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0 kids n not countin

Corner of Joy on Saving Money

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0 kids n not countin

I feel so sad seeing people spiral further and further into "fundidom", especially when the people seem intelligent otherwise...

Her husband wasn't Christian when they married (if I recall correctly), I often wonder how he came to be so brainwashed...

Also, just a random wondering, but if you're waiting for God's will for your life, is it really God's will to marry a non-Christian, you know, seeing that these women want to wait for a "Godly" husband? :think:

The #1 Way to Save Money

I'm just warning you... you probably aren't going to like the #1 way to save money. It involves true sacrifice and honesty on your part, and the ability to apologize when you mess up.

What is the #1 way to save money, you ask? It is a strong accountability system with your spouse.

Now some of you may already have this, or think you do, but I want to paint a picture of what strong accountability looks like and how it is the only real way to keep your money from slipping through cracks.

When I got married about 2.5 years ago, I thought I was a frugal person. I shopped (mostly) second-hand, and I never wore any expensive brands. I was careful to find bargains and not to spend too much at the grocery store. Sure, I still slipped in a nail polish here, or a magazine there. A sweater from target that I saw and justified buying because I hadn't bought any clothes in a few weeks. I was society's version of frugal.

Now imagine my surprise when my sweet, wonderful husband confronted me (kindly) about my spending too much money. What do you mean?! I am frugal!

Yep, I was defensive and I thought my husband's idea of frugality was stifling. Didn't he want to have fun and live life a little too?

It was about this time that we decided to do the Jim Sammons Financial Freedom Seminar. We bought the dvd series and book, and proceeded to watch it. We quickly realized some of our erring ways, and I had to eat a big piece of humble pie when I realized I had gotten to a place where I thought I deserved things. I deserved to be able to buy a new nailpolish color, or I deserved to be able to buy a cute new scarf when I felt like it. I thought that since I worked hard, I deserved material rewards. I realized my sense of entitlement was crazy out of control, and it was really coming between me and my husband.

I also realized that while God does promise to provide for our needs, our needs do not include nail polish and new scarves in every color. Our needs are very simple: food, water, clothing, shelter. Anything outside of that is a want, not a need. Wow was this humbling, as I realized I was not a frugal person, but a materialistic person.

It was through this seminar that we also decided to live debt free. This was a difficult decision, especially considering we are the only ones in our families to make such a decision. Debt-free living is not something our society espouses at all. So all of a sudden we had a mountain of debt to get out of, and if we ever wanted a house, we needed to save for it.

Our financial seminar recommended keeping a thorough budget recording system, where we write down and keep track of every expense. We decided to use Budgetsimple.com, and began recording every single day the big and small purchases we were making. My husband took over this responsibility, as I think we both didn't trust that I would be completely honest with my spending if I kept track of it. We both also set up alerts on our phones so we get text messages is any purchases are made over $20 from our account.

Very quickly, I realized that my ways had to change. I had to really begin to make sacrifices to save. This was difficult, and I quickly realized that I had allowed myself to be influenced too much by friends and advertisements that told me I needed things to be happy. My friends had a new pair of shoes every month, and I all of a sudden had to defend every purchase I was making, not just to myself, but to my husband, and God. One of the foundational reasons we choose to live debt-free is because we believe that God is our provider, and we need to be wise with his provisions. We also need to accept that there will be times of want and times of plenty. With that in mind, it all of a sudden became important that every penny I spent with God's money was well-spent. I needed to begin protecting myself from the influences I had allowed into my life that were driving me to think I needed things.

But just to make sure we still "live a little", my husband and I are each allowed $20 to spend on non-essentials per month (it used to be $50, but we recently lowered it).

So, this is where the accountability really comes in. Earlier this week I went to the store to buy a cardigan to wear with my dress for a wedding I am going to this weekend. I went to the thrift store and found a great cardigan for $12 (it's a higher-end thrift store). I made my way to the cash register and all of a sudden stopped. In my busy-ness I had forgotten to check with my husband on this purchase, and I had already spent my $20 for the month.

This is where our strong accountability system kicks into place. Because my husband and I are working as a team to realize our debt-free goals, it would be terribly irresponsible for me to break his trust and spend money outside of what I am allowed without speaking with him first. If I go ahead and spend the $12 anyway, my husband will see it when he checks our bank account every day, and he will ask me what happened. To spend that money without checking with him would be a violation of his trust in me to be his partner. It would also be undermining his position as head of our household.

So I pulled out my phone and call him at work, and he gave me permission to purchase the cardigan. Afterwords, he texted me that he was very happy I called and asked first if he was ok with the purchase.

My new cardigan goes perfectly with my modesty dress

I am also my husband's accountability partner. He will call me and ask to spend money before he spends it above his $20.

It might seem a little silly to call your spouse and ask to spend a few extra dollars. It would seem so much easier to hide a new nail polish in the grocery bill. But my husband and I are partners, and we trust each other. That trust is so valuable, and we need to be accountable to each other in how we spend the resources God has given us.

One of my favorite quotes is "you lose your money in pennies". It is true that those little indulgences here and there add up over time, and they can undermine the goals you and your spouse have set. But more importantly, they can undermine your relationship with your spouse and God.

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linnea27

omg, my husband would be so annoyed if I called him at work and asked to spend $12. And that goes both ways. I agree that partners need to be on the same page with spending, but I also believe in trusting your partner to keep him/herself in check and and not make awful financial decisions.

I would give them credit in that they both have to ask the other about spending decisions, so at least it is not just her that is kept to a strict allowance, but I bet her approval is a rubber-stamp process since she makes it clear that he is the "head of the household."

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AuntCloud

Middle ground, meet fundies. Fundies, meet middle ground.

Are those my only two options? Rack up tens and hundreds of thousands of $$ on consumer goods I don't need and hide the receipts in my purse, lie to my partner ("what, this old dress?") and spend every penny I make because I deserve it, or spend nothing (pardon me, she does get discretionary $20/month) and have my headship obsess over the bank account every single day?

Looking forward to reading her 10 years down the road, with 5-7 blessings and a single income. I predict the next money-saving revelations are "who needs medical insurance", "cut your food budget by half", "eye glasses: buy used and save the difference".

http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/ind ... y-wealthy/

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church_of_dog
omg, my husband would be so annoyed if I called him at work and asked to spend $12. And that goes both ways. I agree that partners need to be on the same page with spending, but I also believe in trusting your partner to keep him/herself in check and and not make awful financial decisions.

I would give them credit in that they both have to ask the other about spending decisions, so at least it is not just her that is kept to a strict allowance, but I bet her approval is a rubber-stamp process since she makes it clear that he is the "head of the household."

I read this as a project they were both into doing -- and in that context I think it's entirely appropriate.

I would definitely get tweaked if it was one person forcing the other to do something against their wishes, or even if the reason was because one person was to be trusted more than the other. That's a no-no.

But if both partners together decide to tackle something, even something extreme like this level of frugality, I can totally see the game and the satisfaction in that.

Several years ago, my then-partner and I decided to try to have a "buy-nothing" month. We had a life where there really were few monthly bills other than gas and groceries, and we had stocked up enough on groceries for the month, and filled the tanks the day before the challenge month started. It was a fun challenge for us, nothing oppressive about it.

And of course we were flexible enough that when one of us had a medical issue partway through the month that required unplanned-for expenses, of course we spent what we needed and the "challenge" was adjusted accordingly. But it wasn't totally abandoned, and it was a great experience in something that was important to both of us (self-reliance, frugality, advance planning, extreme simple living).

My point is that if they're both into it, it's not oppressive. Kinda like supporting each other on a diet plan or an exercise plan, where part of the "game" is that you have to call and get "permission" before you eat that extra muffin or cancel your workout for the day. Permission as a coaching/support tool is great, permission as in an expression of dominion/oppression is not.

Just my .02

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ohnomoe

I've done the extreme 'putting everything down the last last cup of coffee into a spreadsheet' budget before and it isn't all bad. That said, as soon as we were back to a stable income we dumped it as quick as possible. I do think if there are shared goals or a difficult situation that it is a really useful tool to help achieve those goals or help tighten spending. Also we didn't ask each other permission, we just had to enter our expenses into the spreadsheet honestly at the end of each day.

There seems to be a real risk that it turns into some kind of spending disorder. I definitely felt that after 12 months of it and would give things up that I could actually afford in order to spend less this week than the last, e.g. friends would invite me out to dinner and I'd say no even though there was room for it in the budget because I wanted to spend less and less each week, it is quite sad when I reflect on it. And this was without the idea that I should be feeling guilting for spending 'god's money' on myself...

I guess if you want to have a whole litter of kids that working out how to live off as little as possible and putting as much aside now is probably pretty sensible (whaaaat??). I still don't get what god has to do with different colours of nail polish though...

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Carla Bruni

I'd rather have "lived life" than "obsessed over $12" written on my tombstone. But that's just me.

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salex
I feel so sad seeing people spiral further and further into "fundidom", especially when the people seem intelligent otherwise...

Her husband wasn't Christian when they married (if I recall correctly), I often wonder how he came to be so brainwashed...

Also, just a random wondering, but if you're waiting for God's will for your life, is it really God's will to marry a non-Christian, you know, seeing that these women want to wait for a "Godly" husband? :think:

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fun2beme

Its nice to see comments from couples who (both willingly) tried it and had a good experience. But it seems to me that Joy didn't really have much choice in the matter after Mr. Joy "confronted" her. And if

my husband and I are partners, and we trust each other
then why does he check the account daily? That seems way too controlling, given the supposed trust between them.

Also, love the irony of

bought the dvd series and book
Because spending money to save money makes so much financial sense. :angry-banghead: (I know some people really need help with budgeting but the Joys' prior lifestyle indicates that they were already both pretty savvy).

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Koala

They're never happy unless they're going to an extreme are they? Good god, she called him at work over $12 to prevent a confrontation later?

I will be the first to say, my husband and I discuss major purchases, but no one here is the "head" of anything. We work together to make the best decisions with our money...neither of us would ever want to micro manage or deprive the other.

I am just glad she has a cardigan for her "modesty dress" whatever the hell that is. With a fundie it's never a dress, it's a "modesty dress". Awesome. :roll:

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Fallgirl30

And if

my husband and I are partners, and we trust each other
then why does he check the account daily? That seems way too controlling, given the supposed trust between them.

My husband checks our credit and checking accounts everyday, but to make sure there isn't any fraud. We seem to have our CC number stolen a couple of times a year, and he likes to keep an eye on the activity.

To me, it sounds like this is mostly her obsession, trying to out fundy everyone else, and her hubs going along with it. I love the way she slid the 'cardigan will go well with my modesty dress for the wedding' bit. I don't think a modesty dress even NEEDS a cardigan, but hey, what do I know?

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lemonhead

LOL. I "hide" nail polish in the grocery bill all the time.

Seriously, I had a real problem with spending and debt when I met my husband-to-be. I think it had something to do with growing up fundy and having to ask for and justify everything I needed with my parents, and rarely getting things I wanted. I remember hoarding food as a kid, even though we never went hungry, just because I wanted to "own" something, and I've always worried about having things I need. When I graduated college I had such an overwhelming amount of debt I had to go to CCCS to get on a debt management plan. Even now, almost 15 years later, I struggle with budgeting and living within my means, and my DH and I still have separate checking accounts because I need the independence to spend "my" money (what's left from contributing to household expenses) in whatever way I want without having to justify and explain. He still struggles with this but we're okay :)

I think I get it, the "contract" (if you will) to check in with each other if you are going over your allotted monthly allowance, and I think it's okay for a new couple. My DH and I had very little disposable income for a few years after we got married, and even more so when the kids were babies, so as long as both partners are equally accountable this doesn't really ping my radar. It's something to re-evaluate as time passes, though. As this couple grows (up), this level of accountability may not be necessary.

ETA: My DH is not fundy (I would not have married him if he had been. He is as agnostic as I am). With fundy couples, clearly, there may be a completely different dynamic).

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0 kids n not countin
To me, it sounds like this is mostly her obsession, trying to out fundy everyone else, and her hubs going along with it. I love the way she slid the 'cardigan will go well with my modesty dress for the wedding' bit. I don't think a modesty dress even NEEDS a cardigan, but hey, what do I know?

This is what I thought as well, as yes, they both seem pretty savy to me as well.

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Cannelle

Earlier this year, my dh had a day off work, so we spent the day together. We stopped by Aldi's to pick something up, and I showed him the superawesome $20 rice cooker that they had on sale (we had one, but it was small, much smaller than I needed). His eyes went O.O and he said, "Why does that not live in our house?" I laughed and said I'd had my eye on it for a few weeks. I don't like spending money, and I especially don't like spending money on ME. We tend to check with each other when we buy bigger things, just as a courtesy and a "Can this fit into the budget?" kind of thing, not a permission thing (he's the breadwinner, I stay at home, but he still brings it up with me when there's something more expensive that he wants). But he just looked at me and said, "You know, if it's only twenty bucks, you don't really need to ask or anything, you can just get it." :)

He'd go out of his mind if I called him every time I spent money. (Even though my version of spending money goes like this: $80 for a week and half's worth of groceries at the store. $5 on pillowcases and a book at the thrift shop. $27 for gas. Two weeks later, lather, rinse, repeat. I'm obviously out of control.)

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Muriel Heslop

The thing that really bothers me, and I see it all the time, is how easily these women/couples fall into a position of guilt. They want to save money. Logical: learn how. Illogical: Jim Sammons/God/never no never no never debt/spend $12, guilt/bad wife/bad christian/hellbound.

Where I live, the median home price is over half a million dollars. If you don't front up some dosh you don't have a roof over your head. Get over the obsession with guilt and debt, because you can walk around naked and starving all you want but you aren't going to save the half-mil.

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infooverload

Fundies seem to use Jim Sammons while more mainstream evangical churches use Dave Ramsey's program. Does anyone know why there is the preference for one over the other?

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Dysfundamental

"This is a thing we're both trying and it works for us" would be fine. But she's not saying that: she's saying "this is the best way to save money" and "you're not going to like it" and my comment is that she's a tool.

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church_of_dog
(Even though my version of spending money goes like this: $80 for a week and half's worth of groceries at the store. $5 on pillowcases and a book at the thrift shop. $27 for gas. Two weeks later, lather, rinse, repeat. I'm obviously out of control.)

That must end up with a nice pillowcase collection. :wink-penguin:

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HereticHick

"Modesty Dress" really means "My dress is more virtuous than your dress, you strumpet"

Why must fundies make such IDOLs out of their clothing?

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MrsYoungie
Fundies seem to use Jim Sammons while more mainstream evangical churches use Dave Ramsey's program. Does anyone know why there is the preference for one over the other?

I'm not familiar with Jim Sammons, but I occasionally listen to Dave Ramsey's program on the radio. His advice is relatively sane (I disagree with his credit card payment method) and he doesn't mention Jesus every 2 minutes. If it weren't on the Xtian radio station, you wouldn't know it wasn't a regular money management show. Well, at least until some nitwit calls in who has no cash, no budget and wants to go to seminary to become a minister.

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FJismyheadship
"Modesty Dress" really means "My dress is more virtuous than your dress, you strumpet"

Why must fundies make such IDOLs out of their clothing?

Strumpet is an awesome word.

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Trynn

If my mom asked my dad if she could spend $12, he'd say hell no; he makes enough money that she can spend much more than $12. What's the most expensive item in the store?

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