10 ways to save $10 this month

save10dollarsfeature

Do you want to save money? Of course you do, you’re reading this article. Maybe the better question is: Who doesn’t want to save money?

When we moved to San Diego we had to make some budget cuts. San Diego is an expensive place to live. I was working two jobs and Amy had a part-time job and we were barely breaking even.

Moving to San Diego was excellent training for becoming a missionary to Australia. It’s expensive there. Recently, I saw an article that said the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney was $645 a week (~$2,500/mo)!

Living in Australia will take some creative ideas for keeping the monthly expenses low. We’ll likely use many of the same techniques we’ve been using for the past few years in San Diego.

So how did we save money? Here are a few things we did, plus some extra tips, to help you shave a few dollars off your monthly bills.

Money Saving Tips

pexels-photo-620971. Pack a lunch. A large majority of workers order fast food for lunch. Most of my co-workers certainly did. If you order take-out everyday, it costs you $5-$10/day. If you make a sandwich or take leftovers, you’re lunch costs about $1-$2. Do this only 3 times a month and you’ll save at least $10. I never ordered out and probably saved about $100/month because of it. Depending on what you order, your savings might be higher.

2. Cancel your gym membership. 1 in 6 people own a gym membership, but did you know more than 60% of membership owners never use them more than once? The average gym membership in America is $41/month. That’s a huge savings.

3. Shop for new insurance rates. Whether we’re talking about car insurance, life insurance, or home owners insurance, you should be shopping for new rates about once a year. This is a great way to make sure you have the lowest rates on the market.

We switched our life insurance this month and went from $90/mo to $30/mo and for higher coverage at that. Last year, we reduced our car insurance from $126/mo to $104/mo.

Between those two, we are now saving $82/mo over what we were paying a year ago.

pexels-photo-1644974. Collect your change. Do you lose your change? Does it fall in the cracks of the couch, under the dresser, or on the floor of the car? If you’ll put just 50 cents a day in a jar or piggy bank, you’ll have $15 at the end of the month.

5. Use the library. I saved $300 last year when I started using my local library instead of buying every book I wanted to read. Most libraries will even let you download kindle books. Our library in San Diego has over 30,000 titles available for the kindle. And if they don’t have the book I want, I just suggest it and they’ll most likely buy it for me. Prefer audiobooks? They have those at the library too; CD and digital.

6. Buy a reusable water bottle. A pack of bottled water costs $10-$20. Filling up a reusable bottle from your Brita filter or buying a bottle that filters the water will save you a ton of money. I used this primarily at work and would fill it up at the water fountain. If you hate water, you can buy inexpensive flavoring at Walmart.

7. Cut back your cell phone and internet plans. Check with your provider, you may be paying for 10 GB of data on your phone and only use 3 GB. With your internet, did you know you only need about 12 MB/s to stream Netflix. We were paying for 50MB/s because the sales rep assured us it was necessary. It’s not. We’ve never had an issue with 12 MB/s. With our internet provider, Cox, the cost savings is $15/month.

Bonus Tip: Call up your internet service provider and threaten to cancel your service. They’ll lower your price on the spot to keep you. I do this every year when they increase their prices.

sacl_nflx_netflix_logo8. Stream your favorite shows. Cable is expensive. The average cable bill is $100/month. You can subscribe to both Netflix and Hulu for just $20/month combined. Hulu has most current shows and they appear the day after they air on TV. Netflix has countless seasons of some of your favorite shows. Watching two episodes of NCIS a night will take you 165 days to get through the whole series, and then you can watch NCIS: New Orleans! Not to mention the countless number of movies available.

9. Don’t shop hungry. I know everyone knows this rule, but it’s true. A study at the University of Minnesota showed that people spend 64% more on their groceries when they shop hungry. If you typically spend $300 on groceries a month, that means your bill could be as high as $500 if you shop hungry.

10. Eat out less. Eating out just once less a month will save you $10/month in tips alone, not to mention the amount you save by preparing your own meal. Dave Ramsey suggests, that if you’re trying to save money or get out of debt, you don’t see the inside of a restaurant unless you work there.

The $10 Challenge

I challenge you to pick at least one of these tips and try it out this month. At the very least almost everyone ought be doing the Bonus Tip under #7. It’s so easy you’d be crazy not to (unless you don’t have internet, and, yes, some people still don’t).

If these tips save you money, will you consider giving that money to support our ministry to Australia monthly? You can go to http://www.abwe.org/automatic-support-program to begin your support today.

 

Advertisements

“Our church doesn’t support interracial marriages”

interracialmarriagefeature

“Our church doesn’t support interracial marriages, therefore we cannot support your work.”

We received this response from a pastor earlier this week when I asked him if we could have the opportunity of sharing our ministry to Australia with the church congregation. The sad thing is, it’s not the first time we’ve heard this response. It prompted the question in me “why do churches believe interracial marriages are not biblical?”

So, is interracial marriage a sin? The short answer is “No,” but don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at what the Bible has to say.

Verses about interracial marriage

First, let’s look at Bible verses that talk specifically about two people marrying who are of different color skin.

All right, now that we’ve looked at those verses…”Wait, wait a minute” you say, “you didn’t list any verses.” That’s because there are none. Zip, nothing, nada, zilch. There is no, I repeat N-O, verses that specifically address the issue of two people of different color skin marrying.

canstockphoto7429236.jpg

The word “skin” appears 83 times in the Bible. Never once is it used in relationship to marriage. It only has to do with color twice. Once in Jeremiah 13:23 and once in Lamentations 5:10. Neither even speak negatively about the color of one’s skin.

The word “interracial” appears 0 times in the Bible.

The word “marriage” appears 21 times in the Bible. The Bible certainly talks about marriage more often, but it does not use the word marriage. However, 2 verses in that number are the basis for this whole issue.

Supposed verses about interracial marriage

Here are some of the verses that people think have to do with interracial marriage.

Deuteronomy 7:2-3 “…thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them.”

If you look back at verse 1, you’ll see that the “them” referred to in these verses are the Hittities, Girgashites, Canaanites, etc. God forbade his people from intermarrying with people of other nations.

quote2The problem is, people stop reading there because it told them what they wanted to hear. You can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say when you take a verse out of context. We had a saying in Bible college, “context is king.” So what’s the context?

Look at verse 4, “for they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods.” The issue was not marrying someone of a different skin color, but rather marrying someone who served a different god. The same issue is present in Joshua 23:12.

II Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

That’s what the Bible says. This is what people see: “Be ye not unequally yoked…what communion hath light with darkness?” They then assume light and darkness refer to the color of one’s skin.

The problem is that marriage is not even the purpose of this passage. This is a biblical principle that can be applied to any partnership or relationship. But let’s look at it from the perspective of marriage. What I ask myself is, “How can they so plainly miss the ‘unequally yoked together with unbelievers.'”

With an emphasis on this phrase, this verse is no different than the Old Testament passage we’ve already discussed.

Neither of these verses have anything to do with the intermarriage of people of varying skin colors. In fact, I would go so far as to say the Bible approves interracial marriage.

A Biblical proof for interracial marriage

Here’s a strong verse in support of skin color being a non-issue with God.

I Samuel 16:7b “…for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

While this verse is not about marriage, it is about how God views people. God doesn’t care what someone looks like. This reinforces what we’ve been saying so far. God is more concerned with your relationship with Him than with the color of your skin.

Another evidence is found in Numbers 12. Here, Miriam is angry at Moses because he married an Ethiopian woman. Ethopians had dark skin. Miriam tried to use this a reason that Moses should not be accepted as leader any longer.

What happens is astonishing. God comes down just to address this issue. The Bible tells us that the anger of the Lord was kindled against Miriam and He made her a leper. If not for the pleading of Moses, she might have remained that way. The point, though, is that God tells Miriam that Moses is faithful and He has chosen to use Moses.

God could have used this as a time to rebuke Moses for his choice in a wife, but He does not. In fact, the Lord is silent in this matter entirely. So while God does not necessarily affirm the validity of this marriage, He does not condemn it either. The fact is, it was a non-issue for God, and it should be a non-issue for God’s people.

Application

Let’s admit it, the issue of interracial marriages in our churches today is a cultural one, not a biblical one. They may hide behind the smoke screen of what they believe the Bible says, but the truth is that they still haven’t dealt with the prejudice in their hearts.

This may be more of an issue in other countries where a couple might receive intense cultural persecution, but it has no place in 21st century American churches.

Would you share this article with your friends and help us promote the truth of the Bible?

3 Ways You Can Help Us Reach 50%

little girl wearing red t-shirt and reaching out something up hi

A lot of work goes into getting a missionary fully supported and on the field. It’s no picnic, and many missionaries report that fundraising is their least favorite part about being a missionary.

The average missionary with ABWE takes 19 months to be fully supported. That means some finish faster, and some much longer. A missionary friend of ours told us that it took them 4 1/2 years to reach 100%!

Before an ABWE missionary can leave for the field, they have to complete 3 levels of training. The first is when you start out, the second is once you reach 50%, and the third is at 85%. In order to attend Essential Missions Components (EMC) this year, we need to be at 50% by July 1st or we’ll have to wait until July of 2018.

So, how can you help us reach 50% by July 1st?

Recommend us to your pastor

Have we visited your church to present our ministry? If the answer is no, you can help us out by giving us a recommendation to your pastor.

A large portion of fundraising is presenting our ministry in local church congregations around the country. Getting a meeting in churches is not always easy. Pastors want to know that you have a personal connection with their congregation. A recommendation from you can go a long way into getting us the opportunity to present.

Would you be willing to say something as simple as “Hey pastor, some friends of mine are missionaries to Australia and are interested in presenting their ministry here at our church. Would they be able to give you a call?” If so, please contact us, by Facebook or email.quote

Something that simple can mean the difference between receiving support or not.

Invite us to your Bible Study

The other side of fundraising is individual support.  Did you know that 13 individuals/families currently support our ministry? They make up about a third of our support. These individuals support us anywhere from $20/month to $150/month.

Bible Study CoupleIf you’re involved in a midweek Bible study, would the others in your group be interested in hearing from a special guest missionary one week? You know people that we don’t. Bible studies are a great way for us to meet new people and expand the number of people who are aware of our ministry.

Even if someone in your small group doesn’t choose to financially support us, they may like our Facebook page, join our email update list, or add our prayer card to their prayer wall/list.

Similar to a recommendation to a pastor, when you invite us to your small group it tells everyone that you know us and they can feel comfortable getting involved in our ministry.

You can financially support us

While both of the above suggestions can help our ministry, they don’t always result in support. In general, a missionary needs to visit three churches before one will take them on for support. Even then, sometimes it takes months for a decision to be made.

But you can help today by committing to support our ministry. You can make a difference. In the last two weeks we’ve received support from 4 new individuals. Will you consider helping start new churches in towns that have none? You can make it a reality.

In the next two weeks we’re praying for at least 4 more individuals or families to join our ministry team. Specifically, we’re asking that you will consider committing to one of four spots at $25, $50, $75,  or $100 a month.

little girl wearing red t-shirt and reaching out something up hi

Visit http://www.abwe.org/automatic-support-program to join our ministry team today. Or you can send a check to ABWE Donor Services, PO Box 8585, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8585 with our account number 017025.