Tag Archives: Proverbs 31

WFMW- Budgeting

Prov. 31:16

She looks over a field and buys it, then with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.

I may not apply this verse with fields and gardens.. but the following post explains how I “put money aside” in order to can fulfill this trait!

Ever since I moved out of my parents house… 18 years ago.. I’ve always tried my hardest to keep a budget. When I first started, I was waitressing, and bringing home lots of cash. As a young woman on my own, I knew I needed to find a way to keep my money set aside for paying bills like rent, food, electric, gas etc… but it was so hard to keep track! As a waitress, it was exciting to walk out the door on a Friday night with $200 in small bills in my pocket.. but it was also easy to BLOW almost that much money going out with my friends or on a trip to the mall.

So.. I started budgeting.

I knew what my “fixed” expenses were, so I wrote them down.  Then I figured out what I would typically make in a month.  Then I came up with percentages for each expense based on the formula expense/income.

I wrote these percentages down on envelopes labeled with the appropriate category.

Then, every night, when I emptied my pockets of all that cash… I would sit down with my calculator and put the right percentage into EACH envelope. That way.. I KNEW that when the rent was due… I would have enough money to pay for it!

Over the years… I grew up! (how on earth did that happen so fast by the way?)

I changed from an all cash situation to earning a paycheck, and I also added quite a few “categories” to my expense list as I added people to my family. 🙂

So, I developed a spreadsheet to be my “envelope” system on my computer.


For demonstration purposes I've used random numbers in this image.

This “budget” spreadsheet is something I open everytime I balance my checkbook or use my Quicken. It is formatted on one tab to have an easy at a glance summary of how much money I have set aside into each needed category.

There is another tab that looks like this:


Numbers used are not real! 🙂

This tab helps me figure out what my percentages are…. AUTOMATICALLY! That way, as my needs change, and my budget changes.. I can easily change and update my “envelopes”. 🙂

I’ve created a version of my spreadsheet that has “comments” on the main page so that I can make it available to you all! The “comments” are like directions for how to use each column and tab properly. But once you get it all set up it’s really simple and really only involves a weekly  copy/paste to accurately divide out your deposits.

Here’s a view of it with the comments attached. Remember, they can be turned off in excel once you get the hang of it!


If you’re interested in downloading this excel spreadsheet for yourself, you can get it here:

Deni’s Budget Spreadsheet

It will help if you go ahead and think about the categories that might work for your family budget. Remember to do your Fixed expenses first, and your discretionary expenses last.

After you get everything set up and start using this system, it’s important to make sure you don’t “steal” from a certain category just because you seem to have leftovers. This system really helps keep you organized with your spending. If you find that after a year you have a major surplus in one category, then you can take from it and readjust your budget number to reflect what you actually need. I’ve found that in the “electric” category it seems like I have “extra” for a few months… but if I leave it there.. it really helps during those super cold months when the heat bill goes up or during the really hot months when the AC is running full blast. I don’t even notice that my bill is higher than usual because I left the surplus alone on the months when my bill was lower than usual.

Make sense?

Well, it works for me! 🙂 Let me know if it works for you too!


PS- If you want to see some more Works for Me Ideas

Click this picturew4mw



Filed under Getting Started, organization, Works-for-Me Wednesday

Pr31 IRL


Proverbs 31:26

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue”

The topic on my mind in our house lately has been my desire for my entire family to be more committed to spending time with God and in His Word.   Here is my attempt at living up to Pr. 31:26… from my other blog:

With the new year, comes new “commitments” (I shy away from the word resolutions).
It is my hope to get closer to God this year by spending more and more time with Him. I also hope to become “contagious” in my family, if you know what I mean! But, sometimes my kids struggle with the concept of a “quiet time” because it’s boring or because they think they never hear from God.
Well, I must admit that sometimes even I feel that way.
So, this morning, without even knowing what I wanted to learn from His Word today, I was led to 2 Kings 3. In this particular passage, Elisha has been approached by a King who wants to hear from God. It seems like Elisha really doesn’t want to help this King, but then offhandedly says,

“now bring me a harpist.”

And the verse continues on to say

“While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha”

Do you think Elisha was “in the mood” to hear from God when this King he disliked came to him? I don’t think so. Do you think it would be easy to hear from God when your in a bad mood or not feeling “inspired”? I can tell you from experience.. it’s almost impossible to hear from God when I’m grumpy or even when I’m just “bored” and not looking forward to my “quiet time”.

So, what can we learn from Elisha in this passage?
We need a harpist! 🙂

Okay, well not exactly a harpist.. but what does a harpist do for Elisha? He plays music for him. The music seems to have a key part in Elisha’s willingness to hear from God. He knew in advance that in order to hear from God he would need music!

Now, when I think about my own best times with the Lord.. I am quite certain that most of those times involved music in one way or another even though I never thought about it that way nor planned it.

So why do we call it a Quiet Time??? Shouldn’t we be listening to music be played in hopes that the “hand of God will come upon us”?
My kids will probably jump at the idea of counting listening to music as time with God… but that’s only the first step!

The next step in hearing from God is to be in His Word.
My pastor this week spent some time in Deuteronomy telling us that we are to “live like Kings” and that means that we should be in the Word. His sermon was very enlightening, but he skimmed over a very important part of the passage.
Deuteronomy 17:18-19

“When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law taken from the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees.

My pastor made it very clear that we are to be reading the Word… but did you notice what it says to do BEFORE that?

“he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law…”

I think this is a very clear instruction for us to “journal” the Word as we read it. Writing it down as we study it is just as important as reading it alone.

As we journal, what else should we write besides the actual scriptures? Well, one of my favorite verses in support of journaling is found in Habbakkuk 2. Here I get the impression that Habbakkuk is frustrated, but still turning to God for answers. And God answers him by saying,

“Write down the revelation, and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it”

Or, as The Message Translation says,

“Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run”.

This makes it so clear to me, that God wants me to write down the insights I get as I’m praying or as I’m reading and writing down His Word. He doesn’t want me to hide it or make it into a big giant production either.. he wants it to be portable so I can read it when I need it the most… in the middle of trouble!! He doesn’t say to only write the “words he says”… because he knows we often don’t “hear what he says to us”. He says to “write what you see”(revelation). So that means if we are praying/worshiping/journaling.. and we see in our imagination an image… that we should write that down too.

So, our “quiet time” in my house is going to be different this year. I will encourage my family to worship God with music as part of their “God time” and then pray, read His Word, and write down any verses that seem to “pop out ” when reading. And then pray some more and look and listen for any Words/Pictures from God and write them down too.And I am confident that we will get closer to Him this way…. because this is the way he instructs us to do it!


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Filed under Pr31 IRL

Pr. 31:13 She shops around for the best……

Since this is my first post at my new wordpress blog, I figured it’s best to start of with an introduction! My name is Deni, and I am a 35 year old stay at home mother of 2. My son is 13 and my daughter is 11. I have been married for 15 years to my highschool sweetheart, and I am also a photographer and owner of my own photography business.

This past year, has brought us back to some hard times financially, reminiscent of the years when we survived on military pay with 2 small children. Okay, well, maybe it’s not that bad… but its definitely time to tighten the wallet and re-learn ways to be wise with what the Lord has blessed us with. A good friend of mine mentioned a thing called The Grocery Game to me earlier this summer and after few months of barely making ends meet, I finally did some online research about it.

I signed up for the $1 trial, and quickly discovered that I could easily cut my grocery bill down dramatically just by clipping coupons and comparing prices between stores. I then looked around the internet for “coupons” and discovered a whole “family” of bloggers who not only provided links to coupons, but also posted about the deals they had found. I learned to love shopping at Walgreens and CVS for my beauty and household supplies, and all about “stockpiling”.  Pretty soon I was hooked and ready to share my own deals with everyone too!

I decided not to continue on in my membership with The Grocery Game… because for me, as a stay at home mom, I have the time to sort thru the ads and websites and find the best deals on my own. But, for any working mom’s out there.. I would definately recommend a membership there.

So, here on my blog I plan to join in with many other wonderful women who are committed to saving money and earning the trust and respect of their loved ones at the same time. I will add some “getting started” tips, some coupon links, and then start posting my actual savings starting tomorrow.




Filed under Getting Started