Friday, April 11, 2014

Financial Peace - Our Total Money Makeover (Part 4)

For Part 1, go here. For Part 2, go here. For Part 3, go here. For those of you who wonder where Adoption fits in the Baby Steps, go here.

I had meant to get this final part posted 2 weeks ago, but all of a sudden my schedule just exploded and I've had so little time to sit down and blog. Thanks for bearing with me! I've also found the final post to be the hardest to write - I think because the others were so "fact" based! Anyway, what I've learned really comes down to three words - Less is more. Now I'm not perfect - and occasionally I still slip into wanting something I don't need. "Hey! What a great ___. I'd love one of those!" But then I stop and think about it. Sometimes just getting away from the temptation is good, and other times I'll decide to later make a purchase. But most of the time, I try remind myself of these three words- less is more.

Less things - less time required for maintenance and upkeep.
More time for family and doing things I enjoy doing instead of taking care of material things.

Less debt.
Less bills to keep track of.
More savings.
A greater ability to be able to travel, to save for the future, to save for adoptions.

Less desire to keep acquiring.
A plan to buy things when old things wear out.
More giving to those less fortunate, including material goods that we just don't need.

Less desire to "keep up with the Joneses."
More desire for simplicity.

Less is more.

Earlier this year I did some purging after the holidays. I thought about replacing a few things I had tossed and decided I liked the feel of a more empty drawer instead! It didn't have to be filled to the brim. I had plenty. What a great feeling! And more recently I realized I did need to replace a few things that I do wear often but were clearly worn out. So I did some shopping, but it wasn't much, and really just a few things. I did invest in a great cross-body bag - in beige that will go with everything. I've found that when we're out and about, it's best to have free hands and arms to dart after a running toddler. :) But aside from a few new things, my purchases were to replace things that had worn out.

I absolutely love everything Sarah writes, but this post is one of my favorites. She writes:
Once I was a nanny in a mansion.  Like really...MANSION.  The couple spent SO much of their time on stuff...not just time spent earning the money and then buying all these fancy things, but then having to turn around and spend even more money on the things they bought just to care and protect it all-the maintenance, insurance, fancy confusing alarms.  And their daughter sat lonely and neglected among it all.  I walked away with a lesson from that job, I'll tell you.  All these possessions, all this money...wasn't adding to their life, but taking away from everything that is truly important.  And whether or not it's that extreme, the truth is, the more you have, the more you have to care for, and the more time you spend on the things you have.  How freeing to have less!  It's getting to the core of the good life...where the "real happy" exists.
I too had a similar job when I was in college. I babysat for the summer - the parents had an enormous house, lots of things and I was responsible for driving their only daughter to every lesson under the sun - tennis, golf, swimming. Her parents were never home. They were always working. It made me so sad.
The more you have, the more you have to care for, and the more time you spend on the things you have.
To conclude, here are a few links to some other posts that have encouraged me at times along our way to Financial Peace!

What I Didn't Buy at IKEA - Goodbye House! Hello Home!
31 Days of Living Well, Spending Less - Living Well, Spending Less
In Search of Financial Peace - Living Well, Spending Less
56 Things to do instead of Spending Money - And then We Saved
40 Days Tips and Tricks: House Love - Memories on Clover Lane

Happy Friday, friends! Thanks for your great questions and comments on this series! :)


  1. Fantastic post. I am at that point in my life (sadly, our girls are now grown...only the youngest lives here when on break) of realizing the stuff is soooo not worth it. I wish I had learned that sooner. However, I am working on instilling this in our girls. I want more time, less stuff. We have been in the process of weeding out this past year, and it feels good. Yes, I do need to purchase a few things...mainly clothing...worn out, no longer fits, etc. But, not so much the stuff that just collects dust.
    Hope you are all doing well. Glad to hear from you!

  2. A great wrap-up post! Really liked reading this approach to finances. :)

  3. I really appreciated this series. We paid off student loans this year and bought our last car cash, but like you describe, I have SUCH a hard time spending on little things and "getting the deal" which really, is not a deal if its going to last you for a short time (because its cheap) or you don't even need it! These posts were an excellent reminder to get on top of our budget instead of it just happening to us.


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