27 February, 2012

It's Easy in Percentages

Budgets are a common way to work out how much money you want to save but have you ever considered using percentages instead?

Let me explain.

I first started thinking about money in terms of percentages as I started paying more attention to the power tithing. Sure it's a concept that appears really early in the Bible, Leviticus 27:30 to be exact (thanks for the help on that one google). When we hit the book of Numbers chapter 18, the Bible starts to talk about percentages and tithing by a percentage, a tenth (10%) to be made as an offering to the Lord. 

A tenth is easy enough to work out - God being God, it's also ingenious! A tenth means that it doesn't matter how much we make we can always give ten percent. 
  • When you're a kid and your pocket money is $1.00 - 10% is 10c
  • As a student you earn $140.00 a week at your part time job - 10% is $14.00
  • And so it goes on... no matter how high or low the numbers go.
When we're calculating how much money to offer to the Lord working out 10% seems easy. Even our government calculates our taxes on percentages. Yet, using a saving plan based on percentages baffles many people. Hopefully this will help explain it to you. 

Amiriche's Percentage Savings Plan
Your income either per week, fortnight, month is our starting point - 100%.
Your bills and everyday expenditure you want to convert into a percentage of your income. If it is an annual bill and your 100% is based on your monthly income then divide the bill by 12 and convert to a percentage - easy.
For example I spend per month 11.9% on transportation; car, petrol, public transport costs.
Once you have converted your bills into manageable percentages, simple deduct your percentage expenses from your income 100%. The figure you are left with is the percentage you have available to save.

What percentage of that 100% do you have left for saving? 0.2%, 12%, 34%?

Increasing your saving is always a good idea - you never know when you'll want to start a business or buy a car, lust after an uber expensive pair of shoes or cope of speeding fine! 

Whatever the percentage is that your saving start thinking about all your expenses as a percentage of your income (your 100%). It doesn't take long to which the way you look at your money. 

As you start to think about your money in terms of a percentage of your income you'll start to you want to increase the percentage your saving. And you'll find ways!

Today I bought a new winter jacket (it's really nice) which cost me just under 10% of my fortnightly salary but to me, I think it'll be worth the 10%. My phone bill, on the other hand costs me at just over 5% of my fortnightly salary... yeh I'm already looking for a cheaper phone plan.

Start thinking differently about your money. 
It'll pay off.

13 February, 2012

Goodbye my dear dear friend Poscus

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never going to be a walk in the park.

Saying goodbye to a family member is even harder again whether they walk on two legs or four.

December 13, 2011.
After more than 18 years and 4 months in my life, our family cat, Poscus was put to sleep forever. The vet was amazed that he had lived so long. He was old, had trouble breathing amongst other things. But that isn't the cat I remember.

Poscus was our pure chocolate brown Burmese cat. He was the cat everyone liked and loved, the cat that people with allergies could cuddle and pat.
He had a presence.

He would kill possums bigger than him just for fun. He was the top cat and the other cats in our area knew it.

He was also very loving and affectionate. He would sit with you when you were depressed or just watching a movie; nuzzle your face giving you cat kisses and purr contently.
He wasn't one of those cats that meow incessantly; Poscus only meowed when absolutely necessary.

For most of those 18 years Poscus slept in my room, often in my bed and even more often on my head.

It hasn't been even close to a walk in the park saying goodbye to my dear dear friend - I still tear-up a little every now and then. But the Lord is gracious. With this one small beautiful cat that He brought into our lives Poscus was indeed a God sent that our family will always cherish and remember.  

07 February, 2012

February Photo A Day Challenge

I only found out about the January Photo A Day Challenge half way through January. When I saw there was to be a February challenge I was excited and ready to start snapping photos on my iPhone!

We're only up to Day 7 (Button) which I still haven't done yet though I think it will be a traffic light button because cars, bikes and traffic lights are amazing! You might laugh at me saying that but what I've been enjoying most about these challenges is it forces me to stop and really look at my surroundings. 
As each day passes I want to take a great photo; looking at strangers (Day 4), the different ways words appear (Day 2) and wondering how I can take great photo of these - an interesting photo. 

It really is helping me live more in the moment, to enjoy my surroundings more and to really appreciate the everyday. What comes back to me each day is that I am blessed, in everything I do and everything I see, as a daughter of the Most High I am blessed. The only photo I've missed so far was yesterday - Day 6 Dinner, unfortunately I was too busy eating it to remember to take a photo! Eating it and simply being thankful that I had something to eat for dinner and it was provided by a loving Father who makes the sun rise and our food grow.

Are you part of the February Photo A Day Challenge? 

03 February, 2012

The battle was not mine.

Many aspects of last year where incredibly hard for me. 
Work was the hardest. But Jesus gave me this job and only He was going to take it away.

When everything seemed to much, when I wanted to give up, friends helped me to have the courage to seek the wisdom and guidance of a wonderful prayer councillor, to seek God's face and let Him fight my war. 

When I didn't want to battle at work anymore, see my friends or smile and talk - the Lord was my strength and my salvation. 

Slowly, one day at a time and over weekly meetings for a couple of months I opened my heart to Jesus'  embrace. Slowly I gave in, and started to listen to Him, allowing Jesus to take the pain my enemies had inflicted. He was helping me stand up straight again.  

Slowly, I stood aside as Jesus softened my heart and strengthened my resolve that it was His plan and that at work that battle was already won by Him, not me. He carried me through it all. 
He won the battle on my behalf. 

The dust has settled now and my enemy is long gone. I am still here, still standing firm; Jesus and I. 

I can't begin to tell you how many times I read Psalm 27, but in it I found strength, perhaps you will too. 

Psalm 27
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
 Whom shall I fear?
 The Lord is the strength of my life;
 Of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked came against me
 To eat up my flesh,
 My enemies and foes,
 They stumbled and fell.

Though an army may encamp against me, 
My heart shall not fear; 
Though war may rise against me, 
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord, 
That will I seek:
 That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
 To behold the beauty of the Lord,
 And to inquire in His temple.

For in the time of trouble 
He shall hide me in His pavilion; 
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me; 
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
 Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
 I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
 Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
 My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

Do not hide Your face from me; 
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
 You have been my help; 
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
 O God of my salvation.

When my father and my mother forsake me, 
Then the Lord will take care of me.

Teach me Your way, O Lord,
 And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; 
For false witnesses have risen against me, 
And such as breathe out violence.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
 That I would see the goodness of the Lord
 In the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord;
 Be of good courage, 
And He shall strengthen your heart;
 Wait, I say, on the Lord!

NKJV: Bible Gateway