Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Budgeting and Living Frugally

2011 Women's Conference Class by Robin Judkins

Budgeting and Being Frugal

1. All things to the Lord are spiritual…D & C 29:34 Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a alaw which was btemporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.
2. Everything we have is a gift from the Lord?
3. Are we being good stewards over all the Lord has blessed us with?… D & C 136:27 Thou shalt be diligent in preserving what thou hast, that thou mayest be a wise steward; for it is the free gift of the Lord thy God, and thou art his steward.
4. How many of us have our own money, our husband has his own money or do we combine our money for the good of the family?
5. Do we have a monthly budget for food, clothes, savings, accidentals or incidentals?
Are we living within our means? Do we spend more than we make? Do we know the difference between a need and a want? Do we have credit card debt and making interest payments each month?…. We have often heard that interest is a good servant but a terrible master. President J. Reuben Clark Jr. described it this way: “Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation. … Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.”
6. Do we meet with our spouse to talk about finances and budgets and if so, how often?
7. Will we make sacrifices for the good of the family with unselfishness?
8. Does one of us have spending habits?

A. Tithing: Always pay the Lord first…. 3 Nephi 8, 10 & 11 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In atithes and bofferings. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, ves. if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the adevourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts.
Latter-day revelation emphasizes the law of the tithe as a duty and a test of faithfulness and the honest payment of tithing sanctifies both the individual and the land on which he lives. (Bible dictionary)
Story: things lasting longer than their life span, dryer, tires on car. Etc. etc.

B. Pay your bills and living expenses on time with no late payments.
C. Pay yourself 10 % and more if you can each month and have or start a savings account. Do you have a retirement account, of any kind? Do you have life insurance? If not look into getting some. You will never know when you will be living off your food storage and savings and it will be nice to have that cushion when those times come and come they will.
Story: 5 kids, employer said stop paying your tithing and you’ll have a 10 % raise. Story of living off food storage for 5 months. Jan’s plane crash 3 years ago.
D. Knowing the difference between needs and wants. Do I really need this item today? Wait, give it a week and with spouse, decide if item really is needed. Ask yourself, can I afford this item, if so, can I pay cash for it or if I put it on my credit card, can I pay it off each month with no interest?
Only have 1 or two major credit cards. Build up points, put in savings if you can. Don’t have a credit card for every department store with promise of percent off item for sale. It can be difficult to keep track of all the payments to make…make the payments on time…and you’ll never have to pay late payments. Be careful with cards that promise air miles…check and calculate if it’s worth the monthly or yearly fees, black out dates and not flying as frequent as you need to, to redeem those air miles…. will they roll over each year! Is it really worth it to your family?
E. Set a regular time each month or week with your spouse and go over your budget to set new goals. Months down the line look back and see the progress you’ve made. Doc. Phil Story….
Don’t be afraid to budget or talk about your debts. It’s what you don’t know that will hurt you.
F. Develop a system for paying your bills that works for your family.
Put on the outside of the envelopes, name of company and the year, 2011. Mark the dates, check numbers and amounts of each bill for each month. Place utility bills, house payment, car payment, insurance, health insurance, phone bill etc. etc. inside these separate envelopes. These bills will be all organized in their separate envelopes and place in a folder. When time to pay bills for the next month, pull all envelopes out and record the expenditure for the next month on the same appropriate envelopes. Look over each month for a quick reference and see where you can save…Turn the lights off. Have a FHE with kids about your finances and ways they can help the family… All organized for tax time. Bring example
G. Credit card debt…… Make a list for each month to go over. Discuss the problem… recognize, evaluate, reprioritize each and every month or week…depending on your situation.
Talk about problem and agree, make a list of every expenditure, even every penny spent with date, and what spent on for 1 month. Then go over to see what you’ve spent all the money on. See where you can cut cost and re-evaluate, reprioritize your expenditures together. If neither of you can’t seem to get a hold of your finances seek help: Trusted family friend with experience, trusted friend in the business world who is a financial expert, home teacher or bishop to find these resource people.
Don’t let the credit card companies control your financial future….take charge. If you have considerable amount of debt:
First call all your creditors and talk to the one in charge of the company. Let
them know of your financial hardship and your desire to pay the debt and ask for
a reduction of monies owed to those creditors so bankruptcy won’t be an option. Ask for a lower interest rate.
Then pay off credit card with the lowest balance first while making minimum payments on all the rest. When that one is paid off, go to the next one to pay off and put that amount plus more on the next credit card and so on, so you’re paying off more and more per each card as you pay each of them off. Remember don’t add any more debt to these cards, cut them up or lock the cards away to get rid of the temptation. The first 10 years will determine the pattern for the rest of your life financially. Will you be prepared or be a credit card junky living pay check to pay check? Only you have the power to break the cycle.
H. Learn how to cook nutritious meals from scratch…. they are more nutritious for your family and will save you lots of money. Make a list of 11 meals for a 2 week period of dinners because breakfast and lunches are pretty repetitious and the variety comes in the dinner meals. Make larger batches of some meals for freezer for a later meal and plan on leftovers and eat the leftovers and don’t be wasteful. Make a list of foods that include your 11 meal ingredients and shop for those 11 meals you plan to make. As you run out of ingredients have another list going on the fridge that you add to for your next food shopping period. Shop twice a month and don’t run to the store for little things, put off till your next appointed shopping day. Don’t shop hungry. Be careful when using coupons and only purchase what you will need and not spend on things you don’t need in order to get the discounts on needed items. Shop nutritionally with coupons. Look through your cupboards, shelves and freezer, cook with things you already have and clean them out while replenishing and rotating your food to have no waste.
Learn to cook from the Relief Society meetings, gather at a friends home, your visiting teacher…learn how to cook out of your food storage, grow a garden and know how to grow your own food…collect recipes from others that are tried and proven. Develop this talent and don’t be afraid to try and keep trying! You only fail when you quit trying.

I. (See Budget and Expenditure records) Discuss all future purchases with your spouse. Determine an amount when out of danger, that you both feel comfortable with that can be spent without permission, $5.00, $10.00, $50.00, $100.00. No one wants to be told what they should do with their money, you already know. It’s a new way of thinking…Budget your money before planning to spend. Learn to change the way you feel about your money. It’s like a game and you’re learning how to play it right..

Try to make budgeting your money fun with a reward when you accomplish your goal plan rewards ahead of time, so you have something to look forward to; Example…special dates that cost little or no money, candle lit dinners with your home made meals…watching the sunsets…picnic at the park…swimming at the river…going for a walk…check into community activities that don’t cost money…Saturday markets to walk around in….concerts in the park….etc. etc. “”””Never fall back into that financial rut.””””

Spending money is fun but when you don’t have it, you’ll pay dearly later. Play now and pay later is Satan’s plan. The only one who suffers is you and your family!

Learn to repair things so they last longer. Fix it up, make it do, or do without. Learning to say no is not a crime when it comes to spending your money.

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do when money is spent on accidentals and you just have to make up for it next months or the previous months until you build up a savings.

Are we following the prophet’s council by living within our means?
Do we have our food storage?
Do we have savings? If not are we putting a little aside each month?

Primary song: Keep the commandments:
Keep the commandments; Keep the commandments in this there is safety in this there is peace. He will send blessings; He will send blessings, words of a prophet, keep the commandments…in this there is safety and peace.