Monday, January 21, 2013

Spending or Saving: Which is it? Part 1

Welcome! This is the first in a series of posts. You can find the others linked at the bottom.

Not long ago I had a special opportunity to facilitate a support group meeting for home school moms in my greater West Michigan community.  You’ve never met a more wonderful, kind, generous, and accomplished group of women.  The particular thread that weaves most of us together in this group is the large number of children given to each family.  Our family of eight can seem downright puny or at the very least just a starter size in relationship to several of these moms who spearhead homes with upwards to 12 children. 

As you might imagine, there are many topics near and dear to our hearts, and topics that always draw our interest. Home management, recipe sharing, family traditions, books, and much more keeps our ears open and our jaws wagging for hours once a month.  For our January meeting I was asked to offer all I could in the area of “money saving tips”.  Many of the families represented in the group are single income, and Weekend Farmer Husband isn’t the only one who’s had employment struggles, interruptions, or losses.  Income is sufficient but often stretched thin in most of these households.

There’s a spirit of inquisitiveness, openness, and teach- ability amongst these gals.  That made me more willing to say “yes” to the opportunity to share ideas, resources, and experiences with them. But -

Although I am seeking to cultivate a more consistent servant’s heart in this season of life, it was hard to say “yes”.  No, it’s not the public speaking part.  I love a crowd! It was the “I am the least among you” part.  Weekend Farmer Husband and I are continually challenged in the area of personal economics, and have a quarter decade worth of “guess we shouldn't have done that” under our belts.

Isn’t that what makes us the expert sometimes?  Our failures are often the best teachers.

Oh, I studied.  I searched the internet.  I read.  I prayed, prayed, prayed.  Got out my colored pens and took copious notes. 

And after my captive audience listened and encouraged me and one another, I realized:

·         I need to write this all down in a more formal way.  Not only do I need to reinforce and preach all this to my sister self, but I hope my farm kids will benefit from finding all these ideas, principles, and hard learned lessons in more accessible format than a colorful but ratty clutch of notes. 

·         I talked long and fast.  By the time I was up against the clock (and it’s no surprise is it that I went over?), I had only addressed about 2/3rds of what I’d prepared.  Now, those moms deserved a better time manager, but more than that, I hope to encourage and bless them – and a couple of them are readers here- (hi you sweeties! heart you)- by finishing what I started.

·         You come here for a reason right?  We connect in this space.  We have common interests, questions, desires, and some shared experiences.  Might I serve you well by translating my scribbles to this space?

Although I've yet to finish a series I've started on this lil’ol’ blog of mine, I’m undaunted in starting another one.  

I’m writing ahead this time, not just trying to keep pace with the days.  Unlike before, I actually have done a lot of the prewriting.  Let’s see if it makes a difference to start something with a plan instead of just starting.

Here’s what it’s gonna look like.

First I’ll give you a little bit of my story and experience in relationship to spending, saving, wealth, want, and resources in general.  If I can accomplish this I’ll be feeling really good – my notes are the sketchiest here! 


Then, we’ll talk about big ideas and important principles, followed by habits to cultivate.  I think I have a few surprises or maybe new ideas for you on that one.

Along the way, we’ll talk about couponing, health, insurance and services, home education, wardrobe building, and will even dabble in fashion and beauty.  Gulp, gulp.

Of course, the biggie, food, meal planning, groceries and supplying our households will show up.

I know the internet is chock full of posts like the ones I'm planning.  Sheesh, there's multiple websites, bloggers, and online services that you can use to increase mastery in this area.  Why come here?  

We already talked about it a few sentences ago, we're together here because of common interest.  If you’ll bless me with comments and questions along the way, we learn what our common needs are. When we dare to speak our needs we have better opportunity to be hospitable to one another, to understand our connection, and then ultimately, serve each other better with suggestions.  Better than suggestions however, we can pour out encouragement and in the astonishing way love works, find that we are filled.

Okay, back to the plan.  Ask me questions.  I'll try to answer.  Feed each other with comments, suggestions, and encouragement.  Finally comes La Grande Finale, where I’ll wow you with abundant links so you can continue your own growth in this area, and a Pinterest board that organizes a lot of this information in one place.

I’m starting to perspire. 

The pressure.


Click on the links below to find your way to other posts in the series:
Part 2Part 3,Part 4Part 5,Part 6,Part 6a,Part 7,Part 8Part 9


  1. Great Idea...I'll be listening in.

    1. Thanks Jerry- been awhile since we've connected. Hi to you and the family!

  2. Since we spend so much time in our homes, it's easy to justify putting money into our spaces and I'm in the midst of doing that to make the inside as desirable and cozy as I can on a budget. I'd love ideas on finding great deals on original pieces, hardware, decor etc. as well as arranging spaces. If that's not on the writing plan, maybe we can just chat.

    1. I have some ideas scribbled down on this Kerrie - I'll see if I can get a few more brain cells to join in before I post. For sure I frequent local thrift and consignment stores...but you already know that! As always, a chat is more than welcome...hint, hint :-)

  3. I could benefit greatly from ideas on meal planning!

    1. Also homeschooling ideas with a large (at least for us ;) ) family

    2. Bree, I feel like I could ALWAYS benefit from ideas in both of those areas. I experience an ongoing tension between reading, sourcing, blogging, researching, and then actually doing...I'll pray for wisdom and see what these fingers have to offer as they press on!