Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm a Producer!

I have never quite mastered the art of financial management. My successes and failures have ebbed like the tides of the sea over the years. My greatest efforts always leave me a little better, but never quite a master…or anywhere close to it.
I have goals of wealth like anyone, with hopes and dreams of being free of debt and long-term financial stability. I want to travel the world, do good for others and my family, and enjoy the freedom and peace that come from managing talents and resources well.
When I have found that something isn’t working, the blame is not to be tossed onto another, rather the fault lies directly within me. This is not an easy thing to recognize, nor admit once the recognition has been made. It is even harder when another takes the time to lovingly point out your all-consuming flaw. It hurts and the pain even worsens as you try to cut it out.
This last weekend I had an incredible revelation: I am a ravenous consumer. OUCH. It hurts to just type that. I realized that most of what I think about is what I want to buy for this room or that space in my yard or what shoes I need to complete this outfit. I get sucked in by ads and catalogs that show me the things my children and I  “need” to look absolutely gorgeous this Fall (insert current season here). I have realized that I am sucker! The sad news: it only hurts me and my family…it hurts my dreams and goals for the future.
I have decided that rather than being that crazy consumer, I am going to switch gears and become a PRODUCER! Not only am I going to produce income with my jobs, but I am going to produce success in our home by doing the following:
  • Go through things that we do not need and sell them on or eBay. I have already had great success in doing so the last couple of days! You can actually “trade-in” DVDs for $ on Amazon and the bidding wars on eBay over your used items is a blast!
  • Create and follow a weekly menu, allowing myself room for switching it up a bit. Shopping for and buying only the items on my list will eliminate a great deal of impulse purchases.
  • Return and report each day to my best friend: my husband. Because he is patient and kind, it is easy to be honest with him. I can share my PRODUCER successes with him from the day and plan our expenses for the upcoming day and events.
  • Revamp a monthly budget. My husband and I have looked at our needs and created a budget that is well below what we earn. We have room for some fun as well, which is critical. Having fun as a family and getting out is crucial for happiness in the home. Life is truly meant to be enjoyed…within our means.
  • Set up untouchable savings accounts. I have set up one account for Christmas that I can contribute to anytime, but the funds are only available to me come November. We have set up a similar account for a Spring family vacation each year. These are exceptionally helpful to our family because the two most expensive occasions of the year will not have to come out of our monthly budget.
  • Only use a credit card if funds are available to cover the charge. All purchases are to be made within our budget and recorded as such. If we do not have the cash in the bank to cover a purchase, we pass, wait, or plan to save for it.
Of course, the most difficult of all of this is changing my mindset. It has been hard to see myself as I really have been. Buying online is incredibly fun and having those packages arrive is like a gift at the door…but truly, it is a curse if one cannot afford it. I will not rob myself or my family of our dreams and goals anymore and I am on the prayerful road to correction. It is difficult to put off what we want right now in hopes of something better in the future, especially when the future is uncertain. However, the future will always be uncertain if no preparation is made to make it bright and stable.
In all honesty, I have found great relief since my discovery. Things are not perfect right now, but I feel God’s pleasing eye upon me as I have tried to humble myself to see my faults and desire change. I can see and feel the literal blessings upon our family already. Our relationships will improve, peace will abound here, and our future is brighter and stable. Consistency at being a PRODUCER will bring success. I just know it!

August 29th, 2011

I Shared My Lunch with Mr. Yellow Jacket

Today has been a good day. Although I have some kind of nasty cold, my house is quiet, smells good, is clean, and is on its merry way to being ready for cooler weather. I feel a sense of accomplishment as I have put away Spring clothing for the family and hung up or folded the Fall and Winter attire. It just feels good.
I decided to make myself a lovely omelet for lunch. I sauteed some fresh red onions, poured the beaten eggs atop, added some fresh DonSalsa, ham, and cheese. Once it was finished, I gracefully garnished it with fresh basil sprigs from my generous friends. I’m glad I made it so terribly lovely for I was about to welcome an unexpected guest.
I took my picture perfect omelet out to my patio to enjoy in the fresh Fall breeze. The birds were singing closely, my flowers bursting their last hoorahs before the first frost, and the world was at peace.
Suddenly, I heard a faint buzzing. That faint buzzing quickly became close and Mr. Yellow Jacket appeared. Oh, he was a fine yellow jacket indeed, all yellow and black with strong shiny wings. I just watched him buzz around me. Most normal, sane people would shew the bugger away…”but why?”, I thought to myself. So, I decided to just see what he would do.
He obviously was drawn to me by the heavenly aroma of fresh divine omelet. I really couldn’t blame him; it smelled good enough to eat! So…down he buzzed to the side of my plate. I just stopped, mesmerized by the calm of the day, and waited. He was ever-so-polite and never put his tiny little feet on my food. Oh no, he was a gentleman indeed.
He walked right up to a little piece of ham that had slipped away from my gourmet delight and began to nibble away at it. It was incredible! His impressive jaws cut like a knife as he took his bite with great determination. One chunk was all he needed. He seemed to give me a little nod of gratitude as he turned and flew off with his prize.
I wondered if he would run and tell the others of the silly lady with the delicious omelet. Like I said, he was a gentleman and must have understood that additional guests were not invited. I sat in peace for the remainder of my meal. What a curious meal indeed.
I am glad that I made a friend today and that I wasn’t too busy shewing him away. In some teensy tiny corner of the world today, I made a difference.

September 30th, 2011