Sunday, May 22, 2011
ProACTIVE in 4 Steps!
Last week, my husband and I faced some possibilities that really brought our whole lifestyle into question. Due to some issues (mostly health related), my husband may not be in the military for more than 2-3 years—a lot of things up in the air with this.
These developments called to the forefront one of the main aspects that God charged us with in life—taking care of our family. If my husband were to get out (especially before he finishes his degree), depending on how things play out, we could be in some serious trouble financially.
Now, I’m not asking for prayers on this, I’m merely sharing a bit of my life to illustrate the point of this blog post.
My husband and I could sit around on our laurels, waiting to see what happens, but that would do nothing but cause us more worry and grief…and increase the number of gray hairs on our heads exponentially! Instead, after a day of venting and complaining, we got proactive. The military wife’s motto is: prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I’m not sure it has any Biblical basis, but I will say that it is a good motto anyway. God charges us to be good stewards of everything entrusted to us (see, I knew I could make a link between the two!), and it’s our responsibility to do what we can.
FOUR STEPS TO PROACTIVE!
1. Brainstorm! The next step for us was go over our budget to determine the best ways to stretch our dollar, see how much we could get into savings. Living in Hawaii is not cheap! There’s a reason that they give soldiers a cost of living allowance—so far I haven’t been able to save much. So, hubby and I sat down and discussed what could be done.
2. Research! Once we had a list of ideas, I jumped on the computer and did some research. One way we decided to pursue was to cut our monthly grocery bill in half. Right now, we’re spending about $800/month for groceries and eating out. As I’ve seen Extreme Couponing more in the last week than ever before, I see the value in taking some time to clip coupons. While I don’t think I would ever be as diligent as the people on the shows, I can afford a few hours a week to ensure we keep our bill within our budget.
3. Plan! Now that I’ve taken our brainstorming to the next level with the research, I formed a plan of action. In the couponing aspect, I created a price/coupon binder. I also signed up for several coupon sites and “liked” many of my favorite companies on Facebook.
4. Action! Once I have a plan in place, all that’s left is to DO whatever it is that needs to be done. With coupons, this means keeping up with circulars, printing coupons off the web, sorting/storing coupons, and making more precise grocery lists.
As early as my next shopping trip, I should be seeing the fruits of my labor. I don’t expect to get $600 worth of groceries for $1.50 (and I think I’d feel kind of bad if I did), but a little bit can go a long ways!
These steps can apply to just about any circumstance—not just money. Too often, we sit back and let life happen to us, without putting ourselves out there. We complain. We moan. We bury ourselves under blankets and pillows or social media or food (I’m guilty, guilty, guilty) instead of facing our problems head on.
What gets accomplished then?
What do we have to show for all the pouting?
What do we get out of it?
More pain. More frustration. More avoidance.
So get up, get pumped, and get proactive!
Is there anything that you could be more proactive about in your life?