a look at our family resources: time & money

i'm currently reading (for the second time) & really loving free by mark scandrette. this book questions our preconceived notions of how we spend our money & time & allows us to ask ourselves just how those resources could be spent in areas that matter the most.

along with our church body, we are challenging ourselves to dig deep & define who we are as individuals, what we care about as a family unit, how best to spend our money (even when the temptation to spend is truly endless!) & how to rearrange our schedules so that we're able to create margin for rest & service.

this book is, once again, fueling great conversation among our family & providing a clearer image of what we hope for our future. i firmly believe that we cannot shape the future that we hope for unless we have these big conversations as a family. 

without these conversations & reminders about how we spend our time & money, luke & i would find ourselves trying to simply "keep up." during the holiday season, when the promise of having that thing will change you or make you more likable, it's especially important. 

here are some takeaways from our family conversations on money & time:

- we appreciate extra income for travel & home projects & are content to work more in order to fuel those interests.
- we enjoy working alongside one another & hope to make some future career shifts that facilitate this.
- we don't so much care about new cars or a fancy home. we feel best in our fixer upper home & farm with no car payments. 
- we want to have children, but our hope is that we can free up one parent to just work part-time to tend to the needs of future babies.
- we enjoy community & the activities it brings, but we would like to set aside & protect one afternoon for self-care/family-care & rest.

i hope these thoughts inspire you to set aside a day & talk about your goals! grab free from amazon & use it as your guide if you'd like. it's proven to be the perfect resource to really engage as a family in these key life areas. 

do you have conversations about money & time as a family? please share!



Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

when dh and I were engaged, we decided not to get married until our vehicles were paid off (my car and his pickup). that was the best decision we ever made. we stared out life out owing not one penny. times were very tough and we lived on what was called a poverty level (or aka "love" LOL). but we gardened, hung clothes on the line and were gifted with beef from my parents for Christmas, so we never went hungry.

we are empty nested now and times aren't as tight for us as farmers now, but we still garden, butcher our own beef and deer (if dh gets one and he did this year) and will even trade food goods...our beef for his brother's fish (he is a great fisherman and doesn't like fish!) and then trade veggies and fruit with other family members. for example, dad grows a large sweet corn crop for us all to harvest and we grow large amount of tomatoes to share.

we live in the middle of "nowhere", but are blessed that for now we are all close in mileage as a family and can spend time with each other. we have a strong church community that we are involved in and love being youth group leaders together to 3rd grade boys.

i believe you and luke are going in the right direction and are an inspiration to so many in all walks of life. thank you for sharing your lives with us your readers.

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

I so appreciate the above comment here. I can relate and say very similar things. I also want to say - I love your photos, Natalie. So full (rich) with texture and color. :)

Here is my story, thoughts...

The day my husband and I said "I do" we started out with 40K in debt - but were already on a path of eliminating that debt. We had a plan but didn't know right how to work it all out. Around this time we learned of Dave Ramsey. At the same time - in our stupidity - turned right around and added and another 20K+. As new parents and a sick baby (at birth) - we were not making any headway in the least. We took one of Dave's courses and began applying those principles to our lives. Talk about humility. A year after that new vehicle purchase we sold it (with some added losses) and began the next two years as a single car household with another new baby in the wings. We relocated. We semi-downsized and rearranged. Little by little, with lots of prayers and sweat, hard-work and tears, and that faint glimmer of hope - we held on. Today!, almost nine years later, with over 6 times of either taking Dave's FPU course or leading one ourselves, another baby had joined our family. We can say with much, MUCH JOY!!!! We are Debt-free! We might not own a house (yet!) but that remains to be one of our dreams...
Living frugally, grocery shopping once a month, butchering our meats, processing a lot of our own veggies... hanging clothes on the line... turning out unnecessary lights... not to mention I'm a stay-at-home mom for all of those nine years.

It really has been a joy! Along, and this is most important... with much peace in lying our heads to the pillow at night!

Thank you for letting me share - our story... in a nutshell. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

A said...

My husband and I believe in saving over 40% of our combined income to apply to our student loans, 401K, and emergency fund. We budget (which is truly a gift, to not have to live in perpetual guilt), we take weekend trips instead of big vacations, and both drive old cars. We have so much fun. Thanks for your perspective.

amanda june said...

thanks for sharing this. my husband and i have been married for a couple years; we are debt-free, live within our means, and give generously, but…we don't really budget. we both have habits that we've brought into our marriage and it's just kind of gone along at the status quo since we're able to get by okay this way. but needless to say, savings are not really a thing for us. i've been feeling some conviction lately about this issue and feeling that there's some definite irresponsibility and selfishness about the way we live. thanks for the resource of the book; i just looked through the preview on amazon and emailed the link to my hubs to talk about possibly reading it together. thanks again for sharing, natalie!

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