Money is the most often named source of stress for many. During an economic downturn, prolonged stress about money matters can be emotionally draining and negatively impact the Ministry Leader and his/her family relationships. One way to manage this financial stress is often found in taking progressive steps to save money. When unexpected money problems arise, some simple cost-cutting measures can free up money for the essentials. It is important to view each of your expenses objectively and to be realistic about what you can afford. Hesitating or putting your budget planning aside could add to your financial problems.
Still Waters Restoration & Resource Ministries offers the following information to Ministry Leaders:
Avoid “Doom and Gloom” Thinking. Don’t get caught up in the world’s negative thought patterns that are so evident on TV news or in newspaper articles. Remain “At Peace”. Avoid either overreacting to your financial situation or ignoring signs that you need to make changes. Communicate and Plan Together. Prior to making a family budget plan change, communicate as appropriate with your children who may be feeling their parents’ stress. It’s important to let each person in the family know that the whole family has to pull together when cutting expenses.
Some Cost-cutting ideas for “Trimming” Family Expenses:
- Cash Only – Warning- This will be difficult. Try to pay for everything in cash or with a debit card. Using a Credit card during financial difficulties only digs you deeper in the hole.
- The Car- If you are a two-car family, could your family become a one-car family? Letting go of one of your vehicles could create significant cost savings (payments, gas, insurance, repair, etc.)
- Recreation – Replace dining out and expensive outings with home cooking, backyard activities and exploring local parks and attractions.
- Adjust Your Minutes – Evaluate your mobile phone plan in detail for a less expensive plan.
- Buy in Bulk – Consider lower-priced higher volume choices that make sense for products that you need or will need in the future (paper, cleaning supplies, etc.). The same goes for select food items, especially those that keep well or can be frozen.
- Thrift Shopping- Visit your local thrift shop since many second-hand clothing and household items are in good condition and cost substantially less than those in typical retail stores.
- Save Gas, Drive Less – Every time you drive your car, it costs you money. Consider car pools or walk/bike to local destinations when possible.
- Reach out for additional support – Coping with the stress of financial issues isn’t always easy- consider talking to a Still Waters support staff.
Still Waters Restoration & Resource Ministries is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness among Christian Ministers and their families.
This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not meant to be used in place of professional consultation/treatment for individual health needs.