Welcome to week twelve of the series, Women of Intention! So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE.
THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:
Today, we are going to meet Deb from Saving the Crumbs, an amazingly practical and informative blog written by her and her husband. They talk about finances, economy, frugality, efficiency...you name it!
Because of this, I think it quite appropriate that Deb will be sharing with us about intentionality when it comes to finances today! After reading this post, be sure to check out Saving the Crumbs and share this post :)
Briefly tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?
Hi! I’m Deb, and for the last year I have had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom with my little girl. So my greatest interest and responsibility right now is the enormous task of molding her little heart and character to love what is pure and to desire to do what’s right. I’m realizing this is the most challenging job I’ve ever embarked upon!
Besides being a mom, being economical and living simply are probably some of my greatest passions and tend to trickle into just about every aspect of my life. So my family’s interests usually revolve around our little garden, nature, ministry, and saving money. In fact, we love good deals and being thrifty so much that a few years ago, my husband and I started a personal finance blog called SavingTheCrumbs.com where we share things like eating for less than $60 a month and paying off our house in 2 years. We just share what we’ve done and hope that it can benefit other people who might be needing encouragement or ideas in this area.
Why would you say approaching finances intentionally is important, and how can one practically begin doing so?
It’s true that money isn’t everything in life, but money does affect just about everything in life. Ultimately, our material possessions, our families, our relationships, and even our spiritual walk can be positively or negatively affected by how we approach finances. The problem is that it’s so easy to like expensive toys, brand name clothes, and fancy vacations - and it’s easy to want them now even if we don’t have the money for it. But it takes very intentional effort to see past our present wants to our future needs, find joy in the simple things surrounding us, and have confidence making these decisions even among our peers.
Probably the most important first step is to find out where all your money is going. It’s amazing how it seems to just disappear without us even realizing we gave it away! But it has certainly gone somewhere, and your first job is to trace down every penny - groceries, utilities, cellphone bill, stopping by Taco Bell on the way home, restocking toilet paper, Amazon purchases, even that soda from the vending machine. Once it’s all down on paper, you might be pretty shocked where those pennies have been rolling off to and turning into pretty big bills! The necessary game plan is usually fairly obvious at that point.
How does your intentionality with finances affect the other areas of your life?
Before we had our daughter, both my husband and I worked. We didn’t earn a lot, but we minimized our lifestyle enough to live on just one salary and put the other into savings. So when our daughter arrived, we were already accustomed to a one-income lifestyle. I was able to quit my job and become a fulltime mom. What a privilege and blessing it has been! I know not everyone is in the position to do that, but it definitely wouldn’t have been possible for us if we hadn’t been intentional with our financial decisions ahead of time.
In addition, because we choose to live fairly frugally, my husband is able to work for a ministry doing what he really enjoys and has a passion for. He doesn’t feel like he has to get a high paying job doing work he may not enjoy in order to sustain an inflated lifestyle. Having these options is part of the “financial freedom” that we strive for.
What is one piece of advice you would give to encourage someone who is struggling with intentionality in the area of finances?
Be willing to look past the present. Take a visit to your future self 5, 10, or 20 years from now. What does it look like? Owning your own home, traveling the world, being a missionary, being a stay-at-home mom? Once you have a clear picture in your mind, decide how you will get there. Then start being intentional now to take steps along the paths that lead toward your goals.
What about you? Were you inspired by this post? Are you intentional when it comes to your finances? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, and connect with us on social media?
(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)