Friday, March 18, 2011

Keeping Up With The Joneses

I was watching House Hunters on Hulu last night and was disgusted by the episode (which of course made it that much more entertaining to watch). It was about a young gal in her twenties, living with her parents while working so she could save money to move out. Sounds responsible right?

Here's the kicker. Her parents lived in what can only be called a mansion, but the point of this young ladies house search was that her parents wanted her to move out so that they would have their "space" back. This girl was younger than me and had stuff in several rooms of her parents house including half of their garage. Again think mansion sized rooms. Appalling.
The parents decided to help her out financially with a down payment since she hadn't saved up enough on her own and they wanted her out.

House Hunters
always shows three homes the people look at. This girl's budget was $400,000. Yes, a 20 something was looking for a $400,000 dollar condo so her parents wouldn't have to share their mansion with her. APPALLING. And of course out of the three homes the girl chose the most expensive one that was actually OVER her budget.

I DON'T GET IT. This is everything that is wrong with our countries' financial health. Why do people my age think they can afford something like that? Her parents are not doing her any favors because if she couldn't save up for a down payment do they really think she will be responsible with her mortgage payments? SERIOUSLY!

DJ and I have started doing Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We're not taking the classes but we're reading the books. If you haven't read them I highly suggest it! It is taking a lot of the money "tension" out of our life and most importantly out of our marriage. It is about being in control of every penny you spend at the beginning of each month, and "snow-balling" debt. We've got a long way to go but we are working towards being debt free.

One thing I've become more aware of is how EASY for people to get a loan or credit cards and just make those "monthly payments to pay it down". It is HARD to wait. It is HARD to have to save up for something you really want, but it feels AMAZING when you pay in cash and know that you don't owe anyone anything.

I keep thinking what our nation would be like if more people payed with real money and stopped borrowing. If more people stopped caring about what others thought and like Dave says, "live like no one else so later you can live like no one else".

We like it but it is definitely a challenge. It takes total commitment to stick to it. Check it out at
I think I will go watch some more House Hunters now and get some affirmation for our financial decisions ;).
And just for fun...

Monday, March 7, 2011


Hubby got this in the mail today...

We have been awaiting for it's arrival since October.

While moving probably won't happen... this year... it's nice to have choices.
We've always talked about moving out of state but the thought of moving away from family is hard.
Right now things are fairly flexible with jobs and housing, it would be a fairly simple time to move.

Sometimes it feels like we're going nuts trying to make good decisions for our future. My sis mailed me this book,

It's funny and encouraging and right now is helping me feel at peace about our current situation, as well as future possibilities. This verse used in the book has stuck in my head and been my "theme" for awhile now:

Matthew 6
Do Not Worry

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The verse always reminds me of the camp song "Seek Ye First", which was always one of my favorites. When I've felt overwhelmed by decisions it is helpful to repeat the verse to myself. When we put God first, "all these things will be given to you".

Whether Colorado or Kansas, it is nice to have choices, and I will be content with that.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I have been thinking a lot about gratitude. It can be hard to find the joy in life when dealing with "grown-up" things like loans, taxes, insurance, and bills. Sometimes it feels like we were never taught about how to handle these responsibilities and it gets overwhelming. There is no GPS for life, and the instructions we get sometimes don't make sense.

A co-worker told me her commitment for lent this year was to be more positive. Whenever I complained she would put a positive spin on it. It was eye opening to hear myself say so many negative things, and instantly have someone look at the flip-side of the situation. I guess if I was in a bad mood this probably would have annoyed me, but instead I found it very uplifting. I have a tendency to have a doomsday outlook on things- especially when I'm tired or stressed. It was a nice reminder that the words we use directly affect our attitude. There are a lot of things to be grateful for.

"The Five Qualities of Gratitude"

1. Truly grateful people are humble

2. Truly grateful people are content.

3. Truly grateful people aren’t judgmental.

4. Truly grateful people don’t gossip.

5. On the flip side of that, truly grateful people are encouraging.

The author goes into greater detail for each of the five qualities, you'll have read the whole article, she has some enlightening insights. Sometimes we all need to be more self aware, for our own good and for the good of those around us.