We Can Do More With Our Money: Can You?

As I was expressing my frustration yesterday at the slower-than-I’d-like path of our debt payoff to my oldest daughter, Madelyn answered me like this:

“Mom, I’ve been praying about this, and I think we can do more.”

She was right. Although – compared to “most people” – we are pretty frugal ($450 a month on groceries for our family of six, $60-$100 a month on entertainment, etc), there is room for improvement.

I love that our family feels free to be blatantly but politely honest with one another. Madelyn’s comments are coming on the heels of a super tight month here in June: we’re going to have to really buckle down in July in order to make it without using credit due to some extra expenses. Really. Buckle. Down.

Or we could just put some things on the credit card. After all, we haven’t used the things in nearly a year. What’s the harm?

This is the lie that we told ourselves for years. The lie that got us into massive credit card debt and brought our debt-to-income ratio up to 65% at one point.

The thought of using credit to overcome this temporary shortfall brought an immediate sense of relief over me.Β 


The thought of buckling down big time and working to cut our grocery bill and other expenses in half or more for July in order to overcome our shortfall brought an immediate sense of empowerment over me.

I’m not sure if this is the case for everyone, but for me, choosing to “do more” when the going gets tough brings with it a powerful sense of victory that leads me to keep driving harder to reach my goal, whatever the goal is at the time.

I see this same sense of power when our family watches American Ninja Warrior. This super cool show follows rock star men and women as they train to compete in a series of physical challenges that can only be described as brutal.

When we watched last night, they had a new course that included an event known as the “log roll”.

Participants hung onto a log-shaped “thingy” (????) with arms and legs and rolled at what they described as a “really fast” pace downward over some water to a large comfy mat waiting to catch them as they flew off of the log (on the off chance that they weren’t thrown off over the water) and slammed onto the mat, only to face another difficult challenge.

A couple of people lost their shoes as they slammed into the mat due to the speed of the challenge.

All I can think when we watch that show is “I can do more”. The statement applies to all of my goals: our goal of debt freedom, my goal of optimizing my physical fitness before I reach age 50 next summer, my goal of spending more time studying the Bible each day, my goal of being a better wife, mother, daughter, etc.

When I see these guys and gals (one competitor last night was a 51-year-old auto worker from Detroit lest you think you’re off the hook due to age) in optimum physical condition doing things that most people on earth could never do, it invokes a sense of challenge in me for myself.

And so for the month of July, in order to overcome our financial shortfall, we will do more – American Ninja Warrior style.

And to you, cherished Fruclassity readers, I issue a challenge.

What goal can you do American Ninja Warrior style next month?Β 


19 comments on “We Can Do More With Our Money: Can You?

  1. I caught a couple minutes of that show last night and the course seemed harder than ever. It really is amazing what humans are capable of–more than we think we can do, for sure. I love your daughter’s statement, and your response of feeling empowered at the thought of buckling down. And your rejection of the false relief of using credit as a solution. Sounds like your family has come such a long way!

  2. You have a wonderful daughter Laurie πŸ™‚ I love this post because you’ve now inspired me to look at our bills and see where we can make some cuts. Have a good Monday!

    1. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to hear about the challenge you guys issue to yourselves, Mackenzie. You got this!

  3. I know I’m preaching to the choir when it comes to you on this Laurie, but I thought I’d throw it in for the casual reader I heard a sermon once that if you want more money, the first thing you should do is give more money. That’s a tough nut for logical folks. How would that work, exactly? But it’s a law of the universe, whether you are a spiritual person or not. You reap what you sow. It has always worked for me. Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

  4. Sounds like an interesting show (I pretty much only watch tv for my favorite college & NFL football team & that’s about it) so maybe I can stream a rebroadcast.

    My American Ninja goal is to be there for my wife & daughter and do a better job at leading them. I say this as we have been doing a bible study on fathers the past few days, because of Father’s Day, and how an active father greatly increases the chance that their children will be successful, responsible, and faithful.

  5. I am so impressed by your daughter, Laurie. It is wonderful that your kids see themselves as part of a team that’s making this happen. I’ve already decided where to focus my Ninja resolve. I’ll write about it for this Thursday’s post : )

  6. We watch Ninja Warrior, or rather record it and watch it with our almost 5 year old, he loves it! This year they have definitely upped the game with their new obstacles and increased difficulty of old ones.
    We were discussing other ways to cut costs, and I think the end of this month I’ll finally be able to drop our direct TV which will be a decent cost, and I got another bill to drop $10/month for a guaranteed 2 years, but we were still trying to figure out other costs we could cut beyond those.
    I’ll have to propose the Ninja Warrior Challenge aspect to it and see what we come up with. I’ll let you know and include it in the July budget review if I can find something!
    I don’t think I could pull off the improved heat tolerance down here, although I have still been running when it’s in the 90’s and high humidity, ugh… Good luck with the AC!

    1. You guys living where you do, I don’t blame you one bit for blowing off the AC challenge. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see what you come up with for your ANW challenge. We’re looking eagerly forward to/quite apprehensive about ours. πŸ™‚

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