Monday, October 30, 2006

Moving Along

Beautiful day today! Sunshine and crisp fall air.

Whew, this relocation thing takes awhile. I always thought I was a self-motivated, planner-doer type. (Hmm, do we call that a Type A?) However, it seems these days that there is still so much to do just to get "settled in a new land"...never mind everything else. We just don't realize how much we take for granted in our community and our least I don't think I did...even though we had done this relocation thing once before. I need to get my tires rotated. Who performs this service under my warranty? When someone needs to go to the doctor we have to get referrals, and experiment. And the list goes on. Slowly we are making progress!

On a different topic, I have a money tip today for anyone interested. I learned this from Mary Hunt, although I can't say I've never thought of it myself. (smile). What do many people use credit cards for? Often it's only for "emergencies", right? And what constitutes an emergency? Even if we don't consider that new dress or new tool an emergency, most emergencies that people use the credit card for could have been planned for. That twice-yearly insurance premium catches us by surprise. The microwave dies and must be replaced. We suddenly need new tires for one of the cars. Someone drops their cell phone in a glass of water (don't try this one at home). And the list goes on. We're not prepared for all these "catastrophes", so we grab "the card". (By the way, that's a general "we", not an admission of "guilt". Smile.) Well, what Mary Hunt suggests is admitting that we will have these needs and planning ahead for them. She suggests estimating ahead of time how much we will need for each general area of unexpected expenses and allowing for that in the budget. She calls it the Freedom Fund. You can read about it in her books Debt-Proof Living or Debt-Proof Your Marriage.

Of course, with so much inflation, some people are barely paying the bills and will say, How do I set aside extra money into a freedom fund? We can re-evaluate. We can ask ourselves if there is something we have that we never use, that we could sell? (Expect to take a loss, but if you're not using it and it doesn't have strong sentimental value, then it is only taking up space anyway, so you still win.) is a great place to connect with buyers (and sellers, for when you need to replace something that you didn't expect to wear out). Another thing we can look at is our current spending. Can we do better at the grocery store? Can we do better on certain utilities? Can we walk more or carpool? It may take time to reach a point where we can fund the Freedom Fund as much as we want. Of course, in the meantime (and always) we can ask for God's providential help for all our needs! What father, if His son ask for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone? So much more will our Heavenly Father take care of our needs if we ask Him. (paraphrased from memory).

Speaking of moving on, it's time to go walking. Have a wonderful day or evening.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Arise and Walk

What would I do without my morning walk? Yep, it's a new part of my schedule. The leaves don't seem to be changing color, but it's still beautiful to see the leafy trees stretching overhead - reminds me of my childhood - and to feel the nippy Autumn air. I usually read a passage from the Gospel before I start, so that I can have food for thought and prayer. This morning I went from Gospel to budgeting before I managed to convince myself to hurry up and get out of the house; so my mind was less on the things of God and more on the things of economic survival...or I should say the things of economic recovery.

But as the exhilaration of walking and the sights of nature began to clear my mind of "rubbish", the words "Arise and walk" came to mind. I thought of Lazarus, naturally, but I also thought of something else. That is what we must do. Arise from old habits of anxiety, and replace them with not only planning and discipline, but trust and calm.

Of course, "Arise and Walk" might also be something to post somewhere to remind myself to get up and take that walk each day. Do you walk each morning (or lunchtime? or evening? or whenever you can fit it in). I highly recommend it!