Written by Mary Ellen Baur

Two questions I often ask myself:

Are you spending your time wisely?

Are you spending your money wisely?


There are some things in life we must spend time and money on. There’s no way around it.

Time: Sleeping, driving, working, cooking, eating, taking out the trash…etc.

Spending: Mortgage/rent, groceries, utilities, insurance, gas, cell phone bill…etc.


Two questions l don’t ask myself enough:

Are you giving your time wisely?

Are you giving your money wisely?


One thing I recently recognized about myself is that I can be as impulsive and inconsistent in my giving as in my spending of money. I’ll go through Amazon Prime dry spells then indulge myself in an expensive pair of boots in a moment of weakness. Same with giving. I’ll say yes on the spot to friends or acquaintances asking for donations to various charities without first considering what my budget is for doing so. And my priorities. We can’t say yes to everything. That goes for time, too. I’ve learned the hard way…signing up for volunteer opportunities without hesitation because the cause pulls at my heart strings. We all do it.

This Thanksgiving my goal is to focus on intentional giving as well as intentional spending. The key word…..intentional. I’m reassessing my obligations – both financial and time-wise – and making sure they align with my priorities. Again, I know that some are non-negotiable and can’t be crossed off the list. I also recognize that mine are not and will never be the same as anyone else’s. It is my responsibility to be aware of that and it’s NOT my responsibility to impose my values or priorities on others.

It’s also my responsibility to manage my resources (time and money). This takes discipline. And at my core, I’m not a disciplined person. Just ask my vacuum ☺.

My grandma always told us growing up that her father, when asked “How are you?”, would joyfully reply “I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got”! She also was one to point out that everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. What we do with them, is what sets us apart.

So, small town girls, are you being intentional with your time and with your money? Are you getting lost in everything you are responsible for doing? Or are you “setting yourself apart”?

“We will make a living by what we get. We will make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

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