Saturday, April 19, 2014

Laine's Letters And Paying Off Debt, Part 2

Last week, I began a series of posts from Laine's Letters on 50 ways to get out of debt. You can read the first post HERE. Every week, I will share more of what I learned from her by typing out some of her letters. She is truly a godly, wise woman and I would love to know how she is doing now. {Since this letter was written in 2005, some things are not applicable today, so I will put my two cents in!}

During this series, I am going to show you pictures of my home and ways we have saved money. Ken and I try to be very careful with our money and not be wasteful or extravagant. The above picture is our living room. The piano is the one my parents bought when I was a little girl. The rest of the furniture, I got from Craig's List from one couple for $600! It is all in great shape. {Yes, that is my cat's tail you see!}

4 ~ Save, save, save. Every paycheck, I do my best to put a little away. Even if it is only a little, it is a savings. We have a savings account, a retirement account where a sum is taken out of my husband's salary each month, and an emergency account for emergencies. "There is desirable treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders all that he has." Proverbs 21:20

5 ~ A good budget is a necessity. There are so many good Christian books on budgeting by Larry Burkett and Ron Blue among others. I can tell right where I am in a month just by checking my budget in my purse that I keep on 3X5 cards. {Then she has a Yearly Budget and a Bare Bones Budget in case her husband became ill or hurt.}

6 ~ A Freedom Account is something I learned from Mary Hunt years ago. I take my yearly expenses and divide that amount by twelve, then I know how much has to go into my Freedom Account each month for these yearly expenses when they crop up....It takes discipline, but it's so profitable once you've been trained by it.

7 ~ I do my best to keep our electrical and water bills as low as possible. When we were in an electrical crisis and our bill tripled overnight, we went into a very small, hip high refrigerator with no freezer and shut down our water heater. ...We had to heat our water to bathe and to wash dishes. It was rough for awhile, but I was able to keep us on our budget. {She admits that they had to truly sacrifice to get out of debt and this is an example of a sacrifice they made, no hot running water for a time.}

8 ~ I keep our telephone bill at $25 a month or lower. The way I've been able to do that is by using a phone card from Costco for long distance calling...We call my mother-in-law weekly and a few other calls during the month, but mostly we write letters or email. {Today, with iPhone, it makes having a phone ridiculously expensive! I have lived 55 years without an iPhone and I am sure you can to if you wanted to in order to get out of debt.}