Thursday, January 3, 2008

Kiva and Planning for Simplicity

Randy came across a website called Kiva where individuals may make loans to people in emerging countries who use the funds to start their own small businesses. This is a win-win situation. The loan program is highly successful and contributes to the sustainability of impoverished individuals who do not want a hand-out but want to make it on their own.

Randy and I are working toward being entirely debt free this year so that we can give to these kinds of causes and other ministries. I’ll talk more about that as our plans progress. I met a fellow a few years ago at a Thomas Nelson banquet who was pitching his program and book, The Total Money Make-Over. Dave Ramsey is very down-to-earth and his materials are so easy to understand. We’ll let you know how our money make-over works out.

We’re planning on buying a small cottage that we can make-over into some really great intimate work and relax areas. Our home is a really nice home but it has a lot of unused space especially since our caboose is headed for college in the fall. We’ve been studying a book called The Not So Big House. The concept is to buy small and then expand the spaces into really great living spaces that function specifically for you and your family. For instance, we seldom use a formal dining area and we never use a formal living room. But we’d love a cozy reading area with natural light that overlooks a garden. People who adopt this lifestyle are called cultural creatives. We don’t know if we fit the type, but we are looking forward to being completely debt free and living in a home that suits us and our scaled down lives.