Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Sharin' the Love!
I know this won't thrill the masses at large, there will only be a very few of you who take notice, then actually check it out.

Those few of you are going to be hugging my neck through cyber-space. It's only April and I already know this is going to be my VERY FAVORITE OVER THE TOP WONDERFUL NEW THING OF 2008, seriously.

I used to stink at managing money. It wasn't so much that I was bad at it, I just didn't know how. Sort of like doing Algebra, except that I'm still bad at that one, even after being taught. Still, you can't really be bad at something you haven't learned, you just remain in that constant state of ignorance. So that's where I was with money. Sort of that thinking, I still have checks, how can I be broke?

Then we realized we had to send kids to college, and since none of them are very homely, we realized they'd likely fall in love and get married, and choose not to elope. They'd also need a decent used car, since I wasn't about to give up my beloved minivan 7 days a week, nor run and pick them up at midnight every weekend. That was going to take finances, and since we're of the type of family that had limited funds coming in, i.e. normal, I figured I better read some nerdy books and learn how to manage it better. At least DH liked that option better than him running out and getting two or three more jobs.

So I did. Way back when, about fifteen years or more ago. And since I try to keep this life Christ-centered, I went with the Larry Burkett method. His method is a great method. So great that Dave Ramsey, the present christian money-guru followed it too, only he jazzed it up, swinging bigger clubs at debt and cursed car leasing, and building savings and retirement, etc. So we adjusted our Larry Burkett to add some Dave Ramsey. There was also Mary Hunt's version, 'Debt-Free Living'. She spoke as someone who'd been there, done that, and lived to tell about it. Although why on earth her husband didn't flat kill her for the credit card debt she ran up is beyond me. It had a LOT of zeros after it! I love learning from others' mistakes, so I combined all their methods, and came up with something that has worked really well. All the kids graduated from college, we paid for it, they all got to march down the aisle in white dresses or tuxes, and they drove semi-crappy cars (or are still driving them) so that they learned to take care of them, and handle their money before they took on car payments. So it worked.

But it WORE ME OUT! The Larry Burkett method is really a great one, God-honoring, it pays off debt, you get to give money to God, and you get to eat too, not in that order by the way. It was so paper/labor intensive my 'bill paying' had begun to take hours and hours every week. I always knew how much money we had, to the penny, we had savings, bills were paid, but man alive I was spending way too much time on it.

So Hallelujah, my middle daughter, who I'd taught to budget before she married, and was too familiar with the labor-intensive system I was using, told me about a product - Mvelopes. A product online, with cyber-envelopes. It's connected to your banking institution, so anytime you make a purchase with your debit card, or write a check, or have money deposited into your account, it knows within a day or so, and you can move it around into these virtual envelopes. I was able to go in and set up a budget, make specific envelopes for every area of our budget. I can see within minutes how much money we have, in every area, and print out a little slip to throw in my wallet, so when I get to the mall and want to know whether to buy the shoes or not, I pull out the slip and I know. Yes or No. Or go out to dinner, or buy a book, or anything.

So for the very few of you who are looking to improve what you're doing, and would like something slick, wonderful, fabulous, accurate, easy, and affordable, check it out! The website is: I wasn't asked to review this by anyone, but I have to tell you, I'm over the moon on this one. It's just too good to keep to myself. I pay something like $15 a month, but when this three month subscription runs out I'm switching over to the yearly subscription which cuts in in half. Because I'm all about being wise with the finances God has provided

For the first time in about 35 years, I didn't have to balance the checkbook this month, nor did I record a single debit transaction. Amazing how much time not doing just those two steps saved me. So if a new grandbaby were to appear this calendar year, they would be my favorite thing of 2008. Otherwise, this is IT! I'm in love, I'm in love, and spending a lot less time at my desk shuffling papers.

Algebra? Algebra be damned! I almost flunked it in high school, took it in college and aced it, and still don't see much need for it. So Algebra - not so much. Mvelopes, you won't be prying that one out of my fingers anytime soon.


  posted at 8:14 AM

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