Digital Coupon Apps that Will Save You Money

If you haven’t jumped on the coupon bandwagon yet, have no fear, there are painless and easy ways to get started… and they are right on your phone!

While there are great savings to be made with clipped coupons, digital coupons can yield just as much, if not MORE savings to your wallet.

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The possibilities are truly endless with coupons, but if you start with digital downloads, the process will be easier. Here are a few reasons to try them:

  1. You get updated emails when new coupons arrive
  2. You can “search” for coupons which saves you time
  3. Digital coupons are sorted by aisle 
  4. Each coupon can be added to a digital “shopping list”
  5. You don’t have to buy the Sunday paper to receive coupons 

Given all the great reasons listed above, digital coupons are definitely worth a try. Here are a few of our favorite coupon apps that will save you money and time!

Ralphs App

This app is synced with your ralphs rewards card and you will save MAJOR bucks by using it. All you have to do is load your coupons on the app and scan your card at the register. One of the exciting parts of this app is the new gift cards that have been added. For some stores you can buy a $50 gift card and receive $10 off your purchase – a great way to stock up for Christmas gifts!

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Vons

Similar to the Ralphs, this app will allow you to download coupons, track sales, and gather a shopping list – while giving you a handy snapshot of the fuel points you’ve accumulated.

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Cartwheel Target App

The Cartwheel app is perfect for those who frequent Target. This app is great at sending you offers by text so you can quickly check out the new coupons that have been added and you won’t miss a sale. You can also sign up to receive alerts on specific items, like baby goods, sent straight to your phone.

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Checkout 51

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Ibotta

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These apps can be grouped together because they are both geared towards giving you cash back on the groceries you are already purchasing. Browsing deals is easy and uploading receipts is just as simple. If you regularly buy groceries (like most of us) then these apps are worth a try!

What apps do you use to save money? Care to share?

20 Great Inexpensive Date Night Ideas

When the budget gets tight, one of the first things to go is “date nights”. The cost of going out to a restaurant, seeing a movie, and paying a babysitter can add up!

We’re here to tell you that date nights shouldn’t be sacrificed. With these creative ideas, you might even be able to stay home and have a fun night together after your kids are in bed.

Dating your spouse is an important part of your relationship, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice that simply because you are on a budget.

Take a look at our roundup of 20 great ideas for date night:

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What are your favorite things to do for date night?

For even more date night ideas visit our Pinterest board Make Your Own Date Night

Tips for Living on a Single Income

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If you’ve ever wondered about the possibility of living on one income, you are not alone.

Many families have chosen this option and are thriving under these circumstances.

Sure, it takes a great amount of dedication, but you too can accomplish this in your own life.

The reasons for living on one income are many. Here are a few that we’ve come across at Faithful with Finances:

  • You want to pay off debt
  • You want to start saving…or saving MORE
  • You want to be a stay-at-home mom
  • You want to give more
  • You can’t seem to live within your means

Whatever the reason might be, we are here to encourage you in the right direction. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to live off of one income, but it does take great discipline to do so!

Here are some helpful tips that will get you going:

  1. Cut Back on Entertainment, Eating Out, & Excess Spending

Chances are, you have areas in your budget that are “wasting” your money away. In my own budget, I was diligently paying $9.99/mo for a music service that would run ads (who knows why I was paying for this in the first place). After a little digging, I found out with my Amazon prime membership I could get music through their app for free with no ads! Now I’m saving $9.99/mo…or around $120/year – wow! Imagine all the little changes you could make in your own areas of wasted money.

2. Don’t Pour the Pasta Water Down the Drain

Huh? Let me explain… If you’re a cook you’ve probably heard the expression “save your pasta water!” or the water you use to cook your pasta in. Basically that water is like liquid gold… it makes every sauce a little bit creamier and stick to the pasta just a little bit better. The point here is that you are probably throwing away or wasting valuable things in your kitchen or home that could help you save money. Instead of making a meal from scratch, try using a few items you’ve forgotten about in your pantry. Ran out of kitchen cleaner? Make your own with the baking soda you have laying around. Use what you have and you will have less “needs”.

3. Agree on Spending with Your Spouse

Maybe you can identify holes in your budget, but you can also easily point your finger to one person… your spouse! If only they could stay within the budget, life would be so much easier. The best solution here is to have a sit-down discussion with your spouse on your budget as a whole. Show them the areas that need work and make promises to them on how you will cut back as well. It takes two to tango, and if they know you are making sacrifices, they will be more willing to make sacrifices too. That being said, both of you should have a little bit of “fun” money every month, so you can still enjoy certain hobbies individually or together.

4. “Fixed Expense” Is a Relative Term

There is room to negotiate, save, and cut back in many areas of life. If you’re not ready to get rid of cable, call your company anyway and negotiate a lower rate. Shop around for better auto insurance. Take the time to price out health insurance – all of these “fixed” monthly expenses can often be changed and lowered. Let’s say you have 5 different fixed expenses, and simply by shopping around and making calls you can take off $10 on each expense per month. This doesn’t sound like much at first glance, but saving $50/mo equates to $600/year! Do your homework and you will begin to see the savings.

Implementing these tips will make a lasting change in your life, and may even make it possible for you to live on one income. Who knows? If you are bringing in two incomes you could even save thousands per year! All this to say … it is possible and it is within your reach.

What are some creative ways you have adapted to living on one income?

Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances:
Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin. 

Our Favorite Pin of the Week: De-Clutter Your Closet

 

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Ever feel like you’re swimming in things you don’t need? Follow this simple mantra and get rid of the clutter in your closet!

Follow our Pinterest Board “Simplify & Organize” to get more tips on how to de-clutter your life!

– Erika from Faithful with Finances

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Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances:
Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin. 

Why Work?

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This morning I was reading through Ecclesiastes, and there is only one word to describe some of the thoughts contained in this book… depressing.

Solomon details his journeys through gaining riches, success, wealth, wisdom, possessions, and really anything you can think of. It almost makes you wonder, how could someone like that not be happy with their life?

Solomon had a very different perspective on money and wealth than most of us have, and his perspective came from pure and raw personal experience with it. He had the highs and lows of accomplishments and toil, he ruled over people that came to him with all kinds of situations and problems, and he struggled to find God’s will in all of these situations.

In the first couple of chapters, Solomon goes through the way that men “work” and relates all that we do “under the sun” as vanity. Over and over again he repeats this word, not able to find anything else that describes the hopelessness in going to work every day without a cause or meaning behind what you are doing.

Have any of you ever felt this? You wake up to a tireless alarm, get ready for the day, and before you know it, you are sitting at your desk wondering what exactly you are doing with your life?

There is hope in God’s word for the purpose behind work, and we are not left to be in this hopeless state forever. Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 highlights this…

“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from Him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.”

It is scary to think of the alternative isn’t it? Apart from God, work is just a meaningless task that will really get us to one place…nowhere.

Today, I want you to take some time throughout your tasks and think about one thing, What is God’s place in your work?

Are you primarily doing it all for yourself? For personal gain? Or are you working to please God, and to make Him proud of you as His child?

God opens doors for us every single day, he brings situations upon us where we can either choose to honor and glorify Him, or we can shirk away in the shadows. Today make it your goal to do everything as if you were doing it for Him. No matter how small the task, make it count, and don’t sacrifice on any of the details.

Did you do something today that was above and beyond the call of duty? Tell us about it. We all need encouragement to get out of our comfortable and daily routine, and to go against what the world screams at us to give in to … laziness.

By: Erika from Faithful with Finances 

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Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances:
Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin. 

101 Free Things to Do with Your Kids

Who doesn’t love fun activities that allow you to spend time with your kids? Let this list give you some great ideas to cultivate a lasting, stress-free relationship with your family that doesn’t involve shiny new toys!

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Source: Pinterest

– Faithful with Finances

Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances:
Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin. 

Overcoming Money Mistakes

When I write all of these posts, I can’t help but sit back and think at times, “I can’t even follow some of these things myself”! Today I just wanted to give you some encouragement if you feel like you keep “falling off the wagon” … or spending without planning on it.

I realize the principles of budgeting and saving can be very hard to follow at first … and in time … they do actually get easier. But the fact of the matter is, it’s never that easy to say “no” to yourself when you really want something.

You see that adorable pair of shoes in the store (that are even on sale!) and all you want to do is bring them home with you! Or you are walking through the grocery store, really craving your favorite snack, and you can’t help but sneak it in your cart.

Trust me, I know the feeling. And before you know it, you are just drowning in shame with the fact that you just couldn’t hold yourself back.

I would say most people regret purchases very often. They may not say it out loud, but when you are staring at that new vase you got a few years ago that is accumulating dust and doesn’t match anything in your house, the guilt can start to set in.

So I guess the question is…how do you get back on the wagon?

How do you get back on track, when everything inside you is screaming “You’re a failure! You can’t save money!” Well, there are a few things you must keep in mind through the process of saving and budgeting…

# 1 It’s Never Too Late to Start Reaching for Your Goals

So what if you messed up for a few days now, or years! It’s not the end of the world, and even though you may be facing some serious debt, only good can come out of this from here. Keep your eyes focused on the future goal, and know that there is never a financial situation too hopeless. You can always start today on saving for your future.

#2 If You Truly Regret It, Return It

The other day I went shopping and was determined to find a striped pull-over hoodie (I know, don’t ask why!)…and the only one I could find was in the men’s section! So of course, as stubborn as I am, I bought it! Only to come home and totally regret my purchase. The most simple solution here is to return it. I know it can be a little embarrassing, out of the way, and just plain annoying, but I think in those kind of situations, you will feel a lot better if you do return it! So do it! You will find that even “large” purchases have a return window. Ever heard of buyer’s remorse? It’s a very real thing!

#3 See the Good in Yourself

There will always be categories in our budget that we struggle with. For me, it’s always the food and grocery section of the budget. Sometimes no matter how hard I try, I always seem to fail in this way. Either I go WAY over what I wanted to spend, or just a little bit over every week. But every time I look at our budget, I feel dejected and sad. What I suggest to other women out there who are feeling these same feelings is that you just need to see the good in yourself and not focus on the bad. Sure, I struggle with the grocery side of things, but when it comes to miscellaneous spending like a t-shirt I saw at my favorite store, I can usually hold back. Look at your budget on a holistic level, and make the most of every opportunity to learn what you need to work on, and what you already excel in!

Got any stories on how you’ve fallen off the wagon? I’m sure we can all relate! Leave us a comment below, we would love to help you get through your specific struggle. We can all improve in different ways, and I think that is the beauty of God’s work in us, we are constantly growing!

By: Erika from Faithful with Finances

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Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances:
Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin. 

I Know the Plans You Have For Me

Whenever you are stuck thinking about your “dreams” and maybe even what you have yet to accomplish … remember that God’s plans TRUMP them all! Use this post by Britney L Clark to inspire you that God has great things in store … and His plan is better than anything you could ever imagine.

Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances:
Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin. 

Path to Queendom

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Your Goal for 2015 : Savor Life

 

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Your new resolution to keep for 2015:

“In 2015, I resolve to buy less, waste less, want less, and live more. I will love more, laugh more, give more, ask more, share more. In 2015, I will savor life.”

We think this is a pretty good resolution! What about you?

– Faithful with Finances

Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances : Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin Amaradio. 

10 Verses on Money to Memorize

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We know memorizing scripture is essential to our Christian walk … but did you ever think about memorizing verses on money?

Believe it or not, there are over 2,000 scriptures relating to money and possessions … that’s more than heaven and hell combined!

Jesus continuously mentioned money and possessions throughout His ministry on earth. Knowing that this was so important to Him … don’t you think we should take it seriously too?

After all, money affects our everyday lives constantly, and we want to be equipped to handle each and every situation as if we were acting on behalf of our Lord.

Here are 10 verses on money to memorize this year (or maybe even this month!)

1. Luke 16:10

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

2. Proverbs 24:3-4

“By wisdom a house is built,
    and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
    with all precious and pleasant riches.”

3. Proverbs 11:1 

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
    but a just weight is his delight.”

4. Hebrews 13:5

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”

5. Romans 13:8

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

6. Proverbs 21:5

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”

7.  Deuteronomy 15:10

“You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.”

8. Galatians 6:7

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

9. Proverbs 6:6-8

“Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.”

10. Matthew 6:31-32

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”

Now get memorizing! 🙂

– Erika from Faithful with Finances

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P.S. Visit Christian Personal Finance to view a comprehensive list of 250 Bible Verses About Money

There’s An App For That!

Need help sticking to your resolutions? Look no further! The Huffman Post lays out some great apps that will keep you on track – not only financially, but even with healthy eating! Before you know it, you will be on your way to implementing real and lasting changes that will help you every single day this year.

The Huffman Post

Alright people, now that the hub-bub of the holidays are over (and it’s a Monday, and we all know diets can’t start on any other day of the week) we can officially start working on our New Year’s Resolutions!

It seems like the toughest part of keeping a resolution past February is lack of accountability. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (or said):  “Well, I would go to the gym/save money/eat healthier, but I don’t have anyone to go with me/know where to start/have motivation.”

Thankfully, there’s an app for that! And by “that” I mean all of your excuses-ha!

Sparkpeople

Used For: Weight Loss, Healthy Living

Price in App Store: Free

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This is one of my FAVORITE apps! I’ve been using this site for over 5 years now. It’s similar to MyFitnessPal (which I’ve also used) but SO much more user-friendly. You can track your calories…

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Going Against the Culture

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Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/412431278350267302/

One of my biggest struggles in writing on different topics of personal finance is at times I have to wonder: Will people actually do these things?

It’s one thing to say you need to save more, but are you actually putting that into action and doing it for yourself?

One of the reasons why I think this is so difficult for millions of people across the globe is simply because of the culture we live in. Having material possessions is considered a type of power, authority, and there is a certain degree of pride that comes with it. Our life is so limited to the temporary, that we miss the bigger picture. We are too easily pleased by what we can do with money, and what we can buy, when the true happiness in life is found outside of these things.

C.S. Lewis gives great perspective on this when he says…

“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Isn’t that sad to think about? We might be living our life making mud pies, when God has something much greater planned for us.

Because of this, I want you to be careful…

Be careful of falling into jealousy, coveting the possession of others, ego, pride, desire for wealth or material success. It’s not worth it, and it can lead you into a very dangerous place. Value the people in your life, value the time you have with them. Put others first, and be characterized by a heart of gold that looks to the needs and interests of your friends and family. Pray for your enemies, and look for ways to serve them also.

I want you to take caution in what you are seemingly finding joy and satisfaction from. Life is not based on the temporal, earthly, or material, but it is based on the end goal of eternity in heaven.

I spend a lot of my time thinking about money. What to do with it, how to save it, what is the best way to spend it, where to stash it, how to make the most of an investment. And I share all of these things with you…

But don’t be mistaken, money is not what my life is centered on. Yes, it is my work, it is a part of what I do every day, but it is not what makes me who I am, and it is not what I put my whole heart and faith into. Yet I must say, at times I have cared a little too much about money…

I have based big decisions off of money when I should have been thinking about something else, or someone else…

I have cried over the thought of “not having enough” money…

I have felt the greed set in when I want more money than I have already earned…

My warning and advice today is not to scare you, but rather to give you a more clear perspective on what our lives are about. Make an effort to put the Lord first in your decisions, and not your emotional view of money. It will never be enough, and it will never satisfy.

The culture will tell you to do whatever you can to get ahead. Make the most of your days, and specifically, make the most of your money…

Buy that car you’ve always wanted, buy the house you can’t afford, and you see that handbag over there, GET IT, you deserve it…

Oh how deceived we are by our surroundings. We take moments that are meant to bring us closer to Christ, and we thwart them to moments of selfishness and greed.

Your challenge today: Go against the grain, and don’t make money the focus of your life.

By: Erika from Faithful with Finances

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5 Financial Resolutions to Make This Year

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We’ve finally reached a break in the holidays where we have a chance to sit down and think about the year ahead. We reflect on what has happened in 2014, and we look forward to the times ahead in 2015.

Whether your goals involve weight loss, saving more, or even simply enjoying your everyday life on a regular basis … your goals are important, and we want to help you achieve them.

We all know the familiar phrase, “People don’t plan to fail … they fail to plan.” This is true of almost all resolutions. People begin by having lofty goals, and they rarely make a concrete path to achieve them.

Here are 5 financial resolutions to make this year.

In the next post, I will detail exactly how to achieve these 5 resolutions … because hey … they’re worth it!

1. Improve Your Spending in 1-3 Budget Categories

The three I’ve chosen to tackle this year are:

1.) Eating Out

2.) Groceries

3.) Cable

Whether it’s a small category, or a big one, it will make a difference by year end … and it’s a great plan to start now!

2. Establish a YEARLY Savings Plan

I’ve started to pin some of these ideas on our Pinterest site but here is one simple example of how you can create your own yearly savings plan … and end up with close to $4,000 at the end of it!

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3. Budget Now for One-Time Expenses

A lot of times “unforeseen” expenses are really things that you can budget for … or at least create an emergency account for. There’s no excuse to be “surprised” by your auto-insurance premium or property taxes.

4. Decide on What’s Important and What’s Not

Do you have a lot of “stuff” in your life? I know I do! At this time of year I always reflect on what I need, and what I don’t. Usually I am paying for subscriptions or memberships that really mean nothing to me. Simplifying is the answer!

5. Out with the Old, In with the New

One of the best things you can do this year is clear out your junk and have a garage sale or start selling old items on ebay. Not only is this a great way to de-clutter your life … you can also make a little extra cash on the side too!

Look out for my next post on some real, tangible ways to accomplish these goals.

Happy New Year to you 🙂

– Erika from Faithful with Finances

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Help! I’m Broke!

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Photo Credit: https://www.behance.net/gallery/12848761/Bible-Verse-Quote-2

Now that Christmas is over, many of us are realizing the damage we did in spending … mainly over spending. 

The common thread going around is, “Help! I’m Broke!”

We love the gift-giving process, but in the end, we are left wondering how we will make it through the following year.

This inevitably leads many of us to make financial new year’s resolutions!

The list goes something like this …

1. Make a Budget

2. Stick to a Budget

3. Save, Save, Save!

Whether we have bills to pay or expenses coming up, we could all use a little more in savings – and this time of year reminds us of just how real that is!

Let me encourage you to take a few steps this week or next to eliminate stress and give you a great start to the New Year!

1. Breathe, Relax, & Pray About It

Do you have big expenses coming in the next year? Or maybe even a large debt to start paying off? Relax. We are called in scripture to give our requests to God and He will in turn give us peace. Let that be your mantra for heading into the new year. You won’t be able to do anything on your own – only through the grace and power of our Lord. So rely on Him for your worries, and remember to bring it to Him in prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

2. Write Down Your Goals

Nothing is worse than having a goal in mind and never sticking to it. Make it a habit to write down your goals. It’s better to have one solid goal than many hard to attain goals – so if you must, simply write down one! Have it somewhere that you can easily see it. Post it on the fridge, on a bulletin board at work, write it in your calendar and set an alert. Seeing your goal on a consistent basis will make it more of a reality.

3. Start Small

All big goals can be realized in time if you start small. Maybe you have a goal to be financially independent, or to pay off your home. While these goals sound impossible right now, they are not impossible if you start today. Start small with a simple savings schedule. Before you know it your savings can grow and compound and you will be amazed with the amount that is contributed.

If you practice these 3 steps in the new year you will be on the right track, and before you know it, the stress of the Christmas spending will be behind you!

– Erika from Faithful with Finances

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Merry Christmas!

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Photo Credit : Happiness is Homemade

Merry Christmas! Enjoy this day with family and friends. Remember to always thank Christ for why we get to celebrate this special day. As Christians, we know that Christmas is much much more than what is found in a store. We get to celebrate the greatest gift – our Savior!

– Erika from Faithful with Finances

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10 Ways to Practice Generosity This Christmas

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1. Write a Hand-Written Letter to a Loved One

How long has it been since you’ve received a hand-written letter? Probably a LONG time! Nowadays, a hand-written note means much more to the recipient because you actually took the time amidst the busyness of life to sit down and think about what they mean to you. Think about someone in your life that could really use a hand-written note … I’m sure they will love it!

2. Volunteer at Church

Does your church do anything special for Christmas? At the very least they probably have a Christmas Eve service. Call or speak with the leadership and ask if there is any way you can help. They will be more than happy to find a place for you, and a helping hand is always needed at this time of year when more people are inclined to go to church and hear about the “reason for the season”!

3. Do a Family Toast About Blessings

Our family loves to do this around Thanksgiving, and I have to admit, I look forward to it more than the meal! I love to hear what people are especially thankful for – and what God is doing and has done in their lives. Take a moment to go around the table and talk about one thing you are thankful for … the answers just might surprise you!

4. Give Someone Your Undivided Attention

Ever been caught in the middle of a conversation only to realize the person on the other end is totally distracted and isn’t hearing a word you’re saying? Practice the art of listening this Christmas by going out of your way to meet that person’s needs and simply hear what they are saying. A lot of times you can pick up on subtle cues and emotional pain simply by looking into their eyes when they talk about something. Be that listening ear when everyone else is distracted.

5. Help Prepare a Meal

Maybe you don’t have the funds to create the spread and invite everyone over – but you can definitely lend a helping hand! Get in the kitchen and ask your hostess what you can do to “make her life easier”. That will be a  sigh of relief to her, and most hostesses are more than happy to give you an easy (or sometimes difficult!) job.

6. Go Caroling

As a family or with your church this can be a very fun, very joyful experience. So what if you’re not the best singer in the world? Have fun with it! You only get to celebrate your Savior’s birth this one time of year, so make sure the WORLD can hear that joy!

7. Invite a Lonely Friend to Dinner

Many people around this time of year start to feel uncomfortable. They have no spouse or kids to share this season with, and they often feel left-out and may even spend Christmas at a local restaurant. If you know someone in your life that could use a little cheering up, simply invite them to your Christmas celebrations. Who knows … maybe you are the only person that even thought to invite them to a get-together this year.

8. Read the Christmas Story out Loud

One way that my family and I always put things into perspective is by reading the Christmas story BEFORE we open our gifts in the morning. Trust me, when I was younger, this was a hard thing to do! But now that I’m older, I can’t help but appreciate the tradition. The Bible is this wonderful gift we’ve been given, and Jesus was the greatest gift to all humanity … so the reading of this present should definitely come first!

9. Do a Christmas Craft with Your Kids

As a kid, I can certainly remember some of the great gifts I received, but some of my favorite memories are when we did things together as a family … no matter what the activity! Pick out a simple Christmas craft or game to do with your kids and they will remember not just the presents, but the great memories that were created. Need ideas? You can always visit Pinterest!

10. Smile and Say “Merry Christmas!”

I was in Walmart the other day in the checkout line and I remember thinking to myself, “Should I say Merry Christmas?” I’m embarrassed to say that the thought even crossed my mind … but before I knew it … in a loud voice and with a smile the checker said, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!!” Don’t ever be afraid to spread the message of Christmas. It is a wonderful story to tell. By the joy and smile on your face when you share that with someone, they can, in turn, share that joy with someone else. It’s a special time of the year, and we need to remember the joy that we should carry in our hearts as a thanks to our great and awesome Savior.
Have any heartfelt traditions you do with your family? Give us some ideas and leave a comment below!

5 Characteristics to Cultivate Financial Wisdom

 

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What does it mean to “cultivate financial wisdom”?

Put simply … it’s a way of life where you are less interested in “things” and more interested in “people”. You are not obsessed with the latest phone, the latest car, the latest outfit. You take the time to appreciate the things in life you’ve worked for, and you know what it means to stand aside and save while everyone else is out spending.

So what would these characteristics look like in your everyday life?

1. Discipline

Managing money takes discipline. Period. Even the wisest investors practice discipline. They don’t credit their earnings to “luck”. They often make wise decisions, and that involves the characteristic of discipline.

2. Patience

What is the one thing that gets people into financial trouble? They can’t WAIT for what they want. They are too obsessed with the item, or the vacation, that they can’t see through the clouds. Patience means saving for what you want – not giving into impulse buys.

3. Generosity

Some of the wealthiest people in the world are generous. Sure, there are exceptions to this … but often times you will find wealthy people who are more than willing to give generously. As Christians, we are called to be generous in any and every circumstance – and this characteristic should be tied to the attitude of our heart.

4. Humility

If you are committed to practicing financial wisdom – you will be humbled. You may watch others around you basking in material possessions (that they can’t afford), and you will have to sit back and be content with what you have. That takes true humility.

5. Gratitude

Humility and gratitude go hand in hand. In order to be humble, we must realize that God is the one who provides for us, and all of our possessions really belong to Him. This leads us to gratitude. Knowing what God has given us cultivates a grateful heart – where we look less at what we don’t have, and instead focus on what we do have … an abundant life in Him.

– Erika from Faithful with Finances 

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14 Inexpensive DIY Gift Ideas

Now that Christmas is upon us, we can’t help but think about giving gifts to our friends and loved ones! Here is a list of 14 Inexpensive DIY gifts that are both thoughtful and frugal! These ideas might just inspire you to make a few gifts of your own …

The Simplified Budget

Sometimes all you need to get started is a simple push in the right direction … which is why we’ve created a free resource called “The Simplified Budget”.

This worksheet will give you pre-set categories to help you easily fill in the blanks with your own personal budget.

If you need to add or change any category – feel free to do so! The first step towards creating a better budget is simply knowing  the facts – what is coming in, and what is going out … and this worksheet will help you do that!

If you have any questions or need help with the download, please feel free to email us at info@faithfulwithfinances.org.

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Get Your Free Download Here

– Faithful with Finances