Friday, February 27, 2015

Frugal Friday

Elise Boulding ~

“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”

Dan and I have lived fairly simply since we were first married.  Some of it started through necessity.  We were newlyweds and Dan was in seminary.  We had no money.  Problem solved. :-)

But over the years, it grew to be a lifestyle that we chose.  We have not been enamored with the latest gadgets or having to have a bigger and better anything.  We chose contentment with material things.  We didn't own a cell phone until this past year.  Our cars have generally been hand-me-downs or used.  Our television was a hand-me-down until Nathan bought us one this past Christmas.  Almost every stick of furniture in our house was given to us.  We just haven't felt the need to have brand new items.

It certainly makes for a much more content life.  I'm content with our little home with it's mismatched furniture.  I'd rather be focused on the people in my life than worry about obtaining things.

It's enjoyable for me to try and make Dan's paycheck stretch.  It's a pleasure to made delicious meals with a few fresh ingredients.  I enjoy the challenge of being creative on a shoestring budget. 

BUT, there are ways that we are not frugal.  There are ways that we are spendthrifts and I would not change that for anything.

$ God always gets the first of each paycheck.  Not just with his paycheck from the church but also any of the extras we get - gifts, income tax return, side jobs, and no matter if we get paid check or cash.  We make a point of making sure that our tithe is the first thing that gets paid each month even if we have to put off something else.  And guess what?  He always provides and our bills always get paid.  We've made a point of this throughout our married lives, no matter how small the paycheck and how big the other bills.

$ We make sure we are honest in our financial dealings.  We don't take money under the table.  Every single sale I get, even if it's cash, I keep a record of it.  If we can't be honest in our financial dealings, how do we expect the Lord to bless us?

$ We open our home to others regularly.  We share what we have and don't worry about skimping.  Again, we always have enough and the Lord always seems to provide extra.

$ We are generous with our time.  We try to be available to people; both in our church and outside it.  If someone needs us, and we are able to, we make time for them.

Some of these have come naturally to us and some we've learned to do over the years.  My point is being frugal does not mean you have to be stingy.  The point of being frugal is to free up your mind from being preoccupied with things to be able to invest in what really matters which is people.  Being frugal frees up your money and resources to invest in the things that count.

And that is when you truly will be able to do more with less.