By Alexis Busetti Originally published as an exclusive on FamilyChristian.com Photo by David Monje on Unsplash God with us. This is one of those miracles that I hope never grows old to me. The Creator of everything, living with His creation. We see glimpses of Emmanuel throughout all of history, but we celebrate the ultimate … Continue reading The Nature of God
By Alexis Busetti Originally published as an exclusive on FamilyChristian.com Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash Recently I went to one of those group exercise classes at my gym. You know the ones I’m talking about. They range from old school step aerobics to kickboxing to yoga to aerial silks. This particular class was a … Continue reading Three Ways Church is Like Group Exercise Class
By Alexis Busetti Photo by Dennis Ottink on Unsplash This article was first published as an exclusive on FamilyChristian.com I am by no means an expert skier (I think the term my husband uses for our whole family is novice to novice +), but we love getting out on the slopes. We’ve only been a … Continue reading A Beautiful Obedience
By Alexis Busetti Originally published as an exclusive article for Family Christian Photo by Jonathan Sebastiao on Unsplash Historically I spent much of my life as a worry wart, my Grandma Joy said I came by it honestly, so I grew accustomed to seeking out scripture passages and stories about God saving. I looked up … Continue reading Free From Fear
By Alexis Busetti I feel completely unprepared to write about this topic. In fact, this is the second draft of this article because I completely trashed the first one (that I spent days re-working and then published only to un-publish again). But because it’s important, I’m going to try again. I want to talk about … Continue reading Repenting for Racism
By Alexis Busetti My dad used to kickbox. Like, competitively. He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and since he had a martial arts school in my hometown I didn’t usually have to say much during those “my dad is tougher than your dad” debates in elementary school. As part of his training … Continue reading Run Your Race
By Alexis Busetti You’re at a backyard barbeque on a sweltering Texas summer evening. You’re chatting with friends, happily enjoying yourself, sipping your tea when all of a sudden your tablemate smacks you on the back of the arm. You spin around and before you can get out what you want to say, she claims … Continue reading Being Faithful in the Small Things – and Money is a Small Thing
By Alexis Busetti Originally published on Family Christian Jesus gave them another parable: “There once was a woman who had ten valuable silver coins. When she lost one of them, she swept her entire house, diligently searching every corner of her house for that one lost coin. When she finally found it, she gathered all … Continue reading Parable of the Lost Necklace
By Alexis Busetti Originally published on Family Christian Ever since I was in college I have struggled with who I am. I have participated in and led Bible studies on identity in Christ and often felt like it was a concept too intangible to be grasped. Thankfully God is never far from us or our … Continue reading Identity Crisis
By Alexis Busetti Originally published in August 2019 on Family Christian I’ve noticed a trend lately among evangelical Christians - the rebirth of Sabbath observance. Taking one day a week off and dedicating it to worship and rest. It’s beautiful! And for me, it’s familiar. Back in college (almost two decades ago) a small group … Continue reading 6 Things I’ve Learned From Observing Sabbath
This week the gulf coast has been bracing for the potential hit of Hurricane Barry.
By Alexis Busetti Originally posted on Family Christian My husband and I have never built a house. We have several friends who have done it and the process seems incredibly overwhelming to me. I can’t even fathom making all of those decisions. It’s the details. I’m a detail-oriented person (and I tend to be rather … Continue reading Salt of the Earth
By Alexis Busetti Originally posted on familychristian.com The biblical feast of Passover is coming up in a few short weeks and Jewish people all over the world (and more and more Christians as well) will celebrate with a traditional seder meal. There will be matzah, time with family, and a retelling of how God brought … Continue reading Joseph Had a Plan
The truth is, money is multi-faceted. It can even be beautiful! Just like a jewel that catches the light and shines differently depending on how you turn it, each of money’s proper uses stand out depending on your perspective.
By Seth Busetti Is wealth the same thing as having money? There are many families who live so modestly that money brings them no joy and offers little reward. For them money is utilitarian, it simply pays the bills and that’s it. On the other hand, there are many people in America with ample cash … Continue reading 10 Ways to Create a Faith Based Wealth Mindset
By Seth Busetti We used the cash envelope system for most of our marriage. Then a few years ago we switched over to a virtual budget management approach. It was a trial in modernizing our finances. In this post I will summarize why we moved away from the cash envelope system, and why after running … Continue reading Making Monthly Finances Easy – Why We are Going Back to the Cash Envelope System
I can't wait for you to get to know my guest on this post! Her name is Keturah Franklin and she blogs over at Gently Defined Mama. Trust me when I tell you the pics of her kids are amazing on Instagram and she definitely has a sense of style, but that's not what first … Continue reading What’s Next? Paying Off Your House!
By Seth Busetti Learning the discipline of frugality is one of the most important steps to getting out of debt and living within your means. Unchecked spending is like a leaking hole in a row boat. You can paddle as hard as you want, but if the ship goes underwater what’s the point? But to … Continue reading 7 Ways Being Frugal Can Be a Financial Roadblock
By Alexis Busetti Money is a tool, right? We have all heard the misquoted Bible verses about money being evil. We might even have some ideas floating around in our heads about people who have money, like lots of it, like more than us. They must be inherently evil, or surely they have at least … Continue reading 5 Ways Money is Like a Chainsaw
Guest Post by Dena Norton of Back To The Book Nutrition I am so excited about this guest post by my friend Dena! She and I have known each other since our now elementary aged daughters were babies. She is the owner of Back To The Book Nutrition where she blogs, shares incredible recipes and … Continue reading 17 Ways to Eat Real Food on a Budget
By Alexis Busetti Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.” Now it happened that some of the people went out on the … Continue reading Manna? What’s that?
By Seth Busetti Giving doesn’t come easy to everyone. The feeling that we want to give or should somehow give to our local church, missions work, humanitarian causes, or to a homeless person on the street corner is probably universal. But for many people there are a dozen reasons justifying why we don’t follow through … Continue reading 5 Steps to Start Charitable Giving on a Tight Budget
By Seth Busetti Pregnancy checkups. Awkward birthing classes. Maternity leave. Medical bills. Diapers. Food. Child care. School fees. Clothing. Sports equipment. Bikes with no training wheels. Emergency room visit. Swimming lessons. Braces. Car insurance. Collision repair. Prescription acne cream. Prom dress. Kayaking trip. College recruiting trips. College tuition. Wedding. What else? Did we cover it … Continue reading Are Kids Holding You Back Financially?
By Seth Busetti As we help more and more families with their finances, I have come to believe the hardest part for most people is not the numbers, but rather adopting the practice of financial transparency. This includes opening up, not just about what they earn and what they spend, but how they organize their … Continue reading Why is it So Hard to Be Financially Transparent?
By Seth Busetti My mind doesn’t really want to accept that at 39, I am middle aged. But it is true. My kids are no longer babies. My beard is equal parts gray and whatever color it used to be (my beautiful wife Alexis has managed to fend off the effects of aging!). Sometimes I … Continue reading Are You Ready for Middle Aged Money?
By Seth Busetti In 2014 Alexis and I learned a frustrating lesson about saving while we were upgrading to a bigger house. We had faithfully saved and invested, and we were on track with all of our goals, but then life happened. Our single-story three bedroom house that once seemed so permanent started to get … Continue reading 3 Saving Mistakes Everybody Makes
By Seth Busetti In the fall of 1997 I experienced a cultural wakeup call, which I promptly muted. That was my first semester at college, and it offered a chance to break free of the only mold I knew, which was my 99% white, rural community. College promised the opportunity to experience new people, different … Continue reading Overcoming White Privilege and the Cultural Placebo
By Seth Busetti Some things are just lost in the translation. Here’s a fun game I saw on a YouTube video from this guitar-whiz guy named Steve Terreberry. Go into Google Translate. Enter your favorite song lyrics in English, and translate them to some other language, like Japanese. Then, copy the translation and translate it … Continue reading Who Said Filthy Lucre?
By Seth Busetti When Alexis and I got married, we came from two very different tithing backgrounds. Growing up, my family spent a lot of time bouncing between churches, never really finding a home for more than a few years at time. I remember my parents putting money in the collection plate, but don’t recall … Continue reading 5 Ways to Tithe When You’re Between Churches
By Seth Busetti Why do we respond so well to pre-game pep talks? Something in our spirits needs to be encouraged that we DO have what it takes, we ARE good enough. The pre-game pep talk isn’t about X’s and O’s; that’s done in the previous practices. The greatest coaches use this time to provide … Continue reading You Got This! 6 Tips from Coaching Greats to Activate You and Your Money Plan
By Seth Busetti I love that there is an entire community of people sharing their debt free journey on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, or in small groups at their churches. Some people are overcoming oppressive mountains of student loans. Others are unshackling themselves from debilitating consumer debt. You name your social media profiles accordingly. You … Continue reading Beyond Debt Free
by Seth Busetti We have all felt the pressure when certain aspects of our lives start to expand and encroach on other areas. Some things are hard to avoid. For example, life seems to be going pretty smoothly, and then a few trips out of town for work come up. You’re going to be gone … Continue reading Balancing Less and More
Post by Seth Busetti Perhaps I am more stubborn than most of you. When I look back at my life, I realize the times I really embraced change came when I was pushed to my limit. Sometimes it was change from good to better, like a job change, or when we decided that I should … Continue reading Change Comes When It Hurts
Post by Seth Busetti One thing that will always be on your family budget is groceries. Whether you own a private island or are pinching pennies while climbing your way out of debt, you will need to eat. Food for your family is definitely a need, but certain food behaviors are a want. We have … Continue reading 10 Tips for the Debt Repayment Grocery Budget
By Seth Busetti We’ve all heard it or even said it before…"Oh, they’re really making it, big city jobs and designer clothing!” “They’ve done well for themselves, Jack drives a BMW and Meg has her own jewelry company.” “Jeff is clearly good with money, he even has a house with a pool.” “Sue’s parents are … Continue reading The Facade of Wealth
This Post by Seth Busetti If you are like us, you probably value a good date night. Truthfully, I’m not terribly romantic, but I do love spending time with my wife. We love nice dinners, vacations, fancy hotels, and most of all, live concerts! Recently we saw guitar virtuoso Greg Howe at a small Houston … Continue reading 5 Ideas For a Cheap Date Night
Giving and Receiving on Family Christian New Blog Post: Fill Your Tank Articles from Alexis on Family Christian! New Podcast Interview: She's Got Gumption! with Wendy Olson, special series Things We Can't Talk About in Church - Money Recent Blog Post: Form and Function of Money Podcast Interview: Creation Refined with Monica Harris, Episode 11 Podcast … Continue reading Cistern & Grove Featured Links
Congratulations! You just came into a significant sum of unexpected money! Now what? When you receive a financial windfall whether it comes in the form of a tax refund, bonus, inheritance, or some other unexpected lump sum, chances are you have already imagined what you might do with that kind of money. You may be … Continue reading How to Spend a Financial Windfall
This post written by Seth Busetti. At the crossroads of every major life decision we check our personal compass and whether external and deliberate, or internalized but no less felt, we ask “is this going to take me closer to my dream?” Maybe that dream is specific like starting a family or buying that dream … Continue reading Are You Free to Realize Your Dreams?
Alexis sits down with Rabbi Michael Vowell to discuss financial stewardship, generosity, and healthy mindsets on money. https://youtu.be/94iTW4ZoGHU Here is a detailed video walkthrough of our Excel Budget Template. You can download the spreadsheet for free. https://youtu.be/zjoLeecZVD8 There are three essential steps to getting your finances on track. Watch to find out more. https://youtu.be/0cnR_h9QvfU In … Continue reading Cistern & Grove Videos
I spend a lot of time listening to people talk about their financial goals. At the top of the list are usually paying off debt, saving more money, and preparing for the future. These are great motivators! But these alone do not allow for realizing these goals. There's a very important ingredient. The dreaded "b" … Continue reading Tips for Budgeting Rookies
This post written by Seth Busetti. The last few years has been particularly tough for a lot of people I know in the energy sector, such as those working oil and gas exploration and production like me, but also for those in offshore equipment contracting business, or parts and equipment sales, or technical consulting. My … Continue reading Could Your Finances Survive a Layoff?
This post written by Seth Busetti. This was years in the making, and we knew it was inevitable, given our trajectory towards being financially independent and willingness to be counter-culture. But we finally did it. And I got the privilege of cutting up our family credit card! Closing the credit card account and cutting up … Continue reading So We Finally Cut Up the Credit Card
There are two car stories that have been so significant to my family's financial life I want to tell them both upfront. The first of those stories is here....
Cistern & Grove: What's in a Name?
My husband and I went through dozens of name choices (some pretty humorous like "Brunhilde Business" after our sweet 150 lb. mastiff) before finally deciding on Cistern & Grove....
From the time my husband and I were dating, we were always open to the idea of adoption as a way to expand our family....