Dressing Modestly on a Budget: Women’s Edition

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Modesty is an interesting topic among Christian women. Depending on who you talk to, you might get a radically different definition of how to dress modestly. Some Christian women define dressing modestly by never wearing pants, or by never wearing skirts that don’t hit knee-length. Others cover their hair completely and wear very baggy clothing. In other circles, modesty is rarely, if ever, discussed. And, when it is discussed, the discussion of modesty is usually geared towards women, although modesty is not just for women – it is something for both sexes to think about.

This post will be geared towards the issues for women in modesty. Regardless of what your definition is for appropriate dress for yourself as a Christian woman, I believe that it does not have to be expensive to dress modestly. No matter where you are on the spectrum of modesty, we can all probably agree that modesty is not just about what you wear on the outside but what the position of your heart is. Modesty is not just about what you wear, but also about how you behave, what your reasons are, and what your intentions are. Choosing modesty helps us as both single and married Christian women guard our God-given beauty (and dressing modestly can help keep the wrong kind of men away who might show interest in us for the wrong reasons).

With that in mind, here are some practical guidelines for starting with a desire to express yourself with a modest wardrobe. If you’re re-evaluating your wardrobe, or if you’re changing your mindset, I hope this is a help to you. As Christian women, we should never judge one another based on appearance – only God knows our hearts and if we are truly trying to please Him or if we are just trying to put on a show to look good in front of others.

Dressing Modestly on a Budget

Outfits that used to be modest on you might not be modest now for various reasons. Maybe you’ve lost weight, gained weight, or maybe a pregnancy has caused a tiny human to take up residence inside you, and you’re going to be eating for two for a while! The mistakes made due to the care that a garment requires – dry cleaning only, perhaps? – can also shrink it up and make it inappropriate. What if what used to be a proper fitting top now shows a plunging pop of cleavage and a skirt that used to be an adequate length now just barely covers your derriere? Here’s a few things you might be able to do to try to adapt your clothes before tossing them out.

How to Change Tops That Show Too Much

For the v-neck tops that show too much of your breasts, try adding an infinity scarf to cover yourself. Especially when fall and winter get too crisp for me to stay warm, I love my infinity scarves. Shirts that might normally cover you just fine can budge throughout your day if you move, so check yourself in the mirror – does this happen to you? If “the girls” are popping out all day, they need to stay put! I love my infinity scarves because I can put one on and it not only keeps me warm, but it adds a pop of color to my outfit, and it keeps my chest covered, no matter how much I move throughout the day.

Another way that our shirts can betray us is with that sliver of skin above your pants (or skirt) line and below the bottom edge of your shirt – if you’re sitting down or standing up, does your skin pop out and show? While you might have washboard abs (good on you!), you can keep it covered by placing a tank top or a camisole under your shirt, and you’ll be good to go. Tank tops or camisoles can be purchased very cheaply, and they can keep you from being exposed.

What to do About Short Skirts

If you have skirts that have become too short, you can try to make a last ditch effort before you give up on them. While leggings are not pants – and this is a misconception among many – pairing a thick pair of leggings could be a way to be able to wear a skirt that otherwise wouldn’t fly on its own. Try this and see if it’s adequate to give you the coverage you need to be adequately clothed. Otherwise, you can give those skirts a fond farewell.

Re-Purposing Un-Modest Clothing

Some clothing will simply be past its prime for you, regardless of how much you try to keep it in your closet. You can give it away to someone else that may enjoy it, but another option is to re-purpose it for your own household, especially if it’s in a condition that is no longer attractive to wear. One of the craft projects on my to-do list is to eventually make a rag rug, and this would be a great project for anyone with lots of clothing that no longer fits their lifestyle or their frame. If you can sew, you can also re-purpose your clothing into dinner napkins, rags, headscarves, or use the fabric remnants for craft projects.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

 

How to be Charitable When You’re Broke

 

Dealing with job loss, unexpected bills, or other tough financial times can make Christmas a trickier time to navigate, financially speaking. As you look ahead to your budget, it might be awkward when people ask you to be charitable. The warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you help other people could conflict with the fact that you could use some extra money. But the good news is that if you’re between a rock and a hard place, there are ways to be charitable when you, yourself, are broke. There are three charities that I believe are doing great work, year round, not just at Christmas, that you can support even when you’re broke.

Goodwill

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The catchy slogan used in some of Goodwill’s commercials has been “good deals, good cause, Goodwill”. And it’s true – Goodwill operates thrift shops that fund programs for homeless veterans and people with disabilities. By providing job coaching services to people those with disabilities in a job search, Goodwill helps people achieve their full potential. The stores in my area offer special discounts every week, typically a half off everything weekly (some exclusions apply). Goodwill even holds auto auctions if you’re brave enough to take a chance on a car you’ve never drove. So whether you’re shopping for household items or just purging your closet of some clothes that no longer fit, you can be confident that you’re funding a good cause.

The Salvation Army

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This distinctively Christian organization has a very practical, relevant mission. Long before the heroin crisis gained national attention, The Salvation Army has understood how addiction can ruin lives. That’s why The Salvation Army supports people on a journey of recovery out of drug and alcohol addiction. If you or a loved one could benefit from free alcohol or drug treatment services, The Salvation Army may be able to help. When you donate goods or shop their stores, you are funding positive change in someone’s life. What better feeling than knowing that your donation or purchase can help give someone a better life?

St. Vincent DePaul

The Society of St. Vincent DePaul is a Catholic charity that works for the poor. Similar to Goodwill, you can donate goods to their thrift shops, and they also hold auto auctions. St. Vincent DePaul’s mission is to “end poverty through systematic change”, and they operate different programs in different states. In my area, one amazing program they operate is the Charitable Pharmacy, a safety net for people who have no other means of obtaining essential medications. So, if you’re upset about the state of healthcare, why just complain? Donate your junk to St. Vincent Depaul, a great charity that is doing something about it and helping people.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

 

Master Your Money by Ron Blue Book Review

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Do you feel like your money is in charge of you, instead of you being in charge of your money? Do you ever wish that you knew how you could master your money?

Entrepreneur and accountant Ron Blue has a few ideas in his new book Master Your Money. This is a re-vamped version of a previous edition published in the late 80s. This time, he’s made some updates, adding personal reflections to the end of each chapter. He’s also added a special writing partner, his son Michael Blue, to add commentary at the end of each chapter.

Master Your Money offers a decidedly  Christian perspective with a heavy emphasis on the spiritual aspect of money management. Probably the biggest takeaway from this book is the idea of stewardship: that God “owns it all” and that people don’t truly own their money or possessions, but are simply caretakers of the things they have. The second takeaway is the huge emphasis placed on giving. Blue talks about giving and goes beyond emphasizing tithing as important, but states that is is the first purpose money should be used for in a budget  (even before taxes, and states that tithing should be done from gross instead of net income). He discusses estate planning for charity and making faith pledges beyond what you think you can give (to help your city, the world, orphans, the poor).

There are some changes that could have been made to this book to make it stronger. There are two big issues that people in this country are suffering from financially that aren’t addressed at all in this book, which could have been updated: student loan debt and health care costs. Blue talks about types of debt, but leaves student loan debt completely out of the picture, which is concerning given that student loan debt cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy. This is a critical issue given that so many students have defaulted on their student loans and are overextended. Another issue that needs further addressing is rising health care costs. The sample budget given for health care costs seems low given that families are experiencing increased costs in the areas of premiums, drug costs, etc. This is not a political issue but a financial one, and to not address it doesn’t give an accurate picture of what everyday families are up against in their personal finances.

Another strange part about this book is in the sample budget, there’s a line item for “margin” – a 2 percent category for a family to help them increase their cash flow. Yet, there is no line item on the sample budget for saving money for the future. When savings is not automated or made intentional in some way, it doesn’t happen. I don’t know if this “margin” category is the author’s way of saying “savings”, but it seems odd that a financial expert wouldn’t urge people to be intentional about creating an emergency fund of some kind, when so many people probably do not have one. Furthermore, I’m not sure why the author wouldn’t encourage people to save more than two percent of their budget when he is urging them to give 10 percent to others. The Biblical mandate is to provide for your own household or you are worse than an unbeliever… how can a wise person prepare for the hard times that will inevitably come in the future without making plans?

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of Master Your Money from the publisher, Moody Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

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The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business: Turn Your Ideas Into Money!

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Have you ever thought about starting your own business, creating your own product, or making money off your own idea?

Steve Mariotti has, and he’s taught high school students how to do the same. He’s written a book which has been recently updated, and it’s entitled The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business: Turn Your Ideas Into Money!

The title is somewhat deceiving. While it geared towards younger people starting a business – it features entrepreneurs that are all currently under the age of 30, and often addresses the reader as if he or she is college-age or younger – the material is much more dense. It’s thick enough to be a college textbook, packed with definitions, formulas, and even a sample business plan. While the first chapter of the book was tough to progress through – the material there is very dry and adults are likely to know the very basic terms contained there – this guide is very comprehensive.

I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of starting their own business. The guidance, advice and practical suggestions could save an individual much money and time. The profiles of successful entrepreneurs could be inspiring. Overall, this is a read that is very much worth the time for those interested in business and entrepreneurship.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.