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    #31
    Pared down as much as possible

    Snafu,

    I've looked around and basically found that I've already pared down as much as I can. From late Sept. 2011 - mid Nov. 2012, I was underemployed (unemployed from my f/t job so worked p/t jobs), during that time I searched through my belongings and sold what I was no longer using. Since that time, I've been more conscious about not purchasing stuff that I'm not going to use. I hear you loud and clear on thrift store shopping, I'm an artsy person so I love thrifts and vintage stores anyway. Thanks for the support.

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      #32
      Conflicted between practicality and faith

      Money ideas,

      I used to be so strong in my faith towards tithing, like you are now, but it was shaken once I became underemployed for a year. I've started tithing again of course but occasionally miss paying here or there when I have only enough money for the important bill, like rent. I realize the only way to increase one's faith in this area is to step out in faith. This is what I have to do during those times. It's a challenge for me but one that I will keep at until I experience complete victory.

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        #33
        Slipped a little

        Originally posted by theduc View Post
        My pastor always said there are three T's when it comes to tithing... Time, Talent and Treasure (money). Not everyone is able to give their Treasure because it is not theirs to give (it's borrowed). Yet they can still "donate" and "tithe" with their Time and Talent. Volunteering in the church is a great way to give your time... you mentioned that you are an artist so maybe the church could use someone with your talents to help out on projects. In these cases you are still "giving" to the church financially as you are giving them something that may otherwise cost them money. The money you save the church can then go on to help others.

        You are starting down the right path... just stay on it and you will be fine
        .
        I volunteer my time in the church (working with the youth) as well as tithe money.

        I slipped from the budget a little yesterday. It was that rebellious streak that we all have in us but some are better at managing it than others. Feeling that hey, it's Friday and I've been so good following my budget of a week old, I decided as a reward that I'd buy myself some fresh fruit on my way to work. Then I stopped at a store and bought a bag of chips, another reward for myself. Since I'm a fairly health-conscious eater: junk food and fast food are guilty pleasures that I partake only once in a while. At lunch time, I bought a nutritious lunch and during my evening commute home, I bought another snack since it would be too late for me to eat dinner by the time I got home.

        Today, when I added up all that I'd spent yesterday, it's almost $20. That's over 50% of what I had budgeted for groceries for the week. Granted, my grocery budget is small since it's only for one person, myself, but it just goes to show how fast undisciplined spending can add up. It wasn't worth it. It's the same thing whether it's those like myself struggling with money or those struggling with over eating food, drinking alcohol, etc. Just a little slip up can set you back further than you'd ever planned for it too. Today, I'm clear headed, sober (lol,) and getting back on the wagon with my budget.

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          #34
          I am a supporter of continuing paying your tithes. God can help you do more with the 90% then you could ever do with the 100%. It is great that you are realizing the need to change your financial behavior. Do everything you can to get out of debt!

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            #35
            Due to your debt load, your income doesn't stretch to allow for lunch out, restaurant foods which cost double or triple make-it-yourself from food at the grocery store. Every thrift store sells Crock pot sometimes called Slow Cooker. These are magic machines which produce tasty meals for little money and a modicum of work. Sunday, [whatever day you like] you plan meals for the week, starting with foods at hand. Plan to buy small packets of meat like beef and chicken breast and some kind of fish, fresh, frozen or canned that you like to eat. Add carbohydrates like potato, yam, some shape of dry pasta and rice [not instant, dried beans [navy or kidney] + dehydrated onion [flakes]. Add any fresh vegetable and fruit you'll eat. Most of this stuff is cheapest at an ethnic store if it's a reasonable distance. Buy tiny quantities like 8 oz. or 1 cup.

            Cooking 101: Eat fresh produce, fresh fruit and fresh meat the first part of the week, dried, canned, frozen foods later and 2nd week. Look on-line for specific recipes like http://www.ivillage.ca/food Basically wash & cut up root vegetable in 1/2 inch pieces, add 1 cup water & dehydrated onion, salt & pepper into crock pot. Add meat cut into bite sized pieces. Add a small amount of any flavoring you like perhaps wine, soya sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire, tomato paste/can/ketchup/fresh. Turn crock pot to high for 4 hrs or low 6 hours and enjoy your day. You needn't mind it. Step 3 add 1 cup of any vegetable you'll eat like peas, carrot, corn, green or yellow beans, frozen or canned to heat.

            Final step is a Roux. 1 spoon of butter/marg melted in a pan, add 2 spoons of flour and mix together. Add 1 cup of liquid like milk or tomato juice or OXO [flavor] cube diluted in 1 cup of hot water and mix s-l-o-w-l-y into flour-butter mix. Heat to boiling and it get thick. If thicker than you like add water a bit at a time.

            When I write it out it seems like a lot of fuss but in real time it's chop up and add 1 cup of water. If you pack resulting meals in convenient containers at hand, just heat and eat. Like chili, it's better the 2nd & 3rd day when flavors meld.
            Last edited by snafu; 09-03-2013, 07:19 PM.

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              #36
              Have you thought about tithing 10% of your net pay? That is what my parents have always done. And, if you get a tax refund, you could tithe 10% of that just so it is truly 10% of your net pay. Just a thought.

              You have good advice here.

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                #37
                Mostly cook meals

                Snafu,

                I cook most of my meals anyway. However, on the days that I'm working out in the field (which are generally a 12-hour work day) I sometimes eat out (cheaply) because food from home doesn't keep long in the car while I'm driving in the high-humidity, high temperature, oppressive heat where I live. Unrefrigerated food would be unsafe by dinner time which occurs while I'm still out visiting clients.

                I own a crock pot which I bought brand new years ago (about $12-15 new at Walmart back then)and put it to good use but primary only doing fall and winter (it's still hot where I live but cooler temperatures and fall weather is just around the corner). I've always consider crockpot meals as great warming, stick-to-your-bones comfort food for cold weather. Luckily, fall is quickly approaching so I can start making crockpot meals again.

                The recipe that you posted doesn't seem like a fuss. It sounds delicious and you're right about meals from crockpot tasting better and better with passing each day; especially beans, which I love.

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                  #38
                  Want a gross blessing

                  Originally posted by sblatner View Post
                  Have you thought about tithing 10% of your net pay? That is what my parents have always done. And, if you get a tax refund, you could tithe 10% of that just so it is truly 10% of your net pay. Just a thought.

                  You have good advice here.
                  That question was settled for me years ago when the pastor of the church I attended, at that time, was asked should we tithe on our gross or net pay. He said it depends. Do you want a net blessing or a gross blessing from the Lord?

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                    #39
                    Originally posted by Kharisma View Post
                    That question was settled for me years ago when the pastor of the church I attended, at that time, was asked should we tithe on our gross or net pay. He said it depends. Do you want a net blessing or a gross blessing from the Lord?
                    Wow. That's an incredibly rude answer. I would imagine that a pastor should be a tad more compassionate.

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                      #40
                      Not at all

                      Originally posted by BuckyBadger View Post
                      Wow. That's an incredibly rude answer. I would imagine that a pastor should be a tad more compassionate.
                      It wasn't said in a rude way at all. In fact, he had a smile in his eyes and on his face when he gave his answer. He didn't come across as being facetious or flippant. He simply presented the choices based on the question he was asked and he left the decision up to the individual. He said no more on that topic and didn't attempt to persuade or brow-beat people to tithe one way or the other. It was clear that he understood the choice the tither makes whether to tithe on gross pay or net pay is between them and God alone. Context, tone of voice, body language, and the spirit behind what is said makes all the difference in the world.

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