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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Saving Money

Did you notice? My header photo has been changed to a spring photo and makes the place looks ever so much springier! sorry, couldn't resist. The flower bed is full of daffs, tulips and hyacinths that are all marvelously beautiful! 

Some one might remember, last autumn I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not only did I enjoy it, I learned a lot and the class filled in what Dave, my husband, and I didn't get around to because death is pretty dang inconvenient! During the months of April and May, I'm coordinating the class and, again, am enjoying myself and learning a lot. Each week, our small group brings what they've learned, their tips, hints and suggestions and we all learn from each other. 

Dave's advice is how I was raised; in other words, nothing new under the sun but there are so many people who weren't raised with Godly parents who taught right from wrong, how to manage money, how to save money and so on. Dave's time has come but not without cost. Before he was 30 years old, he'd made a million dollars and declared bankruptcy. He's been on the receiving end of nasty phone calls from bill collectors who, I'm fairly sure, were raised by coyotes, and people cursing him, threatening him, etc. When Dave talks, I listen and no, I don't agree with every word that comes out of his mouth but an overwhelming percentage of them find me in agreement.

There are a ton of places to learn good habits regarding money management and Robyn, at Simply Me, has been asking some really good questions and receiving equally good answers  that have been helpful.  (YIKES! I just realized she's lived one year more as I've been out of high school! Oh my. Now I feel like her Granny; and I was feeling really good about this post. sigh.)

The Christian Dollar has some really good advice on a variety of topics,  all dealing with Christians and finances. 

Christian Personal Finance was begun by a Ramsey fan and their Archive page has a huge list of well written articles on a variety of subjects all gear toward money management. 

White Fence is a good place to shop and compare prices on utilities, television suppliers, internet suppliers, etc. It's better for urban dwellers but I did find out Direct TV is offering a one year $39.99 special which is 2/3 less what I'm paying now. Oh yeah, I'm calling them on Monday.

A word to the wise...when you're negotiating with suppliers, you want to call their 1.800 number and say, "I'd like to speak with Customer Retention, please." Now, the person who answers your call is going to hem and haw because they don't want you to talk to Customer Retention; they know you're going to get a deal and their job is to put YOUR money in THEIR pockets! Those two words are worth money in the bank...CUSTOMER RETENTION. Then, explain how you've been a good and loyal customer for X number of years. It really helps if you've signed up for their auto-pay on either your credit card (hush, Dave Ramsey!) or checking account. Dave Ramsey despises credit cards while I find having one a convenience. Anyway, tell them you've found a special or gasp! you're thinking of getting rid of their service because you can no longer afford them. Trust me, they'll find a way for you to stick with them and at a lower cost. 

Mary and I are opening an Etsy site, details forthcoming, and Laurie, at Indulge Your Shelf, has been instrumental in my decision. She has a delightful blog and Etsy site and has taught me a lot. Just about every time I visit her blog I see "my" stuff she's found at antique and thrift shops! When Dave and I married, he brought 25 years of household goods, I brought 23 years of household goods and when his mother moved in, she brought 50 years of household goods. I'm beginning to think I'm sitting on a mini-gold mine! Laurie also sent a copy of Etsy 101 by Steve Weber in which she's featured.  For what it's worth, the information in this book may be found free on Etsy, but I've found the book to be easier to navigate. I'm old school and would far rather have a book in one hand, the mouse in the other.

One problem I've run into...definitions of antique, vintage, mature, retro. Any ideas? As soon as the site is open, you'll be the first to know. There have been so many huge life changes for me since Dave died; this is the beginning of the Next Step. Prayers appreciated and love you all, dearly, for your kindness toward me.

Blessings ~ Mary ~ Robyn ~ Laurie ~ 

18 comments:

  1. I'm blushing at your compliments, Sandra! I'm tickled that your shop is forthcoming on Etsy, and that I was able to help and I wish you so much success! I can't wait!

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  2. I am glad about your shop. I had a place that defined what all those styles were- I will have to see if I can find it again and send you the link to the site.

    My dd ad her hubby took the Dave Ramsey class through their church and it really altered their lives. They have no idea how lucky they are to have taken it at such a young age. Good luck to you- I know you must have some really tough moments. xo Diana

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  3. I'm SO VERY happy you're gonna have an Etsy shop! That's great! It may really be a way for you to unload some of this lovely household stuff, to good homes, and get some cash for it. As far as definitions, I've always thought "antique" meant at least 100 years old, but perhaps that designation has gone out of style. And "vintage," I always thought meant that the item was clearly from a particular time period, and not a reproduction made later, like "vintage 1950s poodle skirt" etc. Have fun with your shop!!

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  4. I'll pray that you have great success with your new shop. I'll look forward to seeing what you feature there. And you really gave a thorough report of financial advice sites.

    And that new header! What a beautiful valley you live in! I'm so glad it's green now and not snow-covered.

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  5. Yay! for Spring. We knew it would come. (We know that because our Heavenly Father has made the seasons and Jesus Christ holds it all together.)

    And I'm another rooter for your Etsy shop - can't wait to browse there, so be sure to put up a LOT of your stuff!

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  6. We used Dave Ramsey's method to pay off our car and school loans. Just have a mortgage payment which we're whittling away at! I'm so excited to hear about your upcoming etsy shop! How exciting! Can't wait to see what kind of goodies you'll be listing! Love the header, by the way. It looks so lovely and peaceful.

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  7. Divorcing the alcoholic after 30 years let me finally get my financial affairs in order.

    Feels great.

    xo t

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  8. Sandra, thank you for all the great links! And I love your spring header.

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  9. This post is chock-full of information and I'll be passing it on to some friends. Thank you for featuring the whole topic of responsible money management! We've been following Dave Ramsey's principles for decades, long before we ever heard about him and his program. We just believe budgeting, saving, and avoidance of credit are common sense ideas. Unfortunately, with today's society, it seems that everybody wants instant gratification and the latest gadget, fashion, etc. Common sense isn't common anymore! We're proud to be debt free and allergic to interest!

    I agree with you on the credit card issue. I don't follow that piece of advice from Dave either. We strictly control and monitor our credit purchases and only use them for planned expenditures. Of course, we get the cards with free airline miles and those miles have been worth their weight in gold!

    The etsy plans sound great. I keep waffling on whether to try to sell on etsy or not. There is certainly more stuff around here for us to get rid of, LOL!

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  10. P.S. I always thought that antique was anything 50 years old or more. Vendors don't stick to a set rule of age for the designation though. As a shopper, I search using "vintage." So really the question to ask folks is how they search on etsy. Knowing those key words are essential.

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  11. Good for you that you took Dave Ramsey's class, FPU! He is one of my heroes. It took forever to get my husband on board but he finally did!
    I love your new spring header!

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  12. Thank you dear one for taking the time to visit me and best leaving a comment on your way home that joyed my heart.
    Living simple and scaling down and by all means who needs so much stuff anyways. I find that Christian love is helping one another in as much as passing on the word, you my dear have passed on a wealth of information.

    A credit card is in so many cases a necessity to back you up in buying or selling power and can also get out of control, it's sadly what labels you if your a trust worthy person or not. That little piece of plastic holds your future in its numbers :(

    Etsy is a great tool in selling and the fees are not so bad. As for labels vintage covers up to so many years old and beyond that is antique, retro is a style of 50's 60's and finding your right placement of what you are selling can promote what you are selling at a larger targeted demographics. I sell on etsy and have enjoyed it ever since I opened my etsy shop. Key words that help people find you is important, and listing yourself in tags that are popular yet not overwhelmed with numbers and quantaies helps you stand out. Not to worry you will get the hang of it real fast.

    Thank you for this much needed post, I am always looking out for saving a penny, and shopping around is always best at keeping you on your toes of keeping debt down and money in the bank.

    God bless your paying it forward, and blessings to living simple through him walking into life trusting in him to provide.

    Xoxo
    Doré

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  13. Love the new header. You sure live in a beautiful place. Our area has a flatter beauty. With bugs. Oh, and moss. :)

    I enjoyed this post. Accounting and money is my forte! Dave Ramsey really, truly is a God send. His advice is right on except for the adversity to credit cards. We have one also. It is invaluable especially when traveling or ordering on-line. I just pay it off at the end of every month. Credit cards are MUCH safer than using a Debit Card. Debit cards can be "pinged" (compromised) and you'll lose everything in your account. Then you're screwed. Credit Cards have safe guards and your personal account number is never compromised. But you know all that.

    Good luck on your new business. We're gonna start one too. Steve enjoys woodworking. He plans to start making picture frames. Then, we will take those homemade frames and do projects for sale. One of the projects planned is framed mounted butterflies and moths. It's a big hit in Florida and made boo-coo bucks but I don't know if it'll go well here in SE Georgia. Prayers are appreciated.

    Luv ~:)

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  14. We love Dave Ramsey and are now debt free (even our mortgage) thanks to him! Hope your Etsy shop is successful. I will have to check it out! Blessings to you this week!

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  15. Sandra, you are amazing. Always forging onward. Can't wait to see your new shop. I know nothing about Etsy. I'm not sure I need another internet diversion, which I'm sure the world of etsy shops would be for me.

    Happy Lord's day to you, friend.
    Dawn

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  16. How exciting! An Etsy Shop! I love all those words -- vintage, antique, retro. Check the urban dictionary for proper definitions, I guess.

    Please invite us to the Grand Opening!

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  17. Laurie, you've been kindness itself; God bless you.

    Diana, wish Ramsey had been around when I was young AND that I'd been wise enough to take his class.

    MK, thank you, it's all part of the master plan to shed some stuff so I won't have so much to move.

    Dewena, thank you and I'm so glad the valley is green and not white. This winter just about did me in!

    Gretchen, thank you and my heart goes out to Karen...all that snow - still!

    Amber, it is lovely and peaceful here but I work hard at keeping it thataway -smile-.

    Tara, sounds like a not so good marriage; I am so sorry.

    Lottie, it's more beautiful here than it looks on the photo.

    Donna, Ramsey is rather narrow viewed on the credit card issue but when handled responsibly, as you've demonstrated, they help and don't hurt.

    Charlotte, it was a huge help after Dave died; FPU helped so much.

    Dore, thank you so much for your comments and advice; very welcome and much needed. I'm going to do more posts on finances and management...soon.

    Sparky, I'm envious, accounting isn't my forte and it's been a huge learning curve, one I'm still dealing with with some anxiety. Still, God will get me thru this, some how, some way.

    Debbie, than you and blessings to you as well. thank you for visiting.

    Dawn, I don't feel amazing, I feel worn out, tired and, too often, fearful. God has gotten me this far and will take me Home, eventually. Bless you for your kind comment.

    Jody, you'll be invited just as soon as we "open".

    Deanna, thank you so much.

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