Most Americans spend MORE than they make, so how do they make it?  DEBT - they live on credit and after years of this, it one day will catch up with them when they reach their limits on their 10 credit cards and there is no money to pay the bills.  Then, they reason that it must be ok to file bankruptcy and that is the only hope.  So they decide that they won't pay back all of those people they owe and just let some legal jargon erase it all.  Do they then learn to live a debt-free lifestyle?  Oh no......back into debt they go because they never learned their lesson and so the cycle begins again.

What if you are debt-free and you live by the principles of the Bible but you still don't have enough income to keep up with rising cost-of-living costs?  That is where FAITH comes into the picture!  It is time to see God move on your behalf and show you that He will meet all of your needs.  I love this mp4 of Gil Bates telling about this very faith in finances and I highly recommend it:

How to Support a Family of 19 Without a Salary

With rising health insurance and medical costs, many families are starting to come up short.  I used to think it was wrong for Christians to use Medicaid (not Medicare; that is for the older).  It is a welfare-type program for health coverage but it is getting to the point for all of us that it is almost impossible to afford health care.  A friend of mine, who has a family of 8, got their health insurance premiums raised to $1,700 a month!  That is just the premium, not the deductible or copays.  How in the world, can a family afford that?  For some, it has reached the point of ridiculous and in such cases, they go on Medicaid in order to feed their family.  There are Christian sharing ministries that would work in this case, but the monthly share is rising on those as well to over $400 a month and then you have to pay all bills under $300 a month after that before you can get anything covered.  We are running out of options - so this is a question of mine, what do you all think of this?

We need to pray for God to meet each and every need we have in our lives.  We have not, because we don't ask!  Bring your needs before the Lord, even your wants.  Then wait for God to meet them and trust and believe in Him.  Also take care of the rest of your money and handle it wisely and seek God to show you ways you can cut more in your budget.  Never stop paying your tithes as long as you are getting an income, that is like cutting off YOUR blessings.  Think of the woman in the bible that gave all she had - she has forever been given a memorial of her faith to all of us and that speaks!!

A Look Back on 2014

Is 2014 really almost over already!?  This year was full of many problems in my body but thank God they came with miracles!  I had a miscarriage we believe, though it was very early on and then shortly after, I couldn't stopped vomiting for hours and ended up in an ambulance.  We found out that my gallbladder had stop pumping out bile and they still aren't sure why but I had it removed and upon removing it, the surgeon saw my appendix was about to rupture and he decided to remove it and save my life!  Recovery was difficult and ended me back up in the hospital and then 5 long months of daily diarrhea and pain of which God healed me in a revival service!  After barely getting over that miracle, I found out I was pregnant!  A few weeks later, I was gushing blood thinking my pregnancy was over but God moved again and the baby survived!

Then......yes, it keeps going on LOL!! A tumor was found that they originally thought was a cyst but now they weren't sure what it was and it could cause me to lose the baby.  After praying and having others pray, we recently went for an ultrasound by the director of the maternal-fetal medicine specialists and he couldn't even find the tumor!!!!!!!!

Finally, I got the worst case of the flu I've ever had and spent about 2 weeks in bed suffering.  One day, I really believed I was going to die and called my parents wailing loudly and my mom prayed on the phone for me so strong, just like I remember her praying years ago.  I also had my pastor and others pray - I was ready to go and then surprised I didn't die.  I know that sounds crazy but it was really that bad!!  The baby and I made it through thanks to God coming on the scene again!

So........even though this year was a scary, painful year in my body - God met each one with a miracle and I will look back on this post in times of fear in future years to be reminded of God's power.

Here are some notable posts from this past year:

Jesus Was in a Large Family

I was thinking of how many people today ridicule you if you have more than one child - or some, even if you have any at all!  How opposite it is of Hannah in the Bible that suffered disgrace for NOT having children - today, women will taunt you if you DO have children.  Satan has really reversed more than just gender these days, he has reversed thoughts on children and family.

If Jesus were born in our society today, you can believe that Mary and Joseph would also suffer the criticism because they had a large family.  The bible tells us of at least 7 children, Jesus being one, but many believe they had more.  A family of 7 today would really be a spectacle and even church people would say to Jesus' family things like: "Don't you know what causes that?" or "Can you afford them?" 

Isn't it amazing how what is really "normal" is considered abnormal today?  What God calls a blessing all throughout the bible, people today call it a curse?  What God called and used as a curse, women today are doing whatever they can to get that curse!  Well, it is easy to understand when you look at all the other reversals in society - men acting like women, women acting like men and doing their jobs and vice versa, people switching gender and having sex with the same sex and marrying the same sex.  Satan is pretty much trying to make God angry and sadly, in the arena of Godly offspring - he is winning.

I suppose you could decide to not have children and tell God to keep His 'blessings' of children to Himself and rather give you the blessings of stuff.  However, I've talked to too many women over the years in their 40's and older that regret that decision and they live in that deep regret forever.  It isn't something you just can just change and get later - once your fertility is over, it is over!  Make sure you are desiring the right things in life, whatever you choose, you will live with.  I don't care who told you to prevent - it is ultimately your decision and they don't have to live with that - YOU DO!

What happens to a society that stops desiring children or doesn't think family is important anymore?  They become full of sin and debt.  There are more televisions in U.S. households than there are children - that alone is pretty telling on the desires of our society.  Those households are also full of debt on average in the thousands. 

Families of 6 to 10 children were very common 50 years ago; now government-sponsored monstrosities like feminism, lesbianism, the public school system, abortion, Planned Parenthood, the Federal Reserve Bank, and Hellivision have successfully reduced today's family down to a shocking 0.90 children per family in 2004 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. - quote from http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Family/Parents%20Corner/big_families.htm

I myself know what it is like to desire children and not be able to get pregnant.  God has given me 3 miracles that I never thought I would be able to have but I do know others who were not able to conceive and it is sad.  I also know of others who got permanent sterilization and have lived to regret it.  However, there is still hope - it is called adoption!  There are organizations for Christians that will pay some or all of your costs to adopt.  So many orphans NEED loving Christians to care for them and bring them in to their home.   You can also do foster care to adoption to help with the costs or eliminate them altogether.  If my husband would let me, I would adopt, I've always wanted to just take a bunch of those kids in and love them and raise them.  Who knows what the future holds?  My heart is open and willing to God's blessings - either of the womb or another way, I will welcome them all!!

I Won't Do It God

Upon learning we were pregnant with our 3rd child, we knew we were going to have to get a van or a larger vehicle to hold 2 carseats and our older daughter.  We had figured based upon prices of vans these days, we would have to get a car loan and go back into debt because there just wasn't any other way.  However, upon remembrance of the many points in our lives the past 6 years where we thought there was just "no other way," God always showed up and provided that way!  I thought this was too big and there just wasn't enough time to save up for the van and I gave in to thinking we would have to go into debt for a vehicle.  

I was thinking of a man from India I spoke with on the phone in a scam call and how I told him I know he is lying and this was a scam and I started witnessing to Him about Jesus.  I told him that Jesus could give him another job where he didn't have to lie.  He told me He believed in God but there was no other job for him to do and God hasn't answered his prayers.  Upon ending the phone call, after telling him I would pray for him and a miracle, the thought occurred to me that if he would just tell God, "God, I won't lie just to keep a job, I will not sin against you because I will trust you to give me a job I don't have to lie for" then I believe God would give him a miracle.

After that, I was listening to a presentation online from Dave Ramsey and something he said pierced my soul and made me pause the video and cry.  I realized that I thought God wasn't big enough to provide us with the vehicle we needed and that the only place to turn to was Wells Fargo or Bank of America for a loan.  Dave Ramsey was speaking of how God OWNS IT ALL - why would we look to another when we are His children? Then, I remembered what I thought about the Indian man and so....I took my own advice and told God, "God, I won't do it!  I won't go back into debt that you dug us out from.  I will believe that you will provide for us and trust you."

I then spoke with my husband about what I felt and he agreed, he wasn't going to go into debt again either and we shook on it.  We decided to keep our small car and get some slimmer car seats and make it work until God provides for the means for something else for our family and in the meantime, we will continue to save for our goals - which are moving to Ohio and a van.

Now, if that Indian phone scammer calls back, I will be ready to tell him what I got in prayer for him and I will know that I have also practiced the faith part in my own life!  I won't do it God!!  I told God I wouldn't do it for our medical bill situation months ago and God came on the scene with miracles.  He is still the same God right now and I have too many miracles in my life to believe that God is broke now.  No....my God owns it all!

Let's Talk Life Insurance

In my Financial series, I talked about the importance of having insurance, especially health, but life insurance is another one of the crucial insurances to have.  A husband that doesn't provide life insurance for his family must not care for his family's future because in the event of his death, he has left them with nothing.  A Godly husband will make sure his family is taken care of in the present and future - especially upon his death, right?  If he doesn't, he is knowingly leaving them with no financial security and a life of hardship upon his death - that just doesn't sit well with me.  This is my opinion of course but in reality - all husband's plan for their family's future upon his death - he either plans for them to have something or he plans for them to have nothing! 

What kind of life insurance should you buy?  Only term life insurance is a good investment, anyone that tells you different is probably trying to sell you whole life insurance or they have been duped by it and are too afraid to admit the truth.  Term life insurance guarantees for a specific term - whether it is, 10, 15 or 30 years.  If you have health problems, it will cost more, so a wise way to purchase life insurance is when you are young and healthy.  Here is a scenario for a family starting at age 20:

Age 20 - purchase 15-year term life insurance
Age 35 - purchase 30-year term life insurance, which will cover you up until retirement age of 65

If you follow the above plan, you will probably get the best rates and you will be covered until retirement age of 65.  You don't need life insurance after 65 if you prepared ahead of time by investing in retirement.  If you didn't invest and have little or no retirement - well, get ready to fork over a good chunk of your pay for life insurance because it will cost a lot at age 65.  The goal is to insure with life insurance until retirement and then live off your retirement, which will be yours and your wife's end-of-life living.

Most healthy adults can get the standard rates but if you want preferred plus rates, you will need to make sure you are in optimal health before applying.  I recommend before your renewal at age 35 in the scenario above, that you do several things to ensure you get the preferred plus rate.  Why?  Well, preferred plus will save you a substantial amount of money and lock in that rate for 30 years!  You will save on average $10,000 by just being in optimal health and qualifying for the preferred plus rate.

Follow these tips to have a good chance at getting the preferred plus rate:

  1. Pray - believe me as we know from experience - GOD CAN DO ANYTHING!!!
  2. Be at a normal weight for your height - if you aren't, strive to get there before applying or at least make sure you are within a few pounds over
  3. Go on a low-salt, vegetarian diet a week or two before your exam - this will ensure, in most cases, a lower blood pressure and good blood sugar results
  4. Cut out stress well in advance of your exam - stress can raise not only your blood pressure but other important things in your blood which could prevent you from getting a preferred plus rate
  5. Get a lot of sleep the night before - sleep as much as you can (9+ hours) before your exam, this really does make a difference in all your blood results and BP

Buy from a reputable, long-standing company that has a good chance of being around in 30 or so years.   A lot of people realized in the past financial crisis, that their "cheap" life insurance was not worth it as they lost their policies when their life insurance companies failed.  I would recommend spending slightly more for a good company that won't likely fail - preferably a mutually-owned company.

Some may wonder how much should you invest in for life insurance?  If you are starting out in your 20's, you could think of it one or two different ways.  You could say, well, I'm young and I probably won't die before we renew our next policy at 35, so I will go with a low amount now.  Then, when you reach 35, raise it to a level that suits your family's needs.  Or you might say that you want to ensure as much as you can since your wife and kids will be left alone for many years, so you will get a large policy.  Some men, don't want their wives to ever think about working, so you will need to purchase a large policy.  Others, just want the house and bills paid and then the wife will find a job in a few years, so they will choose a lower amount.  It is up to the husband and wife but I think the best option is for the policy to ensure the wife will never have to worry about money or working and so she isn't a burden to her children.

Policies usually range from as low as $10,000 to a million or more.  Do the calculations and find out what it will take to live on for how many ever years.  Most people can get by with $250K by investing it and letting it grow and living on a small amount each year.  Others, prefer to go higher with a $500K to $1M policy to live in comfort and also invest.  Of course larger amounts cost a lot more, so base it on what you feel is best for your family and how healthy (or not) you are.

What about your wife and children?  If the husband will suffer a substantial loss in the event of his wife's death, then he should insure her life as well.  You will want to get small policies on your children for, God forbid, their burial and funeral expenses.  Hopefully, that will never happen but if it does, you will be glad to know it didn't ruin the rest of your life financially and you can just rest and mourn.

If you are unable to afford life insurance, ask yourself if that is really true.  Most people can give up a few luxuries like smartphones or lattes and afford a policy.  Do you care about your future and your children's future?  How will you pay for the burial and funeral expenses of your spouse?  If you are a homekeeper, then what will you do for work if your husband dies?  Where will you put your children and how will you pay for daycare?  Why not alleviate all that stress and the hard work, that will be the rest of your life, and ensure your future?  No one should have to worry about money when also mourning the loss of a spouse - Be WISE!