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The blogging sphere has crowded up very quickly in the past decade and it even looks like YouTube is taking over. Starting a blog in 2021 se...

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

How to Save Money on Baby Costs


How to Save Money on Baby Costs

The birth of a baby is a life changing event. It not only affects your physical and mental health, it also tells on your finances. You may need to move into a house with an extra room; you will have more use of water, gas and electricity. Your bills will definitely increase. Also, maternity leave means a drop in your regular income and then down the line there is the cost of child care. These coupled with the fact that most people have babies in their youth when they are also trying to get established in their careers, means that the decision to have a baby can seriously destabilize one financially, if not prepared. Rich or poor, babies are being born anyway. It is therefore necessary to find ways to cut down on the huge expenses that accompany the birth of a newborn - even more important with the UK's current cost of living crisis.

Here are 6 ways to save money on baby costs.

1. Accept used products from friends and family. In the excitation of expecting a new baby, it is easy to overspend. There are lots of blogs and YouTube videos about what to buy and though mostly helpful, some of the things you will buy will be a waste. We were blessed to have generous senior friends who out of their own good will gave us some of their baby stuff still in perfect condition. It really saved us money especially for the bulkier stuff like baby cot, Moses basket, and baby stroller. However, it is advisable to get a brand new car seat as it must comply with safety rules.

2. Try cheaper nappies. Size 2 Pampers pack of 46 from Tesco is £6 compared to Size 2 Mamia pack of 58 from Aldi which is £2. Just see how much can be saved. In my experience, the Mamia nappy was even more absorbent than Pampers. I also tried Tesco's Fred n Flo Size 2 nappy which was about £3 but I found it worse than Aldi's Mamia and Pampers so I dumped it. Before settling for expensive brands, try out cheaper brands.

3. Breastfeed. I understand that certain situations may impact on one's ability to breastfeed, but if able, breastfeeding, apart from its numerous health benefits is another way of cutting costs. SMA Pro first infant formula 800g is £11. Other brands are even costlier. Exclusively formula fed neonates can go through one tin within 3 days. 

4. Buy cheaper bodysuits. Bodysuits or onesies are those vests that are fastened at the nappy area. They are usually worn beneath a sleepsuit or any other clothing. Babies outgrow bodysuits very quickly. They are inadvertently going to poo on some of them. Why invest £50 on an expensive bodysuit when one can get 10 for £9. These expensive bodysuits are going to be covered anyway. They look cool in pictures though. 

5. Throw a baby shower/gender reveal. While you should not count on gifts from friends or make that the reason for throwing a shower, gifts from friends and family go a long way in cutting baby costs. 

6. Apply for child benefits. Check to see if you are eligible for any available child benefits and apply. You could get help with childcare costs or a monthly stipend for the child. It may not be much but, a little is better than nothing.

A newborn baby brings joy but can put a strain on the family finances. I hope with these few points of mine, you are able to save a few dollars, pounds or Naira. Please comment below with additional tips.

Radiant ~ September 2022

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Why Christians Struggle in Life - The 3 Enemies

Why Christians Struggle in Life

photo credit - midtowndowntown.com

Despite the victory that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ bought believers, many Christians still live defeated lives all through their time on earth. Many Christians are still poor, sick and depressed despite being free from the oppression of Satan and the bondage of sin.

The Christian life is not void of troubles, don't get me wrong. Jesus said "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33b NIV

There are trials that we will have to face in order for the life of Christ to be perfected in us. However, there are troubles we bring upon ourselves and these are the types we should make every effort to avoid. "People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?" - Proverbs 19:3 MSG

Here are three things I have discovered that can hinder a believing Christian from living a successful purposeful life.

If you are struggling in life, you might want to check that one of these three does not exist in your life.

1. Ignorance

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6 KJV

Many Christians pray and hope for God to give them ideas for success, but do not actively seek knowledge. We are in an era of enlightenment. There is knowledge everywhere. They are in books, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. Literally, "wisdom calls out on the streets..." Proverbs 1:20 NET

Daniel was full of wisdom. His wisdom was not only supernatural. God gave him understanding of books. As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom" Daniel 1:17a NKJV

Rather than waiting on inspiration to re-invent the wheel, we should be diligent in going after existing truth, wisdom and knowledge both from the Bible and other literature. 


2. Laziness

Some people know what to do but are just too lazy to do it. 

They may either not bother doing it, do it inconsistently, or do it not long enough. 

"His master replied, 'You wicked lazy servant!..." Matthew 25:26 NIV

This servant in the parable of the talents did not bother going to work with his talent. He hid it. So the Master called him lazy.

"The slothful will not roast his game; but the diligent man will get precious wealth." Proverbs 12:27 KJV  

So this man went out and did some work in catching a game, but did not see it through to completion. He did not roast it. How many unfinished projects do we have? I am guilty myself, with so many unpublished blog posts (started but never completed).


3. Cowardice

Some people know what to do, are able to give it their best but do not do so because of fear.

  • Fear of failure. They might have failed in previous projects. Once beaten, twice shy.
  • Fear of their idea being taken from them.  So they fail to develop their ideas.
  • Fear of the initial sacrifices they may have to make to see the idea through. So they remain in their comfort zone.

"I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look here is your money back." Matthew 25:25 NLT

That lazy servant in the parable of the talent said his excuse was fear of losing the money. Has fear of losing money prevented you from making a wise investment?

"But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." Rev 21:8 NLT

It is quite alarming to see that cowards are among those going to hell, named first even before murderers and the immoral. So we should fight off fear with the same zeal we fight off sin.


In conclusion, a non-believer would have these 3 enemies as well as the devil and sin to battle with. But somehow non believers are even more aggressive against these 3. Since they do not rely on God, they go after knowledge with all their might and work hard because they have only themselves to trust.

But believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are at a more advantageous position. The devil has been defeated and sin has no dominion over us. We have been set up for success already. We should not then shoot ourselves in the foot by allowing ignorance, laziness and cowardice rob us of our blessings.


I am still having to deal with number 2. Which one is it for you?

If this blog post has blessed you, please leave a comment below.


Shalom.


Radiant ~ September 2022

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

15 Life Principles To Learn From The Life Of Joseph

photo credit - jw.org

The Bible is not just a religious book. It is a book of life's principles. You do not need to be religious to gain from it. Though you will need to be spiritual to see the meanings beyond the literal words. 

The story of Joseph is a popular one. You might know him as the dreamer, the one who was sold by his brothers into slavery, went to prison unjustly and then rose to Prime Minister in one day. But amidst the sensational story full of twists and turns lies important life's principles still relevant in our day and age. 

Here are 15 lessons from the life of Joseph.


15 Life Principles From the Life of Joseph


1. Preferential treatment of a child by his parents creates animosity among siblings. Gen 37:4. “But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them”.

 

2.     Some people will hate me for my audacity in dreaming big. I don’t have to share my dream with everyone. Gen 37:8 “and they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them”.

 

3. Hatred and jealousy precede murder. In other words, anyone that hates me or is jealous of me can kill me. I must tread cautiously around them. Also, I will not allow these vices to thrive in me. Gen 37:11 “but while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.” Gen 37:19 “‘here comes the dreamer”, they said. Come on! Let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns!”

 

4.   In every bad situation, we can still be grateful that it could have been worse. The devil always plans the worst. But God saves us. Gen 37:26 “Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders”.

 

5.  God is with me even when I am in a difficult situation. Gen 39:2 “The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. The Lord will cause me to succeed even when I am in an unjust situation as long as I remain faithful. Rather than complain about the injustice, like Joseph I should focus on doing my best in that situation.

 

6. When a righteous man is in charge, the establishment is blessed. This is the reason righteous men should aim to take high positions in the nation. Gen 39:5 “From the day Joseph was put in charge of His master’s household and property, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake.”

 

7.    Do not negotiate with the devil. Flee from all temptations. Gen 39:12b.”Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house.”

 

8.  In life, you don’t always get rewarded for doing the right thing. In fact, right doing can land you in trouble. But it is still worth doing right because you know that God is with you. Gen 39:20-21 “So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained. But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love.

 

9. Always acknowledge the giver of your gift. Gen 40:8b “‘Interpreting dreams is God’s business’, Joseph replied, ‘Go ahead and tell me your dreams’.

 

10.  In life, those I’ve done good to might forget me. That’s why I should never put my trust in man. I should not get angry when they forget. They will remember in God’s time. Gen 40:23 “Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.”

 

11. Do not share God’s glory with Him. Gen 41:16 “‘It is beyond my power to do this’, Joseph replied, ‘But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease’”.


12. In life, there will be times of prosperity and times of famine. A wise person will not eat all he has in his time of prosperity. Prosperity does not come for you alone. Saving is a godly principle. It will not only save you but others during the time of famine. Gen 41:29-30 “The next seven years will be a period of great prosperity throughout the land of Egypt. But afterwards there will be seven years of famine…”

 

13. The secret to moving from prison to palace is to consistently use your gift for the service of others. One day, the king will ask of you. First Joseph graduated from being a dreamer (serving himself only) to being an interpreter of dreams (serving others). It was what he did in prison that lifted him to the palace. Do you see a man skillful in his work, he will stand before kings. He will not stand before unknown men. Proverbs 22:29

 

14. One can still be generous in a time of famine. Gen 43:11 “So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, ‘if it can’t be avoided, then at least do this. Pack your bags with the best products of this land. Take them down to the man as gifts - balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds'".

 

15. God uses even evil people and evil intentions to fulfil His purposes. Gen 45:5 “But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.” Gen 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”


I hope you have been blessed by these lessons from the life of Joseph in the Bible. Please comment below on your thoughts.


Radiant - May 2022

Thursday, 5 May 2022

How To Move From Prison to Palace

picture credit - Shutterstock

A prison is a place of restriction, lack of freedom, frustration, and obscurity. It is a place of suffering and punishment.

Conversely, a palace is the home of a king. A place of no limitations. A place of abundance. 

Do you feel like you are currently in prison? Do you long to be in a palace instead?

You may be in a physical prison, a financial prison (no freedom to do what you want to do because of your lack of resources), or an emotional prison (bound by your fears and anxiety) unable to reach your potential.

How did Joseph go from prison to palace? Genesis 41.

He interpreted Pharaoh's dream.

He had been doing the same in the prison. He simply did what he was doing in prison. Only difference is this time he was doing it before a king.

For him to be recommended to a king, shows he was good at what he did.

Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank. Proverbs 22:29

How to go from prison to Palace.

Master your skill while in prison. Do it over and over again, even for free, just be good. Word will soon go out to the King who will be needing your service one day. When that day comes, you will be ready.

They say success happens when opportunity meets preparation.

Prison is your best place for skill refinement because there are not many distractions. Distractions in this life include social life - parties, friends, activities, etc.

In prison, there is a regimented routine.

"Lock yourself in the prison of your goals" - Sunday Adelaja 

Surround yourself by routines that will help you achieve your purpose.

Maximise your time of obscurity.

Soon the king will send for you. Will you be ready?

Radiant ~ May 2022