Monday, January 3, 2011

January 2011 Widow's Challenge: Giving Up Online Shopping.

At the start of the new year, my hubby and I find ourselves pinching our pennies even more than usual. My hubby has had an excellent opportunity to travel to Israel for a three-week Biblical geography course through Jerusalem University College! This extraordinary experience will greatly benefit his ultimate vocational goals of teaching Hebrew and the Old Testament. We have been planning financially for this trip for many months and God has prepared the way for my hubby to go. However, combined with our recent move to Colorado from Massachusetts, the cost that comes along with Christmas, and an upcoming couple months of basically no income as my hubby has put his part time position on hold while overseas, we are having to be very tight on our financial spending. But, this does not mean we cannot be generous still. Though we do not have much to offer right now, we are still very wealthy compared to most of the world's populations and we can still find ways to give. We are very grateful to be spending the next several months with my hubby's family, and I'm often reminded of how great a blessing it is to have food, warm clothing and shelter during the cold winter season (it has been in the single digits here in Colorado lately)!

One practical way for me to cut back in my spending is giving up online shopping for the month. I definitely prefer and enjoy online shopping, often finding some really good bargains on clothing, photo gifts, diapers, coffee, and other items by using coupon codes, Shop at Home, and refer-a-friend credits. However, I don't often need the items I'm purchasing and this is one area in our finances that could be cut out during harder times. So to start off 2011, I wanted to challenge myself to cut back on the extra shopping I do online, even if something is a great deal! My family has more than enough right now in regards to food, clothing, and other basic necessities, and to go a month without spending the extra money online would truly help out our budget and allow us margin to give elsewhere.

Will you join me in this challenge? How much money would you save this month if you cut out the online shopping you do on non-essentials? How would you give that money?

Our baby girl is turning 1 this month, and to celebrate her birthday, my hubby and I decided to sponsor a Bridge of Hope child in her name. We are choosing a little girl who also shares our daughter's birthday. This Gospel for Asia ministry reaches out to Dalit children (Untouchables), providing for their basic needs, an education, and the opportunity to hear the Gospel and grow in their faith. As these children relay the Good News to their families, whole communities are coming to Christ. The unloved are realizing how very loved they are by God, and when you are considered "untouchable," the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers amazing hope and value to your life. I encourage you to consider sponsoring a Bridge of Hope child for $28/month (100% of your gift goes to your Bridge of Hope child). You have the opportunity to write to your child as well. This is a commitment that will change lives for the glory of God.

New to the "Widow's Challenge"? Check out what the Widow's Challenge is all about.

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