August: Mid-Month Report & How NOT to make money…(Money Misstep #3)

I know, you come back here to peak and see if I’ve made $100,000 yet.  Just so you know, I haven’t!

For a quick mid-month report:

August Income
$250   Part Time Job
$ 20     Husband’s Overtime

Total income for August: $270.  I know, you are overly impressed.  I’m not either.  Keep reading…

So this month I have made another Money Misstep.  So sit down for Money Misstep #3: Volunteering vs. Income

I am very passionate about volunteering.  (Just ask my husband…it does get out of control some times!) I would encourage anyone and everyone, regardless of your financial situation to give of some of your time to volunteer.

Putting other peoples needs before your own helps with many things:

Perspective: You see other people’s situations and realize all that you have.

Insight: By giving you will gain insight into what it really means to live.  In all situations in all times.

Humility: It takes energy to give freely of your time and it keeps you humble.

I could expound on these (trust me, I could go on for days) but these are just a few of the many things that happen when you give of your time and energy to others.

The misstep I made was not making a correct calculation of the time a volunteer opportunity would take.

In order to meet our financial goals some of my time has to be spent working, trimming our budget and seeking income opportunities for our family.  However, since I see volunteering as such a high priority I am willing to give 10-15 hours every week toward it.  Sometimes for my church and sometimes for my community.  If I can use my skills to help someone I will try and make time to do so.

In the month of August I have given over 50 hours to volunteer work.  I do not regret the time I spent serving others but it has had some negative impact on my every day.

If my first commitment is to my faith and my second to my family those things must have equal or greater time and energy put into them as my volunteering.  Both my commitment to my faith/faith community and my family have suffered.

I have not been able to engage in my faith community as much as I normally do.  And my family has suffered because I have not been able to spend quality time with them and I have not been able to spend time managing our family life in order to positively impact our financial goals.

All this got put to the side so I could volunteer on 2 projects.  One for my church and one for my community.  Both good opportunities where I could use my skills but both opportunities that I had forewarning on and could have planned for and thought through a little better in terms of time commitment.

Also, in the midst of volunteering I got sick (am sick).  I had committed so deeply to 2 projects that I had no time in my day to day to rest and heal (which is probably why I am still sick).

How to avoid this misstep: Set boundaries and stick to them!
I am not in a physical, personal or financial place to spend all my hours volunteering.  I would LOVE to, don’t get me wrong! (I remember talking to my mom when I was trying to figure out my college path and through tears saying that I didn’t want a career, I just wanted to spend my whole life volunteering.  She kindly reminded me that although that is a great heart felt thing, it doesn’t put food on the table!)

Since I absolutely have to take my life situation into consideration I need to stick to 10-15 hours of volunteer work.  Even that stretches me and my family but it is important to me that serving others is a priority.

Next time I think about volunteering I will ask more questions about the opportunity and really weigh the time commitment within the boundary I have already set for myself.

Where should you set a boundary today?  What area of your life are you spending too much time/money/effort in that you can not really afford?

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~ by Rachael Judd on August 19, 2010.

One Response to “August: Mid-Month Report & How NOT to make money…(Money Misstep #3)”

  1. […] August 19th – I began to lose my focus.  I made a mistake, it was costing me dearly and I lost my […]

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