Until about 2 weeks ago I had been working for Sainsbury's, first at Gloucester Quays, then at Shrewsbury, then finally in Telford for 7 years. Working for Sainsbury's gave me the opportunity to keep working while my girls were babies and the flexibility to work around my family's schedule - as in, I worked in the evenings after my husband got home from work. I enjoyed meeting the public and working with some really lovely people. However, since sometime last summer, I started to itch for something different, something a bit more challenging. I started praying for the Lord to open a door for me, but I didn't know what and I didn't know how. I wondered who would hire someone who hadn't worked in a professional environment in almost 8 years and would still be willing to allow me to work part-time.
Then in mid-April, while I was working on a Saturday morning at Sainsbury's, out of the blue, a lady customer I had just served at the checkout, came back and handed me a piece of paper. I thought it was rubbish and almost threw it away, but she kindly gestured for me to open it. Inside was the opportunity I had been waiting for - she pretty much offered me a job at her company on the spot! Just like that, my prayers were answered. Fast-forwarding a bit, I began my new job a few weeks later, served the 4-week notice period at Sainsbury's and ventured out of the "safety" of a comfortable job to a challenging, fast-paced job.
I took this photo as I was leaving my last shift at Sainsbury's
Now, onto the money part. Again, I'm sharing this to encourage you, not to boast. I am still working part-time, but double the hours and at a slightly better rate than at Sainsbury's. So you may be wondering what we'll do with the extra income. We will not be "rolling in it" by any stretch of the imagination, but I am very grateful for the ability to save some money. What Lauren? Save?? Yep, my husband and I are challenging ourselves not to change our lifestyle - not to eat out more, not to go on fancy holidays, not to "treat" ourselves on unnecessary things - but to continue to save. That's weird, Lauren. Yep. I know, I'm weird...
You may be wondering what exactly we're saving for. I shared with you last month about the importance of a budget. With our budget we've been saving for a couple of big, near-future things (as opposed to distant-future things such as university and retirement, which we're saving for too, but I'm talking about a couple of goals that are in the relative near-future) which are to buy a "pre-loved" 7-seater/mini-van and a family trip to Disney World! With cash... not finaning... I know, it's weird. It's not what the majority of people do.
We started saving for both a couple of years ago but now we'll be able to contribute more towards those "funds" and reach our goals quicker, Lord willing. We have decided it is more important to our family to save for bigger ticket items than on things that our family will soon forget. I want to encourage you to set goals and incorporate them into your budget. Start saving for your near- and distant goals today, otherwise they may never happen.
Sure, I would enjoy splurging on more expensive groceries or trips to the theatre or over-night stays in hotels, but to be honest, I'll get MUCH more pleasure driving my girls around in a mini van that we saved hard for and seeing their excited faces when they experience the wonder of Disney World for the first time. I am not saying that if you decide to spend more on groceries or go to the theatre or stay in hotels you aren't spending your money wisely, you may just have different priorities than we do. It's also not to say that we won't ever splurge on something at the supermarket or go to the theatre or stay in a hotel overnight, I'm just saying that we are intentionally saving our money for future goals and there's not much wiggle room in our budget for "extras" because of these goals.
I challenge you to look at your spending and set goals for yourself and your family, if you haven't already. Are there areas in your spending that you could spend less on and contribute more towards your goals? Be weird. Save. Set goals. And believe it can happen.