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.


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?


  1. Great post! Sometimes it's much easier to feel sorry for ourselves than to get up and DO something! Glad that you formed a plan and are excited about it :)

  2. What a wonderful reminder that we need to make changes to improve our lives instead of waiting on God to do it for us! Good luck on saving money!

  3. Good post, Ralene. I know the feeling of having to make changes quickly, and it sounds like you are on the right track! Dave Ramsey's site is always good for money-saving tips also.

  4. Ralene, there is a book called something like the Miser's Gazette. I don't think God calls us to be miserly, so I think they ought to change it to the Good Steward's Gazette! :0) Anyway, at a time when we needed to cut our expenses, I read the book. There were lots of ideas including recipes for cheap food. A little bit more time instead of mix (or making your own mix) saved an amazing amt of money. You also might google recipes for cleaning products. A huge amt of my budget went for a variety of cleaning products. Baking soda and vinegar, etc. can clean a lot of things and they are cheap, cheap cheap. One of my favs is some tea tree oil diluted with water in a spray bottle. Anyway, you get the idea. A wealth of info on saving on the web. I also reccommend A wealth of info on being frugal and getting your life/home in order.

    Now, what do i need to be proactive about? Making time to write! Getting the paper clutter under control and not procrastinating! Miss you, Girl!Blessings!

  5. Aurie--Making a plan always makes me feel much better about a situation. :)

    Marla--And besides, God can't use us if we're standing still! One foot in front of the other, right?

    Pattie--I want to take one of the classes, we'll have to see when they have one around here.

    Kim--I have been a flybaby for about a year now. A poor flybaby, but one nonetheless. And you're right...there are lots of frugal ideas on there!


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