By Ellie Kay, guest blogger
How to Flourish in Finances
Would you like to make smarter decisions when it comes to money matters?
When I was a young military bride, I was overwhelmed with learning how to manage a household.
I didn’t even know how to cook and I remember asking my mom how to boil an egg. She replied, tongue-in-cheek, “Boil it until it floats.” I had no idea she was joking and I boiled it for an hour until the water evaporated and the eggs exploded. By the way, they never floated.
Today, I have millennial daughters and military daughters-in-law who are learning to manage their own homes. I developed some guidelines to help them a little more proactively than my mom’s advice helped me.
Here Are My Top 10 Money Matters Tips:
- Avoid Emotional Spending – Never shop online or in the store when you are depressed, sad or lonely because you are far more likely to engage in “shopping therapy” and overspend. Be especially mindful of your emotions during deployments.
- Show Love Through Actions, Not Things – If you have a love language of gift giving or if you tend to show love to others by what you buy for them, then you may want to shift your point of view and save your budget in the process. Military moms may be tempted to do this when a parent is called away on duty.
- Volunteer Often – Those people who have the best balance in their financial lives understand how fortunate they are by giving back to their communities. Go to your local Family Support Center, or look for an online non-profit that needs your skills.
- Err on The Side of Generosity – By following the principle of tithing 10% of your income, you invite God’s blessing upon your money matters and live a more abundant financial life. If you are going to err, don’t let it be on the side of stinginess, but let it be on the side of generosity.
- Ask Yourself, Is This a Need or a Want? – Most military families do not have unlimited financial resources and for every purchase we make, it’s wise to ask ourselves this question before we buy.
- Play the Waiting Game – In order to avoid impulse buying, when you see something on sale, wait 24 hours to purchase it. This helps you get beyond the impulse to see if it’s something you truly need.
- Have a Money Buddy – Accountability is a wonderful thing. Every woman should have a person who can ask the hard questions about sticking to your budget, paying down consumer debt, or building up your savings account. In community, you are far more likely to keep your financial commitments towards good stewardship.
- Become a Master Saver – The millionaire next door rarely pays full price on anything when they can save money. Read money savings blogs, download apps for coupon codes, and be prepared to compare prices on goods and services.
- Become Comfortable with Negotiation – Whether you are negotiating the price of a car or bidding on an item in a yard sale, you have to feel it’s the best deal for you. Tell the other person, “I don’t feel comfortable with that price” and then be quiet. I’ve found that 9 out of 10 times, I’ll get a counterbid that is something I can live with and if I don’t, then I feel the freedom to walk away.
- Pray About Money Matters – Recent PEW Research indicates that 80% of Americans admit to praying weekly or even daily. Even a financial expert like myself needs to pray to make wise financial decisions, that people won’t be able to take financial advantage of me, and that I’ll be able to find the best provision for my budget. Prayer makes a huge difference.
You don’t have to take all these steps in one week; try just one at a time if you want. You can build a better financial life for your military family by making one wise choice at a time.
She considers a field and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
(Proverbs 31:16 ESV)
Lord, thank you for everything you have given us. Thank you for providing for us daily. Please teach us how to manage your blessings. Amen