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Have you ever made a decision you knew would change your life? Maybe you’re not sure how you know, but you know. This is big. Life will never be the same.
A few years ago, my husband and I made one of those decisions. It was a simple one, yes, but the decision led us onto a path of intentional daily actions and a life of adventure.
The decision? Get out of debt. ASAP.
After years of struggling to make payments and living paycheck to paycheck, we were motivated to make the changes necessary to dig ourselves out of debt. SoI began researching and implementing ways to reduce our spending.
We even made some radical changes to lower our budget and, while it was challenging, I knew as I mailed our final debt payment that all the hard work was worth it.
But there were a few budget items that we just couldn’t get rid of.
While they weren’t necessarily essential to living (although, I’d argue that with the 2nd item on this list), they ranked high on our list of priorities and we were unwilling to let them go, no matter how quickly the extra money would help us reach our goal.
Several years ago, we decided to give at least 10% of our income to help others. By living simply, our goal is to give more. More time, more income, more love.
We currently split our giving among a few different charities each month, including our home church.
And then there’s the really fun giving, like surprising someone with a meal, a huge tip or leaving friends some delicious micro-brews on their door step (you, too, can be a Beer Fairy).
2. Preventive Healthcare
Not long after our life-changing decision, I realized we were spending too much money trying to treat symptoms. As I learned more about natural health, I saw that we needed to go beyond treating symptoms and get to the root of the problem.
Since then, our family has created a healthier home using essential oils, real food and certain supplements. We built the price of those items into our budget and as a result, we’ve saved so much money on healthcare, it’s ridiculous (our family of six spends the same amount each year as the average person).
3. Life Insurance
As the mom of four small kids with a husband in the emergency medical/fire services, this one is a high priority. We’ve always had life insurance coverage (thanks to my mom who worked for a life insurance company for so long), but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that we put any thought into how much we needed.
After going through Financial Peace University, we contacted a life insurance ELP and switched to term life insurance.
We also upped our policy amount quite a bit. We needed to make sure that, should one of us die, the other would be able to stay home with the kids without having to worry about money.
We also had to take into account what would happen to our kids in the event that we both died and chose a coverage that would provide adequate support to their new guardians. (We also finally made a will – if you don’t have one, make one NOW).
Our monthly amount is minimal and gives my husband and I the peace of mind that, should the horrible actually happen, at least money won’t be a problem.
Worth every penny.