The majority of my employed life was spent working in the medical community receiving hourly wages.  I could work for my hospital, a staffing agency,  nursing strike or travel assignments, & Per Diem.  There were always ways to increase my income by trading my time for money. As a single parent,  I did it all.  It was exhausting, stressful & unpredictable.   I am now employed hourly, but there’s only one avenue of making money.  Granted I have zero stress compared to nursing, work only one job, & can pretty much predict my yearly schedule. This was a welcome change.

I work at the divisional level of a well known non-profit organization.  As you can guess, there have been decreases in government funding, donations, etc. which naturally creates challenges.  Each year we have performance reviews, but our raises aren’t based on this.  I used to get frustrated when we received a 4% raise. Then my friends began having their hours cut, placed on furlough, or even lost jobs. I’ve witnessed families suddenly have to learn how to live on one income — what every single parent has endured.  In a sense it’s heartbreaking & at the same time I must applaud my single friends who’ve continued to make tough choices.  This year we received a 2% raise. Funny how perspective changes & instead of frustration, I am thankful for a job.  I realize my faith is not in a J.O.B. & because of recent events, I know all too well I should never be 100% dependent on one.

It is sad that the majority of the people in our nation practices what our government just instituted. The splendid example of raising their debt ceiling by using credit. What was America about to do??? Default on debt? Yea, that makes perfect sense!!

I strongly encourage to do whatever it takes to act your wage, live within your means, get out debt, & develop alternate streams of income. Here are some simple examples to help:

  • For one month save & record every receipt from every purchase.  Yes EVERY one!  Regardless of how small or even if it’s a vending machine purchase, write them down or save them.  At the end of the month, have an open mind, review those purchases  & determine what areas can be cut out.  One of my fav scriptures says, it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine!  My paraphrase of course, but you get the drift!
  •  If you have single parent friends, schedule some time with them & observe what they practice to thrive while others can’t breathe.
  • Participate in a financial class & learn how to reduce monthly expenses, pay off current debt & prepare for unforeseen circumstances.  My church offers Dave Ramsey’s course, Financial Peace University as a Connect Group.  I love hearing the stories of how marriages are restored, debt is eliminated & lives are completely changed by simply obtaining different information.
  • Mentor with someone who is financially stable, allowing them to speak into your life concerning changes, & adhere to their advice.  Adhere is the key word!
  • Teach your children to do the same.  This cyclic behavior pattern of debt has to stop. Changing a nation begins with individual families!
  • Last, but most importantly, follow Biblical examples.  Prepare for a rainy day.  Joseph led the people to prepare in famine & minister to others.   The Hebrew children cast their bread (seeds) on the water that after many days it would come back to them.  What happened?  They wandered & when they came to a certain place there was grain waiting on them to harvest & make into bread.  Quite prophetic, but that happens when we prepare. Why shouldn’t we practice the same principles?

Perspective changes many things around us.   During one of the worst times in my life, I enrolled in a program offered by my workplace. I met bi-monthly with a case manager, attended monthly life skills classes & managed my financial affairs for the first time ever.  I had enrolled in computer school a few months earlier & during our career development course, I had to create a projected yearly budget. Until that time, I’d never created an actual budget.  I realize that can be embarrassing to admit, but I can because I’ve changed!  To date that program is still the most significant discipline I’ve practiced.  After that, I immersed myself in personal development & continued to make necessary changes in every area of my life.

What the enemy intends to destroy us, God will & does ultimately use for our good.  If you are frustrated, I pray you gain a different perspective.  When I changed my attitude, thinking, associations & expectations, things changed around me.

As everyone gears up for ritualistic New Years Resolutions, why not incorporate & practice slight edge principles that will actually resolve problems? Better yet, in doing so YOU can then mentor others!