Today my guest on the Thrifty & Nifty series is author, Jenny Smith. Jenny and her family have faced several financial obstacles over the past few years, but her sense of optimism and her faith have kept her going strong. This week, Jenny is giving away three copies of her book on The Budget Maven, so be sure to check out the details and ways to enter at the end of today’s post.
Get to know Jenny:
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
I love rainy days! Curled up on the couch with a book, something sweet, and a glass of milk is my perfect day. Right now, my sweet passion is cupcakes. Is it bad to have a reward card for two different cupcake shops?
Do you like your own handwriting?
Pretty much, I was blessed to have gone to school during the days when cursive handwriting was taught and stressed.
What are you listening to these days?
I’m bad, my music taste typically runs at least a year or two behind the current music scene. This morning I had Newsboys playing. I’m afraid to look at the year.
If they made a movie about your life, who would play you? What would the movie be titled?
I can’t even imagine such a thing happening, but I think the title would have to be “the Yo-Yo”. So many years went by where I was yo-yoing between following God and following Jenny.
Who or what inspires you?
I love to hear the wind and see it move different objects. Recently, I hung a wind chime on my porch, and hearing the sound it makes when the wind blows brings the Holy Spirit to my mind. Lately, I have been praying the Holy Spirit would find me moveable to where he is moving.
What is your money philosophy, and how does it affect your daily living?
I can be very cheap and then, on the same day, not think anything about buying a $3 cupcake. It’s weird. I think I’m cheap when it comes to spending anything over about $20. Below that price point, I’m wasteful. We do have a budget, and when we started tracking our money I did have to make some changes because all those little purchases do add up.
What sacrifices have you made to create the life you live now? What benefits have come from making these sacrifices?
One of the biggest sacrifices we have made is giving up new furniture and trips. Years ago, both of those items were high on our list, and now we have realized that people are the priority. Memories are made with people not things. We still like to travel, but we do more local places and much shorter trips.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, financial or otherwise?
The best advice we ever got was to create a budget. It helped us even in the years when we would fail to keep it. Gradually, over time we have seen our spending change and been able to hit our goals. For the past two years, we have paid cash for Christmas, which was a huge step for us. We were the family that charged Christmas and then paid on it all year, only to repeat the cycle. The bad part was that many years we didn’t pay it off, so we compounded the debt.
Any money-saving tips you’d like to share?
My biggest tip would be to cook more meals at home. In addition to saving money, having your kids in the kitchen with you and then sitting at the dinner table will give you an unbelievable return!
Over the course of the last two years, like so many families, we’ve faced foreclosure, job loss, the anxiety of no health insurance, and having to learn to adapt to a different income bracket. Somehow, adapting to a higher one had never been an issue.
I remember as I walked through our house one last time knowing I had to pull myself together quickly. I paused, looking in the girls’ bedrooms, painted exactly how they had wanted. I walked through the living room smiling, remembering when my friend had spent days painting those walls with me. The front door beckoned me to open it one last time. As my hand grasped the knob, all of a sudden I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t open that door and walk to the truck piled high with our belongings. My head rested on the door frame as tears filled my eyes. How did we get to this place?
Jenny shares more more of her story in her book, Seriously God? I’m Doing Everything I Know To Do And It’s NOT Working! She also teaches at her local church, conferences, or wherever women gather to hear hope from God’s Word. She loves country life in Adairsville, Georgia with her husband, Chad, and three daughters. You can visit with Jenny at www.keepinginstride.com.
While you’re here, why not enter to win one of the three FREE copies of Jenny’s book that she’s giving away on The Budget Maven?
Several ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment for Jenny, letting her know how much you enjoyed her post on The Budget Maven. (1 entry)
2. Like Jenny on Facebook (Keeping In Stride), stop by her website keepinginstride.com and leave a comment, or follow Jenny on twitter (@KeepingInStride) and then head back here and let us know in the comments section. (Up to 3 extra entries)
3. Like The Budget Maven on Facebook, follow me on twitter @thebudgetmaven, or follow me on bloglovin (You can click the eiffel tower icon on the sidebar) and then leave a comment below letting me know. (Up to 3 extra entries)
4. Complete all the steps above to receive 7 entries total into the giveaway! We’ll randomly choose three winners by next Thursday and announce them on the Thrifty & Nifty series.
Have a Thrifty & Nifty Thursday!