We do not do April Fools here.
The past week has been quite interesting. We were supposed to pick back up on the railroad gig I have been working for the past year, but it seemed to have slipped through the cracks under a different technician.
So that’s how this post starts. I won’t always be writing about faith directly, but it may become scattered around this one, we’ll see.
We have been living on $7-20 a day for the past week, and it has not been easy by any stretch. It is my opinion that God has a purpose for these things, even if sometimes one thing leads to another, as The Fixx used to say. In this case I had to revisit our fiscal setup.
After being asked time and again if I had a way for folks to donate or help out, I have that now at PayPal. But I put that out there strictly because I have been asked for it. Email me or message for that link.
What the other things are that I have been looking at include a bank account and other streams of income and savings. I must inject a disclaimer here before I jump in with wild abandon: this blog is predominantly geared towards vandwellers, nomads, and the paripatetic among us. If you have the two cars, white picket fence life, this might seem silly, because the limitations we face are different than yours. While I truly do not mean to offend, you are usually embroiled in first world issues, and we are coming up with third world problems, hence this post.
Okay. I am divulging much of my fiscal strategy, with explanation. I have a pay card with my current employer, for those that don’t know, I left a career in IT to follow the calling, so now I am a day laborer.
The other half of this is an American Express card that is prepaid and has a tuck and hold type subaccount where I can place my tithe.
But that’s not good enough. I only have static funds, and there is potential for growth. There are two ways to work with what you already have coming in, and once we are in the black again I can test them out.
The first is an app called Stash. It allows for low level investing, say $5 at a time in some pretty high level stock and bonds. They have some preset portfolios that look good to the common eye, and if the out of sight out of mind saving approach works for you then this is where money can sit and accrue growth. You’re not going to become Warren Buffet by next week, but it should work. Frankly, I’m excited about this one.
The other is Acorn. I have to look at it again, but from what I remember, it takes the leftover change from each debit transaction and invests it much like Stash.
Our major problem is that we have a mission to accomplish and we are not funded by a mission board. Syzygy, our mission support network, does not work with funds, but with training, moral support, and a prayer system. We are grateful for all of these things, and they are a necessity, but we have been handling this with an Apostle Paul bi-vocational (in my unique case, tri-vocational ) approach. To make the money work harder is true stewardship as we can get more fuel for the ministry fire, as it were.
The various things we hope to launch and sustain are of course, The Jesus Underground, and we want to add a Bible Fund so we can send and distribute bibles to those who do not have them. We also hope to be able to help The Rehumanization Project and see it replicated outside Los Angeles. You have to see these guys!
We are also trying to be intentional with how we spend money. Rewards cards like Plenti and our truck stop and gas loyalty cards save pennies per gallon that add up in the long run. We try to do as much price comparison as possible, and use the Walmart app with Savings Catcher in the interests of recouping extra change we might have saved elsewhere. You can see how this can all help.
We do have living expenses, but they are not as high or heady as many other people we have met. For any who are not aware, as a Dubrician, I am considered a mendicant, which basically means that you will not catch me tooling around in a new Benz or anything of the sort. We feed ourselves, pray for and minister to others, and work. All income serves to attain one of those three aims.
So we see that the money itself can be grown, but consistent earning might become a second issue. You see we have a PayPal account and there are a few apps for freelancing that can pay to it. Fiverr is one, but I have not used it yet.
We have established that we can grow and earn more for usage, now we need a resting spot for this excess until it can be used. Let me introduce you to Alliant Bank. It’s an online banking institution that you may not have heard of. I hadn’t. I learned about it when it hit the top banks of 2017 list. The savings account we selected will pay out 1%. So it grows when it sits, too. Did I mention our Amex does cash back, too? It has kept us fed about three times now.
I hope this has given you some direction and things to think about. I also hope you receive benefit from it.
May you be blessed and be at peace.
Gweddi a Gwaith