A Million Skies

http://www.A-Million-Skies.com

A Million Skies is where I share my faith, my family, what's happening in my little corner of the world as a homeschooling mom, wife of 25 years, new mother-in-law, writer, blogger, coffee lover, and official front porch, music lover.

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What's a great budgeting tip for the new year?

Debbie Slaughter

One of the things I will be trying this next year is using something until it can't be fixed or used any longer. In the past, I would sometimes buy something to replace an item that was older, but still usable. This is really just a matter of laziness. For instance, my 19 year old sewing machine needs some tweaking. However, recently, instead of taking the time to buy a few replacement parts, I went out and purchased an inexpensive new model. In one week's time, the new machine broke and I had to take it back. Thankfully, I was given a refund, which made me realize that, for a small fraction of the money, I could have bought a few new parts, put a little effort into fixing my old machine, and had one that was still better quality than the new one! So my motto for the new year will be to use it up, until it can't be used any more. Then, I can justify spending money, and not feel guilty.
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What is the youngest age you would let your child have a part-time job?

Debbie Slaughter

I would let a mature child get a part time job around the age of 14, depending on what kind of job it was. My oldest son began doing yard work for a lady at church, once a week. I would drive him to her house, drop him off for 2 hours, then pick him up. It was great experience for him and it was a blessing to her. I think the type of job and the maturity of the child need to be a complete match-up to be successful.
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What's the most common financial mistake families make?

Debbie Slaughter

In today's society, the most common financial mistake is actually hard to pin down to just one! So I'm going to choose two - student loans and big houses! I am a diehard fan of Dave Ramsey and I listen to his radio show every night while cleaning up the kitchen. I don't know the exact percentage, but I'm going to guess, around 75% of the people who call in, are up to their ears in student loan debt! Society tells us that we have to have a degree and it can't just be from a community college; it's got to be from someplace of prestige and name worthy. The end result is an over-abundance of college graduates (assuming they actually finish their degree) that are years away from actually benefiting from their paychecks, because they are so far in the hole. The 2nd greatest financial mistake is too big of a house! Why people put themselves in such financial trouble over an overpriced home, is beyond me! I think it's also a matter of prestige. You can live in a nice, comfortable home, in an older neighborhood, and get more for your money, than paying thousands of dollars a month, living like the "Jones" family. This purchase puts your family in financial prison and usually causes the mom/wife to have to leave the kids in daycare so she can help finance the monstrosity. Is it really worth sacrificing the kids so you can come home to 3000 sq. feet of space that needs to be cleaned every day?
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What item should moms splurge on?

Debbie Slaughter

Although I don't believe women "deserve" to be pampered, I do believe a "day out" every now and then, can truly help meet the need to relax. As homemakers and moms, we are in constant "work" mode when we're at home. Just taking one full day or even one 1/2 day, out of the home, doing something you enjoy, can refresh you and keep you going until the next break. So to answer the question of "What should we splurge on?" - I think we should splurge on a day out of the house, doing what pleases our senses. For some, that may be the sense of touch - a manicure or pedicure, massage or hair cut. For others, it may be coffee and a quiet bookstore. For some, it might be a noisy dinner with several noisy friends! Whatever it is that "fills you back up" so that when you return home, you're refreshed and ready to be the best mom and wife you can be. I guess this would be called splurging on yourself!
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