Living frugally even when you don’t have to. Would you? Do you?
Squeaky tight funds or no, we all have choices to make with our money. Even though our children are right on the “free and reduced school lunch” qualification borderline, it’s because of our thrifty ways that there really is money to spare. We could spend it, and of course we do spend… some of it.
Truth is, most of us are The Joneses, whether we think we’re keeping up or not. It’s the not keeping up, though, that can gift us with a little margin in our money. If we had it (and maybe we do?), here are six things we might do instead of spend.
95% of the world’s population is worse off than me. 95%! That statistic alone causes pause when we glance at our 15 year old tv. I’m not perfect, and in no way would I claim that we give all of our excess. It doesn’t happen. God calls us us to give, though, and if we have it, sometimes that means more than 10%.
Prepare for Murphy.
Go ahead. You know he’ll come a’knockin’ anyway. May as well expect the expected and meet him at the door with cash in hand.
Save for a big goal.
Do you have plans for your funds? We recently met a major financial goal that left us doing the happy dance and made all the “not-right-nows” and “maybe whens” so worth it!
No, I don’t recommend saving every single penny when you don’t have to. That seems stressful and notsomuch fun to me. However, tightening the belt and working together toward a common goal can be incredibly fulfilling and a great bonding experience.
Practice environmental stewardship.
Why buy new when “well-loved” is just as good? Sometimes well-loved is even better. The truth? I’d rather spend $5 on a gently used pair of name brand yard-sale baseball shoes than shell out $10 for a brand-new pair at stuffmart that will likely fall apart mid-season. Do I have the $10? Sure. Do I want to contribute to our disposable society? Not when I can help it.
Being content with what we have is a surefire way to increase our blessings. We purchased our living room furniture for a song about 12 years ago, and the uncle we bought it from made good use of it for at least the previous 5 years. It’s old. It’s outdated. (Some even call it ugly.) The couch has a long piece of plywood supporting the cushions, covering holes created by bouncy children. Every so often I rearrange the stuffing that sneaks out of the back, attempting to conceal wear and tear.
Our furniture’s not perfect. It’s not even fashionable. But you know what? We have children! Young children. And we use our furniture. It’s good enough!
Be an example to our children.
Speaking of the children, I know it’s tempting to gift them with their every desire, especially to get them to stop begging right this minute, I’m not kidding would you just knock it off?! I’ve been there. I know!
However, I also know that children are sponges. They soak up our words and our actions. I’d rather my children learn lessons of waiting, stewardship, and saving, than instant gratification. I have no desire to raise children who are given every material thing available.
If tomorrow I happened upon an extra $100, $10,000 or $100,000, what would I do with it? What would you do? (Truth – I’d search out a quality, used truck that my husband could take to the farm with the three big kids. And I might buy myself a McD’s Caramel Frappe. )
“Live simply so that others may simply live.” ~ Mother Teresa