Cost of Living..

I have been writing and thinking a great deal over the years about the ‘cost of living’

And as of course as you can see from the above – I am looking at the much wider context of ‘living’ ie living a fulfilled life!

A friend of mine asked a very simple question on facebook yesterday which intrigued me again.

Okay, here’s something I’ve been thinking about and would like your thoughts on: EXCLUDING mortgage/rent (‘cos they’re such variables), what do you think a ‘basic’ family like ours (2 adults, 2 pre/teenage kids) should be looking to bring in a month to live a regular kind of life?

It came at a good time as I was just going through our annual home budget. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? But if you don’t know where your money is going you don’t know your priorities in life. It is like holding up a mirror to yourself.

At the moment things are going to get a little tough in the home budget as I have been giving away too much of my time for ‘free’ in cash terms. I love what I do with various charities, boards and filling my time with having an ‘impact’ on the world around me, but it doesn’t pay the bills.

so yesterday I cancelled my Sky sports collection – a necessary luxury I had convinced myself with my various sports roles! More will be going over the rest of the month.

But what struck me personally was the level of ‘basic’ income I had drifted to needing. I have always felt I had stayed on top of living a fairly simple life but as when I did the Simplify challenge in 2009 I am struck by what we call normal and necessary expenditure.

So the next steps? I wil be re-reading the Richard Foster book ‘The Freedom of Simplicity’ and going though budgets and research about the ‘cost of living’ and how we can reduce those costs whilst still maintaining a healthy and balanced life.

But first we want to hear from you. Via facebook Ruth and I have agreed to write something a little deeper on this issue. But we need your real life stories and how much it takes to maintain your lifestyle. I know people don’t like talking openly about salaries and money but in the Church we need to start. I heard that if sex is your sin in church you get thrown out. If money is your sin you get to be made Treasurer.

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