Elmbrook Stories

I've Learned to Trust in Him: Lora's Story

November 11, 2015 by Ann Blackburn in Finances
Tags: finances, generosity, give, giving, money

I've Learned to Trust in Him: Lora's Story

by Ann Blackburn

 

Lora came to Elmbrook’s budget coaching ministry in 2010. Her husband, who had handled all of their financial matters including paying all the bills, had passed away a few years earlier leaving Lora alone to face a frightening new world of budgeting, paying bills, and tough financial decisions. “I was quite nervous at that time about my financial security," she said.

Lora was living on her husband’s Social Security benefit and by the time she began meeting with Mel, a volunteer in Elmbrook’s budget coaching ministry, Lora was running $800 in the red every month. She tried to bridge this shortfall by dipping into her savings, and later with the proceeds of the sale of some income properties she and her husband had owned. While this did generate some ready cash she had sold the properties at a loss and the money was running out.

Mel, Lora’s budget coach, helped her draw up a budget at their very first meeting. This helped Lora get a good idea what steps she could take to remedy her financial problems. Then Mel suggested she get quotes on her home, auto and health insurance to see if she could save some money. Mel also suggested Lora pay off the $3,000 credit card debt she had accrued at 11%. This reduced her expenses by $260 per month. Now her monthly shortfall was down to $540.

Next Lora took some simple steps to eliminate unnecessary expenses. She negotiated a better phone/internet plan, and reduced her expenditures on vitamins and miscellaneous home supplies. Lora began making other small changes by monitoring her budget on a weekly basis, bringing her monthly expenses down another $100. 

Later, Mel suggested Lora speak with a professional investor about investing the balance of the sale of her income properties. She decided to meet with a personal banker where she did her banking. While budget coaching does not coach clients on investments, Mel did go with Lora to ask questions and help her to understand what was being offered.

After a few meetings Lora decided to invest about two thirds of her cash in a fixed rate, long term annuity. This decision left her the remaining third to meet unexpected expenses. Her new investment provided her an additional income of $420 per month! Her monthly shortfall now was only $20-40, which was met a few months later when her Social Security monthly benefit was increased by $40. Her income now equaled her expenses.

This process took a little over a year.

Lora continues to live by her budget, finding new ways to cut expenses, and now makes deposits instead of withdrawals on her saving account. While Lora’s bank account is growing, more importantly her faith in the Lord has grown as well. "Beginning with that situation and many ways since then, God has taught me a lot about His faithfulness to me. I've learned to trust in Him," she said. "No longer do I fret when financial concerns arise and that [peace] has spread to other areas of my life. For that I'm grateful. Glory to God!!” 

During all of these years she has faithfully remained generous, giving back to the Lord a portion of the blessings she received, and remaining active in serving at Elmbrook.

Please pray for Lora as she walks with the Lord facing her latest challenge, accepting the loss of her dying brother, her last living relative. Even now, Lora’s eyes are on the Lord.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. — Matthew 6:33


 

For information about Elmbrook's Budget Coaching ministry, contact Dave at  or CLICK HERE.