Turning Financial Mistakes Into Priceless Lessons | The Gym Membership Example

We can look at our financial mistakes in one of two ways: "I am a complete idiot, and I just wasted some of our valuable money." "I am human. Now I evaluate what happened in order to turn that mistake into a valuable life lesson." We Paid $40 for a Gym Membership, but We Learned a More Valuable Lesson Yes, I'm intentionally writing about gym memberships the Monday after Thanksgiving. … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Break Free from the Poison of an Entitlement Mentality

Merriam Webster dictionary says that entitlement is the belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges. No.  This is not a political post.  No, I'm not going to point my finger at government programs that foster an entitlement attitude. No.  This is not a parenting post.  No, I'm not going to point my finger at kids and talk about how they have developed an entitlement … [Read more...]

Buy Only What You Need and Upgrade Only When You Need To

I've had a personal buying philosophy in place for several years, but I don't know if I've ever blogged about it. When shopping for something, do your best to buy only what you need and upgrade only when you need to. Far too often we get ahead of ourselves in an effort to be prepared for every single eventuality.  Unfortunately, that can be a very expensive endeavor. Real Life Example: … [Read more...]

4 Essential Questions to Ask Before Buying Anything

What in the world ever possessed me to buy that? That' s a question I've asked myself.  That's a question I've heard others ask. The question reveals that sometimes we buy things that we willingly admit we never should have bought.  If we could go back and change our decision, we would.  How do we learn to think clearly before making those buying decisions? By learning to focus our … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Drive a Stake into the Heart of the Joneses

No, I'm not advocating any type of murder. The Joneses, in case you don't know, are this invisible family that no one knows, but everyone tries to impress. Keeping up with the Joneses is a phrase that refers to buying things simply to maintain an equal status with your neighbors. 5 Ways to Drive a Stake into the Heart of the Joneses 1.  Identify Entitlement for What it is - A Devilish … [Read more...]

$1,825.48 to Set Up a Home and Pictures to Prove It

Earlier this week I shared my tips on how to set up a comfortable home without breaking the bank. Today I want to take you on a tour of the house to show you what it looks like so you'll know that you can set up a frugal house, too. Since we've been back in North America, we've had to completely replace almost all our household items.  I'm amazed at the fact that we have almost everything we … [Read more...]

How to Set Up a Comfortable Home Without Breaking the Bank

In the Ford family, we've been doing a lot of shopping. We left PNG with four suitcases.  Between everything we owned, we probably had about 20 boxes to our name. It has been such an amazing blessing.  How many people get to start over?  When my wife and I were first married and setting up our home, we did a lot of conforming.  We set up a home like we thought we should.  We registered for … [Read more...]

How Calculating Your Hourly Wage Can Free Up 91 More Hours

When you buy something or spend money on anything, you should calculate it by how much time it cost you - not by how much money it costs.  By adjusting your currency from money to time, I think you'll be able to make much better spending decisions. How to Calculate Your Hourly Worth If you want to start spending the currency of time instead of money, you'll need to set an hourly worth. How … [Read more...]

Shiny Cars, Manicured Lawns, and Broken Hearts – Is this the American Dream?

Only a fool would think it's a beautiful picture. For three weeks during the month of June, my family was in Houston visiting the church that provided the oversight for our work in Alotau, Papua New Guinea.  We spent a lot of time in peoples' homes and enjoyed the blessings of Christian fellowship.  The result was that we ended up driving through a lot of different neighborhoods north of … [Read more...]

Amazing! Weight Watchers Also Provides a Fool Proof System for Frugal Living

I've got this quirky belief that your boss shouldn't determine how much money you spend. Too often we decide to spend based on what our boss is willing to pay or our bank is willing to lend.  Instead, I think Christians should intentionally decide how much is enough (in the spending category), and use the rest to bless their local church, mission efforts, and works involving the poor. It's … [Read more...]