I feel like this could be its own series in itself but suffice it to say that money is a part of keeping our homes, is it not?
I'm not a professional on this topic, I can hardly balance my own checkbook, let alone give advice. I live paycheck to paycheck, sometimes stretch myself further than I should and waste money on things that have very little lasting value...like many people I know.
But there is one thing I do know: When I start spending more than is coming in, the problems start.
Budgeting is key. Because I'm horrible about writing checks and not remembering to log them, I stopped writing checks. I am on a strict cash only basis and I'm not always as vigilant as I ought to, but I'm getting better. I find that I spend less, I am more careful about my purchases and I have learned how to say no to lots of extra things that don't have lasting value (except for maybe my diet pepsi splurges). This works for me.
There are lots of wonderful resources out there for managing our finances. Dave Ramsey is one of my most favorites. You can find lots of good ideas by searching the internet also.
Things I've learned about money:
Not having ice cream in the freezer is never an emergency.
If I consolidate my errands, I save time and gas.
If I buy certain vegetables in bulk for much cheaper, then take them home, cut them up and freeze them, I save time and money. Onions and bell peppers are a good example.
It's embarassing to owe people money.
If I pay my tithing first, I am blessed. Always, every single time.
I'm sure there are more but like I said, I'm no expert. When I am careful with my money, my marriage is better and I have less stress. And that's all I have to say about that.
Next: Prioritize and Simplify