Please don't let the title of the post scare you off.
Faith is one of those things that I have a hard time grasping and keeping at times. I am a concrete sequential kind of guy. I find it easier to do algebra than geometry. I like my CDs in alphabetical order, and also by release date, if that gives you any clue as to how I roll.
I started college after hearing our pastor deliver a sermon on "Getting out of your comfort zone". I had been at the same job for a little over 23 years. I had gone through several bouts of burnout, and finally resigned to the fact that I had reached my apex at work. I hadn't had a raise in over seven years and had just found out that, "due to the economy", the one week paid vacation was gone.
The meat of the sermon was that if you aren't growing, you are becoming stagnant. He was talking to me. I talked with my wife about going back to college, and I started in the fall of 2010. I took six hours since it had been quite a while since my last period of education. I had stepped out on faith...this is what God wanted me to do. Not an "audible", as my pastor calls it, but that feeling or voice inside your brain.
At church, we had attended a Dave Ramsey class, and applied his principles to our lives. During these prerequisite years at college, we cut a lot of fat out of our budget. We paid off all of our credit cards and managed to save six months living expenses. I started to find good deals using coupons and a log book, to build our stockpile for when I started school full time.
We gave up a lot of "fun things" to achieve our goals. We cut out a lot of eating out, dropped pay TV, worked extra jobs, and learned to live more frugally. I also received a $2000 grant this summer session, which helped to bulk up our one-income fund.
I quit my job about a month ago to take care of things around the house, and to go on a vacation. Hey, I wasn't going to be paid for anyways. We paid my tuition with a check on Wednesday, and Thursday I got an email from the lottery scholarship. After applying in December of 2010, I had finally made it to the recipient list as a non-traditional student. It will cover all of the tuition and leave me with a surplus of $104.00/year.
Anyways, this post really isn't about my budget, but rather about listening to God, your inner voice, your gut instinct, or whatever you want to call it. Faith is a "belief that is not based on proof", but the results can offer proof of your faith.
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. ( Proverbs 22:3 )
I also have a gut feeling or faith that things are going to get a lot worse. Please get yourself in a good place, so things aren't as bad for you and your family. Buy a little extra water and food, get rid of debt. Mostly get ahead of the horde. Get yourself in a good situation, and get prepped. Listen to your inner voice. Faith is a "belief that is not based on proof", but the results can offer proof of your faith.