Lately I have been praying a lot over our finances.
Last month, our air conditioner unexpectedly crashed, while we had guests staying with us. We survived by eating popsicles, buying out Wal – Mart’s fan collection and putting the cat’s dinner on ice.
It was a rough couple of days as our AC repair man tried everything he knew to save the unit and save us money. Eventually, he told us the inevitable….the entire unit needed replacing…..and it would cost several thousand dollars (and that was a discounted rate!).
I have been asking God to cover our unexpected bill. He is such an incredible provider and I have noticed He provides in ways I don’t expect.
Not only have I been asking God for His provision, but for Him to show me how to be even better at managing the budget areas I spend for our family.
One area I am in charge of our spending is “gifts.” We have a certain budget number for this area, and it is too small for the amount of baby shower, wedding shower, wedding invitations we receive every month, especially when you throw in birthdays and Christmas.
Its not that we don’t want to give a lot to others but when you are 29 and 30 when you get married and grew up and lived part of your adult life in completely different areas and come from large extended families that gift list is long……so long that last Christmas I was forced to make an…gasp…Excel spreadsheet to keep track of every person on our list.
I know some of you can make an Excel spreadsheets in your sleep, but they make my palms sweaty like a long division equation.
Why would I willingly use a program which makes me insert random formulas into little squares over and over to get an answer? What if I can’t remember that if I want to add column A to column B I have to put in the secret code R%$s8t=hrd+ (Is this really an Excel code..? You Excel lovers out there?)
Are you an Excel lover, or do the thousands of squares with information make you want to lie in the fetal position?
I want to be clear, the Christmas Excel spreadsheet made my palms sweaty, buying gifts makes my heart happy, but going over budget makes our Head of Finance (my husband) unhappy.
Its not a burden to me to buy gifts, I LOVE giving people gifts. But it is a burden to our budget and our marriage if this number gets stretched. Can you relate to this dilemma?
I have been asking God to help us honor our budget, honor my desire to love people through presents and also make up for several thousand dollars of unexpected expense.
Last Friday, I began to see Him do it!
They have a huge inventory of …everything…. and they always have a substantial amount of the store on sale. I also love Kohl’s because every 2 weeks they send me $10 in Kohl’s cash that I can use towards anything that is $10 pre-tax.
I am on the Kohl’s mailing list but DO NOT have their credit card, and according to a former Kohl’s employee I know, that is why I am mailed the $10.
Last Friday, I took in my $10 Kohl’s cash along with a coupon I had printed for $10 off $20 which I found through Money Saving Mom. ( I tried to find this coupon link for y’all but I think it is no longer available. Money Saving Mom is an incredible blog and she alerts you to all kinds of great deals. I can’t recommend it enough!)
You can also follow my Thrifty Pinterest board for lots of ideas about saving money!
I noticed a rack full of gorgeous scarves and accessories, not only were the scarves adorable, but they were 90% off!
Then I had a brilliant thrifty moment!
“I can buy a lot of these scarves for $20, then use my $10 off $20 coupon, hand in my $10 Kohl’s cash and for almost nothing I will have added some cuteness to my gift stash.”
As I showed my husband the receipt I realized we had just received a miracle. The kind I could have almost missed, because it happened in such an ordinary way…by finding and using a coupon.
Obviously saving a few hundred dollars on gifts doesn’t exactly cover the thousands we spent on our air conditioning unit, but it certainly helps! I am waiting expectantly to see how His provision continually surprises us. We have such an awesome God. I love that He cares about the big and small things in our lives.
for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
Anyone else have a story of God bringing provision? Or other thrifty ideas for giving gifts and staying in budget?