"The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty." Exodus 34:6B-7A
"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow" Isaiah 1:17
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourself." James 1:27
If you're a Christian, then you worship a God of extreme mercy. In Exodus, God describes himself. He calls himself Holy (Iam what I am). He proclaims himself merciful and gracious.
Now I'm going to make a theological leap. I started writing it out, but this is a personal finance blog, so we're not going to do all that. If you want the details, start in Genesis, skip to Isaiah, skip to Luke, finish with Revelation, and then go back and fill in the details. A historical commentary helps.
As Christians, we have the privilege to reflect God's extreme mercy to us into the world. We do that in word, saying, "Through Christ Jesus's death and resurection, we can live with God" and deed. Deeds mean addressing felt needs.
Every Christian should live a life of extreme mercy, but putting wheels onto that isn't easy. I've also noticed that finances really get in the way of opportunities to extend mercy to other people. These are five principles for helping a Christian better align their finances with their values.
One of the great joys of my life was studying economics in college. A lot of people loved their college experience, and I did too. But my favorite part of college was probably the academics.
I mean, I got to study economics. Economics is basically philosophy marred by math and people, so nutrition for people who don't want to give up McDonald's. Economists basically exist to make everyone else look smart (and fit).
What I'm trying to tell you is that economics is a stupid major. I learned almost no marketable skills, and I loved every moment of it. If my kids go to college (which I hope they do not, but expect that they will), I hope they pick a stupid major too.
These are the common objections to picking stupid majors, and how I'll help my kids overcome them.
Recently, Rob and I started to get excited about some potential lifestyle inflation. In about 10-12 months (depending on when Rob lands a job), we expect that our income will more than double. In fact, it could triple (Rob will finally earn more than me).
While we want to continue to live a generally frugal lifestyle, we expect (reasonably I hope) that we'll have opportunities to spend and give more than today. Of course, that has us excitedly chippering away at possible lifestyle changes including the potential of a big trip to New Zealand. Our first international trip with kids.
Of course, that's all future talk. Right now, money is tighter, and we opted for a frugal vacation to visit family in Minnesota (including a brand new niece on Rob's side).
We briefly considered sending Rob to visit his sister and niece alone, and having a 4 day weekend staycation later on. But we decided that Staycations are a bad idea for our family right now. Here's why.
As expected, the second quarter drove expense through the roof. Our total reported spending is $9,982. This is just $2700 more than we spent in the first quarter of 2017. This number doesn't include charitable giving, income taxes, or work related expense (which were a hefty $480 for software subscriptions, a new software package, and annual accounting services).
We knew that childcare and medical/dental expenses would rival for the spot as top expense category, but who came out on top? Keep reading to find out ;)
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.