About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources

My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Pound to Palace

My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.

Little Halos

Proverbs 31 Ministries


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Friday, June 27, 2008


the little china chest that taught us the value of financial planning.

Could you use $1000? I have a challenge for you! Read on...

Recently I asked a friend of mine if she had ever been in debt. "You betcha!" she answered. She graduated from college with loans to pay off. She was also single so there was no double income to help her with the process. My friend told me her story of loans and debt. She became so desperate she finally went to God for help.

Why do we ignore God when He should be our first source of direction?

She could see no way out until she decided to promise God that, in the midst of her financial troubles, she would give Him 10% with each paycheck. She doesn't know how it happened, but slowly her debt decreased. Here would come a bonus out of nowhere. Her parents would send her a larger-than-usual check for her birthday. She stopped browsing the mall and chose to spend her spare time working with unwed teen mothers. When she was busy, she couldn't easily spend money

Now she is rethinking her financial situation. She is out of debt and living within her means, but she is challenging herself to buy only the essentials for the next 30 days. She says she just wants the challenge. She would like to be able to give a nice gift to the home for unwed mothers.

Why is she entertaining this unnecessary challenge?

She found two articles of clothing in her closet that she bought last year and each still sports a price tag. She never wore them!

She realized that there are too many purchases that are unncecessary. She can't account for them when her credit card bill (which she pays off each month)comes due.

I am also challenging myself. I have decided that I want to have $1,000.00 by this time next year to use in a discretionary way.Most recently I helped scholarship someone to She Speaks. Maybe you would like to join me. Here are some ideas. Let us know if you have some more thoughts on saving a few bucks here and there.

Save $1 a day in change: 365
Save $5 a week by not eating out: 260
Save $100 one month by spending money only paying
necessary bills: only water for a month, no soft drinks,
no chips, or store bought snacks.No eating out, no
impulse purchases... 100
Save $4 a week for 6 months by playing games with the
family every other week rather than renting and watching movies: 96
Save $3.50 each month by avoiding the purchase of that
magazine at the check out counter: 42
Save $40 by shopping at "repeat" shops for everyday,
stay-at-home-and-play clothes. I found the cutest white
capri jeans at Goodwill for $4.00. I love them! Let's say
you buy 5 cute tops at $12 each during the course of a
year. You will spend $60. You can probably find 5 cute
tops at a "repeat" shop for no more than $15. Put $40 into
your kitty! 40
Save at least $100 by serving popcorn, lemonade, and
apple slices instead of a full blown meal twice a month.
What a wonderful break for mom and kids will love the
snack supper while playing games! 100
Grand total: $1003.00

There is so much we can do with $1000,00! Why it would be enough to treat ourselves to She Speaks next year and have money left over to take the family out on the town, to an amusement park, or on a fun first-day-of-summer-let's-each-get-a-new whatever... shopping spree!!

Do you have some unique ways to save a few dollars toward filling a pot with $1,000? Please share it with us.

Here I go - pennines into my change jar.


Kelly said...

Van I love your wisdom! I need to apply it...I have a few credit card bills to pay off and I know I can be a compulsive shopper and buy things I don't really need....I have been saving up though and have the cash for a sale I go to every summer for fall and winter clothes for work..it is the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. So I won't be charging there. We do tithe and sponsor two Compassion girls and give to other ministries but I know I need to get my cc's paid off and live more frugally, especially in these times.
Also, I bought some of the Homespun yarn on sale for $4 a skein (it's usually a few dollars more). It's the yarn I used to make your scarf. I bought some to make Christmas presents, so I will be starting on those this summer. I am also going to brown bag my lunch to work and make eating lunch out just an occasional treat. As far as the chips go, I am a Cheetos fan, but I can do without and be healthier for it!
Thanks again for your wise counsel...it is true and sorely needed.
Blessings to you,

Becky said...

Your antique cabinet reminds me of one I had when we were newly married - part of our possessions we sold to go overseas to Bible school, five years into our marriage. While living in Germany, we were given a gorgeous antique China cabinet, 10Ft. long! And over the years, the dishes to fill it. We've practiced frugal living over the years as you suggested and are part of the small minority of Americans who are not deep in debt,but we have never lacked for food or basic needs. "Seek first His kingdom and righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you" has proved itself true in my life. And when my husband wanted to sell the cabinet because it is so big, our adult daughter objected - she said that is a family heirloom that she's grown up with - it is as much a part of her family as we are! (I agree :)

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Loved this!! All day I've been thinking about how I can get back to She Speaks next year. I feel like there is still so much I need to learn! And these are some great ideas to start putting into action!

RDC CCC Mom said...

Thanks so much for sharing your tips on saving! I find buying "store" brands helpful too! The taste is usually not different and save BIG dollars on grocery bill! I also load my "reward" card to my grocery store with "e-coupons"! When I take the time, it's a fun "game" to see how much I can save!

I appreciate your godly wisdom and encouragement!

Tammy Nischan said...

thank you, Van, for your great words!

I so enjoyed meeting you at She Speaks!

Tammy Nischan

lucia said...

Wow...I "stumbled" on your blog and feel as if I found a treasure!!! Thank you for sharing and encouraging me to do better.
A hug,

Jennifer DeDonato said...

I am very encouraged to do better. This has been on my heart lately of something I need to do. Thanks for sharing.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Love this Van! I bank my change at every turn, recently cashing it in to help pay for costly desired purchase.

These other ideas are perfect. I'm going to continue saving change, along with these other ideas.


Laura said...

Such wise words! We could use to be a little more responsible with the gifts God gives us. I am going to collect loose change and see what we end up with this time next year. It's amazing how quickly a few pennies add up. We have a wonderful food bank in town that could always use some donations...hmmm. may be a good project for the boys? thanks for challenging me to think outside of my little world.

Dana Melton said...

Van, my friend, I LOVE this challenge! My husband and I have been learn financial "lessons" the hard way for about 3 years. You would think we would "get-it" the first time, but for some reason, we ejnoyed struggling unnecessarily! Finally, God got ahold of us and we are beginning to get a handle on our finances! We had to learn to submit the money to Him and understand that we only did what HE instructed with the money! God continues to teach us lessons that enrich His kingdom and our family! Since beginning to understand His plan for our finances, we have paid for two vehicles (completely); we paid off our home; we bought a new car (with down payment and trade-ins it cut the price in half!)we plan to have it paid off with our 2009 tax returns! How wonderful! We now have no house payment and only one car payment with regular bills! We have are still learning to save money, but giving is not an issue! We love to give! We often secretly buy things for our elderly neighbors and leave it for them to find! We also pick up the tab for unexpected family and friends. We give to our local church and community! God has blessed us richly and I can't wait to see what happens in the future!
And Van, I will take your $1000 challenge and I hope to support another lady to She Speaks 2009 when I return! Maybe we can even get some shopping in while we're there! That would be great!
Loving you!

Bonita said...

Loved your devotion and the chest is beautiful! I'm usually a really good saver, but lately I've been off track.

This isn't really saving money in the sense of getting a bargain, but I pick up all the coins I find on the road. For example, today at the local amusement park I picked up two pennies that everyone else was stepping on without noticing or bothering to pick them up. I find change almost every day when I go walking. I save this in a special box. I also regularly empty all change from my purse into that same box. I don't know what I'll do with that money, but it's beginning to pile up.

I'm a big bargain hunter too, but I've found the best way to save money is to simply stay home instead of going shopping. When I do go shopping I do much better if I go with a specific list in mind rather than just window shopping. Window shopping is dangerous for the budget!

Starr said...

I really needed your post today, Van. We are having trouble making our house payment this month and now it is almost Next month! I have just stopped worrying and began to trust God in His wisdom. Everything I have read today has been about money in some form or another. Even my morning Bible reading! Then I come to your blog...what a word in due season.

I am VERY thrifty and buy my clothes always at thrift shops and Goodwill. We don't overspend on other things and are not in debt, but just daily living expenses are hard for us. The cash flow just isn't there.
After reading your post, I have been enlightened on some things we can do to get ourselves out of this bondage.
I am going to take the challenge you set before me today. Thanks so much! God spoke through you.

Tamara Heeres said...

You have a very simple yet rich way of "speaking." I always appreciate helps, hints, and suggestions in financial matters. This is so timely as my husband and I are planning my early retirement this Fall from working outside the home to become a SAHM to our toddler and infant. Being accustomed to working for nearly 30 years myself, this will be a huge lifestyle change for me/us and a little scary financially. Although I was not raised to believe it possible, I know it can be done (Thank you, Dana Melton for your financial testimony!) and if my husband and I can have a meeting of the minds and make the commitment, we'll be able to do it! Thanks to Van and each of the commenters for their encouraging words!

Charlene Kidd said...

I love the thoughts and wisdom. Thank you for being so faithful to always teach us what God has taught you.
I appreciate you.