I know I am probably talking to a large majority of people because the economy has put a strain on most people’s ability to stay afloat. Prices tend to go up while jobs seem to pay less than several years ago.
I can speak from experience in regards to the construction career my husband holds. The same job title he held years ago in this industry today pays $8-$10 less per hour. This can make a $300-$400 difference weekly.
You may be wondering, “Are there any solutions to this immediate problem?” “Do we have to wait for the economy to change for our circumstances to change?” Unfortunately many search out for that “get rich quick” scheme that promises big results for little effort in minimal time. Thankfully, there are solutions that still continue to work even in the most trying economic times.
A key to changing your circumstance is found in changing your mind. The way we think generally determines what we do or do not do. “Committed and persistent work pays off; get rich quick schemes are rip-offs,” Proverbs 28:20. Commitment requires you to remain focused and persistent requires you to not quit.
I have heard frequently of many cases where people just stop when they can’t afford to pursue a solution, or at least they think. This mentality is often found because people have not been taught to look for solutions, but rather accept their position.
Let’s look at a few tips to survive the economic challenges of today:
• Don’t stop with what you can reason through. When human reasoning is in control, your mind hinders your hands from trying. Answers are most often found by discovering not revelation. Be an adventurer. Thomas Edison’s inventions were not an immediate success. He started with an idea and developed a dream through trial and error.
• Look beyond the now. Set goals for where you want to be and keep your focus there. This focus will activate your hands.
• Spend less than you earn. Don’t spend all you have every week. If it means cooking supper at home instead of going out then stay home.
• Start an emergency savings. Can you pay cash for a new washer when the old one goes out? Life has unexpecteds. Can you visit the suddenly taken ill relative at the spur of the moment? Are you ready for unexpected?
• Minimize debt by paying cash. If you can’t pay for it, you can most generally do without it. It’s easy to say, “I’ll charge it now and pay it off when the tax refund comes in,” unfortunately something will many times battle for that bonus.
• Use resources to save where you can. Couponing for a few dollars here and a few dollars there does add up. I tracked my savings for 17 weeks and found that by shopping on sale and with coupons I saved $3400. Could that amount of money make a difference in your finances? Probably so.
There is no peace like that of having food in the house, gas in the car and money in your pocket for the unexpected. Changing times often require us to take a look at the way we live. Are we buying what we can’t afford? Does our lifestyle keep us from “ really living or do we stay in anxiety?”
Let me challenge you this week to put back $20 out of your income in a savings account and forget you have it. Don’t wait for perfect conditions; they never come. When you are diligent with what you have you will be given more (Luke 19:17).
Finally, “Work your garden – you’ll end up with plenty of food; play and party – you’ll end up with an empty plate,” Proverbs 28:19. Isn’t it time we stop playing prosperity and learn to achieve it? Success follows those who admit where they are at and set out to arrive at a different place.
On Wednesday at 10 a.m., I will teach a couponing class at Greenhouse Ministries on Spring Street in Murfreesboro.
Ann Haney is a mother to six entrepreneurial-minded children, ordained minister, CEO of Aaron Publishing, founder of Ann Haney Ministries and Living In Abundance, nationwide motivational speaker, coupon specialist, empowerment coach and bestselling author of 20 published products, including her books, “Judgment Overruled,” “Exploding Into Successful Entrepreneurship,” “Single Steps In A Married World” and “Changing Your Life Through Couponing Financial Empowerment Series.” Ann Haney’s ministry vision is helping women know the root of their challenge and deliver them from the death grip it holds on their life by surfacing their inner beauty and confidence, helping young people discover their God-given purpose and pursue it with passion, helping men and women learn to use the resources available to them to overcome their circumstances, and helping those recovering from life’s choices and challenges receive second chances without condemnation. Contact Ann at [email protected] to schedule a speaking engagement, individual coaching or view her website for more information at annhaney.com.