Let’s be honest, we all have a love/hate relationship with it. Money can be a cause for great joy (when you have enough) and misery (like…. when you don’t have enough). Personally I am in *cough cough* a bit of college debt. When I was in school, that was really scary for me. However, slapping some perspective on it helped a lot. Yes, I graduated in debt that will take…a lot of time to pay off, BUT you know what that doesn’t take away from me? My family, home, friends, OR God. I’ve still got all of those backing me up during this time. Maybe you aren’t so fortunate as I, and don’t have that full list, but you ALWAYS have God, and He makes ways where roads are impossible.
Anywho, Since I’m paying off over $1,000 a month to my loans, and working 2 part time jobs that don’t give me much more than that total, making my dollars count is essential. There are loads of methods for budgeting your cash, my favorite is the envelope method.
Most of my money comes in tip share (a percentage of servers’ sales, taken from their tips). Therefore, my wages are given to me in little wads of cash stuffed in fun, sketchy-looking, mini manilla envelopes. One for every shift. At the end of every week I take that money and divide it between my envelopes.
Car Stuffs $5/week
Child $9/week (So I can sponsor a child overseas)
Adventure fund $5/week (We all need a little fun!)
Yours will be dependent on your needs and income.
The amounts in my envelopes are clearly small. Sometimes I don’t make the $120 it takes and need to decide what envelope doesn’t get money that week, but overall, it’s a great way to stay responsible for my money, not overspend, and not have to worry about building up more dept.
I can determine just how much time I need to save up for clothes and things, always have $5 added to my various savings, always have enough for my phone bill, and $200 of my monthly loan payment. After that, about 80% of my paychecks go to my loans. I take $100 a month and split it between savings and my adventure fund, and then I reload my Starbucks card.
Take care of your money, and it will take care of you. Find a budget method that works for you. Don’t let it become an anxiety inducing monster.
One of my goals for this first year out of college is to redo my room (at my parents house) to be a micro office, bedroom, and living area. Why? Because now that my lovely sister is married, I have a rather large bedroom to myself, and why let being at your parents home get you down? However, I am paying off loans and that takes away majority of my money each month so the budget is very small. It’s taught me some things about DIY projects that may help you out.
Don’t take on too much
Whether you want to remake old furniture, or redo your whole home, only take on the amount 90% of what you think you can handle at a time. You may not be ready for the big stuff at first, and you don’t want to get frustrated and quit, so start with the little stuff. I chose my micro office as my first step.
Know what you can afford
What are some things you can feasibly do on your budget? Figure out how much you have to invest, make a list of desired renovations, and determine the best place to start. Your time should also be considered for DIY projects. Time is money too!
Old stuff new. Pricy stuff affordable.
Craigslist, flea markets, yard/estate sales, clearance sections, and coupons, are GREAT assets. You can find a lot of things to refinish or repurpose online and at outdoor sales. Don’t knock it till you try! Also, craft and material stores often have really good coupons and clearance sections. My first large purchase for my micro office was a desk. Desks can be incredibly expensive; mine from a guy on Craigslist cost $20.00. Some paint, a stencil, and new knobs, made it a brand new little creation. You never know what you will find that can become something beautiful.
If you’ve been looking for a therapeutic hobby to help you with your emotional ups and downs, and inspire your creative spirit, give it a shot! The most important thing is to have fun with it. Whether you choose to redo your home, or remake and upcycle furniture if you can have fun, reduce stress, and feel new purpose, praise God, and create with passion.
While we work on healing from depression we often face bad days. They are a common topic spoken of from various angles. Why we should not feel bad about them, what we can do to make them better, why they happen, etc. It is important to have an understanding of the beast you face. Lately though, it has hit me that as we walk through the healing process there aren’t only bad days; there have good days too! Sometimes they don’t come often, but when they do, they don’t get nearly enough attention. After a period of feeling ill, worthless, or sad having a time good is something worth acknowledging. Celebrate it! Rejoice! The little victories can be the largest. Thank God for the help He gives you.
(Side note: Depression DOES NOT mean you do not have faith in God. It is an illness. Nor does taking medication to help you feel better, unless you feel God is telling you not to. Always pray about those types of decisions.)
Documenting good days is also a great help. Whatever causes your good day whether it be forces external or internal, write it down. Whether in a “Good Day” journal, your calendar, or a set of post-it notes stuck somewhere it will be seen. My personal favorite is a jar you fill with slips of paper with every good day you have throughout the year so you can look back on them in December and remember the good times.
Bad days will come again; they almost definitely will. Everyone, depressed or otherwise has them. Making a bigger deal out of the good times than the bad ones is one of the things that can keep you going. Praise God for the good times, and continue in the bad times. He will bring you through.