This year has started off with a huge bang! SO much going on, I feel like I’ll never keep up, but I’ve managed to so far:
1. I started school again. I’m doing online classes this semester and probably will during summer semester too. I’ve been so nervous about my assignments and tests, but I’ve done well so far. My first two math tests got 100%! It’s amazing how well I can do when I CARE about the grades. Now I realize what was missing in high school:-)
2. I was put on the ward’s Emergency Preparedness committee. Meetings, evacuation plans, etc will be done here on a monthly basis.
3. Munchkin started two after school classes…she loves them, but it sure sucks up time walking back and forth and back and forth again to the school. Good exercise though!
4. I’ve started teaching Frugal Living classes in my church. Details follow.
So, it’s been busier than I’d planned, but all is well!
Okay, so I was asked to teach Frugal Living classes in my ward. I’ll be teaching one every other month….so far it’s been fun! I’ve also been given the scary task of talking with some families in the area one-on-one to help teach them to be more self reliant, and to live better within their means, and to set up financial plans. Anywho, someone asked what my first class was about, so I thought I’d just post my outline here:
Frugal Living Class
“Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food and clothing and were debt free. Many today have followed this counsel in reverse. They have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food free.” -Thomas S Monson, 2001
First of all, it is important to note: Everything we have or will have is the Lord’s. We are merely stewards over that which the Lord has given us.
“It is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.” (D&C 104:13)
With this humbling thought in mind, the goal for this and other classes is that we will learn to become better people, more responsible stewards of the things we have. In doing so, we will experience an increase in financial and emotional peace and stability.
There are at least 3 steps to getting started toward living a frugal, self reliant lifestyle:
1. Get to know your finances. What is your monthly income? What is your output? You need to determine exactly where EVERY dollar you earn or receive is going. Knowledge is key. You cannot plan without knowing where you are at financially RIGHT NOW.
2. Set a budget. Once you know your yearly, monthly, weekly income, you can plan on how to spend that money. Your first budget will not be perfect. You will underestimate some costs, overestimate others. This is the most tedious of the 3 steps, but very important. Budget sheets available at www.providentliving.org.
3. Financial planning. Now is the time to set goals and to make a plan to see those goals achieved. NOTE: Financial planning is NOT a plan to “make more money” or to “get more stuff”. Financial planning is making a plan to improve your family’s self reliance and financial situation using the resources you have RIGHT NOW.
1. What resources do you have RIGHT now? (examples: a yard to garden in, bodies to walk with rather than drive, neighbors, thrift stores, stoves to COOK AT HOME, thermostats to turn down in the winter, creativity to entertain frugally, libraries, etc)
www.supercook.com – Cooking from your pantry
www.providentliving.org – Online financial calculators, budget sheets, a new online financial course.
www.personalfinance.byu.edu – excellent online classes for frugal friendly living.
TO DO LIST:
1. Go over your family’s finances this month. Find out your income and your output.
2. Begin tracking where EVERY dollar is going. If you spend $0.50 on a candy bar, write it down. This is tedious, but important. Track for at least 2 weeks.
3. Set specific, measurable, and attainable goals. Write them down, and look at them often.
4. Based on your findings and goals, create a financial plan. Figure out where you can spend less, how you can save, etc. You WILL get there, with the Lord’s help and an unstopped determination!