Monday, September 22, 2008

An Apostle Came to Stake Conference

This weekend was our Stake Conference featuring a visit from Elder Robert D. Hales. I attended the Saturday Adult session with my husband, Sunday's general session with my family, and a special Stake youth fireside with Hubby, Bug and Loula Belle.

I'm not going to review all that Elder Hales said, but wanted to touch on what he said to the adults on Saturday night. As he began his address, he pointed out that we live in turbulent times and referenced the upheavel in the financial markets that has taken place lately. He found it interesting that those who speculated in the market and made large profits over the last decade now want the government to bail them out -- all while avoiding too much loss. Elder Hales said, "The government doesn't have money. The money for government comes from the people." Those are sobering words.

Here at Belly Acre Farm we get the Wall Street Journal. I've made a point of reading all about Black September -- why it happened and whether or not the government's bail-out is going to work. Basically, the government had to become involved to restore confidence in the marketplace. Failure to do so would have caused greater market instability not only here in the U.S. but around the world. I'm not happy about the government bail-out, but I can see the reasons behind the action.

Elder Hale's councel to the adults of our Stake was to get out of debt. (Where have we heard that before?) He also pointed out that when a couple or family can sit down together, look at their finances and say, "We can't afford that," they are on their way to greater financial control and stability. "Debt," Elder Hales pointed out, "is troubling because it is a form of bondage."

I married a man who is naturally frugal. But in our relationship, he makes the money and I spend it. I am not naturally frugal. Money conscious, yes, but frugality hasn't been easy for me. Fortunately, we've been budgeting since the day we got married over 15 years ago. Once we agree on a budget together, I'm free to spend within those limits. We have never gone into debt for anything other than our home.

In upcomging posts I plan to share and swap ideas on how to live within our means. How to stretch dollars and save for a rainy day. So get those frugal juices flowing. I'd love to hear what you and your family are doing to get out of debt.


Science Teacher Mommy said...

Funny how the prophets are always right like that . . . .

Our problem now is that the budget we established for ourselves on moving into this house did not take into account gas going to $4 a gallon and my grocery bill going up by 15% in the last six months. The result? Our "short" term savings (for household items, vacations to visit grandparents, missions, etc.) is nearly non-existent.

I suppose I could get rid of my high speed internet.

riddles said...

It was one of those meetings that I am so glad I attended. You can hardly ever learn the same things by hearing about them as by attending them. Finally I was in the right place at the right time! Besides that, I got to sit by you at the Saturday night meeting!

Christie said...

STM, balancing a budget is a tough job. In our early years when I really was sick of our stiped yellow velour couch I had to ask myself, 'Where do I want to cut spending in order to buy a new couch? Phone calls to Mom? No. Buy bone-in chicken instead of boneless/skinless chicken breasts? No.' It turns out that I never really wanted a new couch very badly. Instead, we had generous people pass their used couches down to us. We didn't actually get new couches until it's has been 10 years since we tossed the yellow-striped monstrocity.

If you opt to ditch your high speed internet connection, I'll write you the old-fashioned way. And I bet you'll have more time to work on your dream job of writing fiction. You could always use your library's computers and connection. That's what I used to do. Will they let you use a thumb drive? Then you could still post on your blogs.

Flashlight Girl said...

Funny how those young families who followed the counsel of Pres. Hinckley in 1998 (ten short years ago) are more secure during this financial insecurity. Now, don't get the idea that we are rich, but we get by and haven't had a hungry day yet. Living within one's means is real freedom.

jph2515 said...

I'm in New York. Our Bishop reported on a meeting leaders had with Elders Perry and Holland from the Twelve and Elder Neil Anderson from the Presidency of the Seventy. A substantial potion of the meeting was on getting out of debt and paying tithe. I've had a significant amount of debt because of a divorce and my own financial mismanagement. One thing that has helped me is an organization called Debors Anonymous. It is a twelve step program. It has helped me get in touch with my bad financial habits and to correct them. Also the Dave Ramsey program has been very helpful. Anyway, this year I paid off my student loan, two significant debts, and I should be debt free within two years (I hope and pray!). I am currently supporting my son on a mission by making extra money by teaching a night class. I feel like I ahve my life back.