Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We Have To Be On Guard

This week has been full of eye-opening occurrences with bill after bill where we must be on guard about where our money is going. As you may have read before, in our post “It’s That Time Of The Month...Get Your Budget On!!”, we are big budget people. The boundaries don’t frustrate us, they give us freedom. Each month we sit down and go line by line through our account and put each charge in one of four columns: Food, Other, Fuel, and Income. Then on our main spreadsheet we have our monthly bills and so forth. We can see from month-to-month how much our usual bills are. In other words, it’s flat out obvious when a bill is super high. You take into account, “Did you have the AC on more due to the hot temperatures? Did you go over on your minutes on your cell phone?” and so forth. 

Our next purchase is going to be a new washing machine...

Well, this month it seemed like there was a discrepancy here, there, and everywhere...from the Dish Network...and so on. We had our marching orders set out for us the next day - phone calls that we needed to make to get to the bottom of this. There are always these little charges they try and slide in - which is why we have to be on guard. We have decided to go back to the “old school” way of writing a check for each of our bills instead of having the auto draft payment option. When you have auto draft, they go ahead and charge you (even if the amount is wrong) which takes even more time to spend time on the phone to jump through the hoops to get the refunds. For instance, our Verizon bill for June was over $600 and that was because they did not switch us to Unlimited talk and text in our plan (like we had asked them to) when we bought Brandon’s new phone in May. Now we have spent two months jumping through hoops to get the credit and it’s hard to know what our actual bill should be. Brandon and I were genuinely heartbroken as we saw the sin of the world so clearly through these bill discrepancies and deceitful ways of people trying to get extra dollars here and there. We have seen that we can’t put a ‘blanket’ statement over the fact of all people in all businesses trying to slide in a trick here or there. But we can say that it’s a battle out there and we have to be on guard. better believe we're doing our homework & finding the best bang for our buck!!

A few days after we went through this whole process with the budget, I was walking out of the Whole Foods and did a quick look over my receipt. I noticed that the bunch of grapes I bought was $8 and the tomato I bought was $6. Are you telling me that ONE tomato and a little bunch of grapes was going to be $14??! Well, I calmly pushed my cart through the double doors and walked around through the other set of doors by the Customer Service desk. I told the ladies that nothing was wrong with these items - I simply couldn’t pay $14 for one tomato and this little bunch of grapes. They totally understood and one of the ladies even told me that the sign by the grapes is deceiving - so much so that she even had to return the grapes she bought earlier in the week when she saw the total price. Goodness gracious!! Point and’s a battle out there. We are learning that we have to look over our bills, receipts, and so forth with a fine tooth comb...and then not to feel bad when we need to bring up a discrepancy. Thankful to have Brandon as our fearless leader. He’s teaching me more and more each day that I can’t worry about what people think. Our end goal is to be good stewards of the money that is on loan to us from the Lord...

Closing statement from the man of the house: “I am thankful that Whit and I are on the same page about how it’s time to ‘go to war’ in a sense, being on guard at every corner for where our hard earned money is going. Ecclesiastes 1:18 says, ‘For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.’ I read this to us the other night - as a way to really put into words what we were feeling about going through our bills and seeing all the little issues.” 


  1. Oh my glory - $14 for grapes and a tomato!!! Good thing you went back - I might have had a heart attack on the spot, haha ;)

  2. Oh, Ericka!! I almost did!! ESPECIALLY since we had JUST had this talk about "being on guard" felt like I was on candid camera or something!! :)