A few thoughts on a few key points made in this week's reading:
- "Simple living is a state of mind. It's a choice to not let the consumer-driven culture dictate how you live, what you invest in, and how you spend your valuable resources." (Chapter 5, pg. 69) --The same could be said for the Christian faith, no? With both simple living and Christian living, it's a choice to go against "what everyone else is doing" and make the decisions that are right for your family.
- "It is infinitely easier to practice simple living when you don't have any debt." (Chapter 5, pg. 70) --Amen and amen! We have been debt free now for several years, and the feeling of paying off that final debit is priceless! Knowing each month that every dollar of our income is assigned a specific place OF OUR CHOOSING is most certainly more simple and so much less stressful than deciding how much will be paid to which particular place that owns us because we owe them money.
For a few years, I kept mine in a 3-ring binder, which is nice if you aren't sure what all you want to have in your notebook. You have the flexibility of adding to or subtracting from the notebook or system based on your needs. After a few years of fine tuning and tweaking, I felt like I had the contents of my notebook pretty well refined, so for this year's planner, I had it bound at Office Depot. I have loved having it bound, and the bound version is much more portable than the heavy, bulky 3-ring notebook I had been using.
The sections for my home management notebook include:
- Daily planning page: This is a laminated page that is similar to Tsh's daily docket that she refers to in Chapter 6. I chose to go the laminated route so that I could erase and reuse the same sheet day after day rather than using a new sheet of paper everyday. It's worked well for me.
- Calendar: I make my own calendar pages in Excel with one week per page. I've done this for several years and was prompted to do so because I could never find a planner that suited my needs like I wanted it to. Each page has a small monthly calendar at the top, the seven days of the week, with space for menu planning and notes each day, and an overall notes section at the bottom of the page. You can also find templates for planning pages here on the Microsoft Office templates page.
- Notes: This section just has sheets of pretty paper (I like dressing things up!) that I use for anything I need to take notes on (i.e. plans for family vacation, birthday party plans, Christmas gift ideas, etc.)
- Finances: I have a copy of our budget in this section as well as some notepaper to make notes on other finance-related things.
- Misc. Lists: This section is just what is says--various lists, including a list of important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc), a form where I keep my internet passwords for various websites, shopping lists for when we go to Amarillo, and such. Next year I plan to combine the Notes section and Lists section--there is some redundancy there, and I sometimes get confused as to which location I've used to make note of a certain thing.
- Homeschool: This section is for all things homeschool-related (co-op notes, curriculum notes, etc)
Feel free to ask any questions you might have regarding my notebook--I'm happy to share my tips and ideas!
This week's discussion questions:
- What is your greatest challenge regarding money management?
- What do you see as the greatest benefit of being debt free (whether you've experienced it yourself or hope to experience it once your family gets there)?
- What will you include in your home management notebook?
- Read Chapters 7 & 8
- Memorize Romans 14.19
- Evaluate your home in light of your family's purpose statement. Identify at least one change you feel needs to be made.