Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there.
Ours boasts it quiet openly,
The signs are everywhere...
For smears on the windows,
Little smudges on the doors.
I should apologize, I guess,
For toys strewn on the floor.
But I sat down with the children,
And we played and laughed and read,
And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.
For when at times I'm forced to choose:
The one job or the other,
I’d like to cook, and clean, and scrub...
But first I’ll be a MOTHER.
If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,000 ----
That carried over no balance from day to day...
Allowed you to keep no cash in your account...
And every evening, it canceled whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day...
What would you do??
Draw out every cent every day, of course, and use it to your advantage!
Well, you have such a bank----and its name is "TIME."
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night, it rules off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balances.
It allows no overdrafts.
Each day, it opens a new account with you.
Each night, it burns the records of the day.
If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no going back.
There is no drawing against the "Tomorrow."
It is up to each of us to invest the precious fund of hours, minutes and seconds in order to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success!
The above is a quote I've had since high school and it has often influenced my decisions of how to spend my time. I used to think that sleep was a waste of time, until I realized that getting enough sleep helped me use the awake time more efficiently, plus it contributed to my health.
Due to this quote's message, I rarely watch television or get stuck in the rabbit hole of social media. I choose mindfully how much and which media to intake.
A few years ago, my brother died suddenly, with no warning, and that unexpected death taught me that procrastinating might mean I never have a chance to do what I really want to do!! So I learned that it's not just a matter of filling my time... instead, I invest my time and spend it on the people and projects that are most important to me!
I've figured out that I can't do everything, so I want to make sure that what I am doing is based on my priorities: People first (they have feelings!). Projects second. And the unimportant things are what go undone. What's unimportant to me (like cleaning out the kitchen sink everyday) might be important to someone else (like my mom), but we have to respect each other's usage of time!
Because I try to live according to this philosophy, I don't feel bad or guilty about taking down time when my body and spirit send the signal for it. I just relax, knowing I've made good use of my time, and that giving myself a break is important, too!
By Leigha Westover, Director of Income & Outgo
What is stopping you from being financially independent?
The first step toward becoming financially sound is to really understand where you’re starting from. Stop and take time to review where you are today. Take an hour and sit down with your spouse, children, or friend and write everything out. That means every single thing--including your habitual purchases. For instance, do you have the bottled water you buy every week on your budget? The soft drink or the coffee you pick up as you go by your favorite coffee shop or gas station? Do you have pet fees? Clothing and beauty spending? That means nails, haircut, waxing, or eyelash extensions.
Take a long look at what you spent your money on in the first three months of this year. I bet you probably are shocked by what you spent. You did get some extra money with that stimulus check, but did you have unexpected expenses creep up? In our home, two cars need body repair—with a thousand dollar deductible each. We have a car account set aside but the amount we have allocated to that account wasn’t enough. We don't have the deductible and our insurance is due in a month. Besides that, one of the cars has needed tires since December. Our car savings only has enough to cover one of these essentials.
As we reviewed our budget and spending we realized that we need to make a few changes. As you review yours, take time to think about how organized you are. Where are your receipts kept and how well do you track your expenses? With April coming up, taxes are due. Ask your accountant about a better way to track expenses and how to make filing next year easier. They may have some wise counsel for you. Taxes are their specialty, so ask lots of questions and take what applies to you to improve your financial situation.
After you review your budget and spending, it is time to look forward. Preview your remaining nine months of this year. Take the tips and tricks shared by your accountant, or other resources you have discovered, and look ahead to where you want to be. What do you want to happen by the end of 2021? Realign your budget to meet your goals and needs. Be innovative, and remember that your family is worth any changes you have to make.
You don’t have to do this alone. To be self reliant, turn to God and seek his will. Pray for guidance in your financial decisions. Be his hands, and watch your life fall into place financially.
If you're happy how you are handling things financially, that’s great! Share your tricks with those who need help.
But, if you want a change, I invite you to experiment on our Income/Outgo component principles. You’ll see for yourself how much your financial and family life improves along the way!
Written by Leigha Westover, Co-Founder of Momivate and Director of Income & Outgo
What does Self Reliance mean to you?
Please take a moment to ponder the meaning of Self Reliance.
Webster's dictionary states that self reliance is reliance on one's own efforts and abilities.
If we are to take this into account then I am not very self reliant -- I need the aid of others to provide my clothes, food, and shelter. In our society we have prospered by using our personal efforts and abilities to share and provide for others’ needs, as they also do for us. In exchange for the services rendered, we use the value of currency
As a child I learned to work and contribute in our home while my father went to work to provide for our needs. As I progressed in years, my desire to become more independent increased. I secured a job in a delicatessen as a part time server, so I was able to provide for some of the increased desires of a teenager, such as entertainment.
Approaching my young adult years I continued to thrive, and advanced to being able to purchase a car and move into an apartment with other young adults. My understanding of finance was just to meet the basics and get by. As I was learning and growing socially, spiritually, and mentally, I did not increase my understanding of providing beyond what I needed.
I continued to live by the basic principles of earning just enough to get by for the first 25 years of marriage. We struggled, trying to get ahead financially and we never got there. We always had barely enough for us and sometimes not even that. My underdeveloped outlook on budgeting limited my family. Occasionally I would stretch out my faith to believe there would be enough when the kids wanted to invite a friend to eat with us. And there alway was even when I lacked faith and said no.
As you seek to understand what self reliance means for you in your life, you may discover that you have more learning to do. Identify principles -- statements of truth -- you can try to apply to your daily life.
Some principles to consider
Pay the Lord first (tithing and/or donations), then pay yourself (savings), then SPEND WISELY.
Build up the self-discipline necessary to live according to your budget.
Be willing to sacrifice for the sake of stability.
Less really can be more. Simplify! Embrace the concept of ENOUGH.
Get out of debt and save to purchase what you want.
Money is not a god worthy of our worship. Trust in financial good karma!
It may not always be money you will be blessed with. It may be as simple as creating a revolving closet in your home or extra food in your garden, etc. As you are blessed with plenty, bless others with it as well. We do not need to hold on when others' burdens can be lighter.
Work together to make things work: Value ALL the work necessary to make a family successful, whether or not it brings in financial income.
In the Bible, we read “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). I believe that if our desire is to do good continually to comfort, strengthen and clothe our neighbor (love them!), we must budget wisely, and then when we are blessed with excess, we can pass it on to others.
By Leigha Westover, Momivate Director of Income & Outgo
When a child is learning to recognize shapes, they may attempt to put a round block in the square hole, or the square block in the triangle hole. They may become frustrated and believe it won’t work, therefore giving up. We love our children and we want to help them understand that placing the circle block in the circle hole will fit. We take a moment to exhibit how this is done and we explain the process as we perform the action. Our child observes us putting the right block in the right hole and that it does work and so they model after us. They try and try until they begin to recognize and understand the shape matches the hole it fits into. Rarely will it be the first time. It takes practice and learning the skill of matching the block to the correct hole.
Even as adults, we sometimes believe things won’t work -- until our perspective becomes clearer as we learn from watching others succeed. Budgeting is like fitting the right piece in the right place. It CAN work for us, too!
Pay God first (tithing, or other charitable donation to an organization of your choice)
“I can not afford to donate -- there is not enough money!”
A common phrase we all have heard from others and maybe even from ourselves!
As we do our best to make ends meet, sometimes it doesn't seem to be enough. Many people go year to year living paycheck to paycheck. When writing our budget, the total sometimes ends with a negative balance. This is a very common lifestyle for many. It has taken me many years to change my understanding of how to manage the outgo of our family finance.
We are correct in our thinking when we spend our money on the bills and wants first, that leaves nothing for God and selfless giving. We need shelter, food and clothes so that goes to the top of our list. No one wants to go hungry, naked or be out in the cold. So it is natural to rationalize why that would be our first expense.
Let’s take a step back and recognize that we rely on the earth for the food at our table; our clothes and our homes are made from the very substance of the earth. Our Creator made all things possible through all he created on this earth. When we honor Him and show faith in Him by giving to Him through channels such as church or charity, He can show His hand in our lives. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28).
I would like to use the example in the Personal Finances Self Reliance Manual page 41 (published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).
Picture that we have a glass jar which represents our income (a resource of limited size), a big rock representing our debt to the Lord, pebbles representing our savings for our future selves, and sand, representing our current needs and wants..
Take the empty jar and fill it with the sand first, then place the pebbles, in and finally try to put in the big rock. By following these instructions there is no room for the big rock. It appears that it will not all fit in the jar. This is the most common way we arrange our budget!
But what if we put the bigger rock first, add the pebbles, then pour in the sand? You will be amazed to find that everything really CAN fit in the jar!
“Because God gives to me, I have enough to give and to live!” This can be your new phrase!
Our family has chosen to put God first by paying our tithing and a fast offering. We have discovered that the money leftover has always been sufficient for our needs and beyond.
Look to those around you who are successful at managing their money, and ask what works for them. Search different ideas on budgeting. You don’t have to pay anyone to tell you how. But keep looking and find what works for you.
Put the circle block in the circle hole as you recognize that giving back to your Creator is your bigger rock and all the pebbles and sand will have room by taking this step first in your budget.
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