Letting Go of Bad Money Habits
In January, 2016, on A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras, I had the pleasure of interviewing Manage Your Money God's Way hosts, Jon and Evelyn Bean. The version of the book I featured on the show that week was Your Money Counts, written Howard Dayton and adapted to reflect a Catholic approach by the Beans. As usual the Holy Spirit is bringing just what I need, just WHEN I need it. Well, truth be told I probably NEEDED it 25 years ago but... now that we are drowning in the financial mess not having this book for 25 years has brought us, the timing works!
2017 UPDATE: We have learned to doggy-paddle; by this time next year we should be onto the breast-stroke. This system, rooted solidly in biblical principle and reliant on God's grace are a HOME RUN!
At the end of my show, I mentioned I would be definitely blogging my progress as I tried to implement the lessons I learned in reading Your Money Counts. The Beans had a wonderful idea and a generous offer to make this blog experience even more fruitful and enriching for all of us - and offered to send me a copy of Navigating Your Finances God's Way (Catholic Edition).
And so the Journey began
Navigating is a small group study (just love anything that promotes small group study) that covers the financial principals in Your Money Counts and so so much more!! So for the next 12 weeks, I will be diving into discovering God's plan for my money. We are so deep in debt with nothing saved for retirement, one in college and 2 eventually reaching there. Our cars have 100,000 miles on them, our furnace is 30 years old, the bathroom (the only one in the house) half remolded - and we've not been on a real vacation in over 7 years. The most difficult part is the stress of trying to meet just our monthly obligations -- food, heat, insurance, cable, and cell phones. I was sold on the study when Evelyn Bean said (and I am paraphrasing), a budget is not so much restrictions on your spending but deciding where you WANT to spend your money!!
Much of my spending money, like my eating, is emotional. The pain from my past - the old wounds that refuse to heal either from childhood or my current insecurities and perpetual fears, led me to use both for comfort and for a diversion. It was time to break that cycle of seeking the momentary "high" of spending (or eating) that you convince yourself is the answer to the emptiness. So, you choose to spend or eat again and again dilibertly forgetting the repercussions - though you've experienced the negative results a million times. In the end, neither tactic has worked out well for me (see my discussions on Mary DeTurris Poust's Cravings), and I am ready to make a change.
2017 Update: The Lord blessed me tremendously in 2016, giving me both the grace and unforeseen support to make major strides in both these long standing difficult areas in my life! Kevin and I invited 2 close friends to make the Navigating journey with us - meeting every Sunday for most of the year. Painful as the process was at time, these old dogs are learning amazing new money management tricks - we anticipate being credit card debt free by January 2018!! The Lord also suprised me with friends on the weight loss/healthy living journey as well - in May 2016, I was blessed by 2 of my dear friends sponsoring my entry back into the Weight Watchers world. This time it wasn't about reaching a goal weight and quitting but learning new habits, embracing healthy eating and exercise as a way of life. Slow and steady has been winning the race - and while it is a program that goes beyond the scale - I am happy to share I am just 4 pounds from my WW goal!
For 2017, I'll be using my weekly Wednesdsay #WorthRevisit posts to look back on the incredible journey both financially and physically, as well as update and reflect on where I am now. I pray you will join me as werediscover God's perfect plan for our lives. God has created us for a plan and a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11); and His love for us is so great it extends way beyond just an hour a week. The scriptures tell us God knows the number of hairs on our head and collects all our tears; that is a rather intimate relationship. Do we acknowledge how truly close He is? Do we allow Him into EVERY SINGLE aspect of our lives? In 2016, I learned the blessings and graces that OVERFLOW when you surrender to God all that is HIS to begin with - my well-being, emotional, financial and physical.
All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2017
I pray you will stick around for the journey and more importantly SHARE YOURS by leaving a comment each week! You will be amazed to see how many others share your struggles and how incredible the feeling as God frees you from them!