I am no expert on living frugally. Unlike how my husband lived, I dont have to eat oatmeal because there is no money for anything else. I had a Daddy that had a well paid job and we lived as your average american family. I remember my mother telling me stories about how grandma would work for my uncle so she could buy some much needed new panties.
Any number of us are frugal for a reason. Fear of debt, trying to get out of debt, love the challenge, because we have to, etc etc etc. Whatever the reason, sometimes the challenge of being frugal is more than we can take.
I am blessed in the fact that I have not had to make a huge financial decision of either paying the gas bill or the water. In fact, we have upped our mortgage payment so we could pay it off quicker. But to those that have to make that decision, frugality is a survival game. And we learn from them. Their mistakes help us. Our mistakes, teach us. All around, we still have much to learn.
I read in last week’s? LA Times, the glaring headline- Being Frugal is “In”. Of course after I picked my jaw up off the ground and wiped up the spilled coffee, I had a good chuckle. “In”? Nothing is “in” for long. Pretty soon, people will tire of not getting what they want and they will go back to their regular spending habbits. Anyway, reading further on, here was their great examples of frugality; One woman was being frugal by not spending $300 for a pair of jeans and saving it for a day at a spa resort. Again, jaw picked up off the ground and heart back in its regular position. $300! I cringe when I spend $3 for a pair of jeans and I know that is a good price. I guess in a way, green is still in…
When you read a page like that and turn to your mail and see missions in Africa who are pleading for donations to give these people a GOAT, so they can EAT, survive, not have to sell their children for food. Can you not see the vast culture difference? I dont mean, start eating beans and rice as penance. God knows I dont put that $14 that I would buy a new book with and send it to them instead. But if you are having to make a decision whether as to spend $300 for a pair of jeans that look just as well as say a $50 pair of Levi’s and having a spa trip, why doesnt a little nudge bang you on the head? Are you really going to wear those jeans until they are hanging by a single thread?
Ok, if you have the money to spend, why not? If you are going into debt to do this spending, Woah partner. Hold on. If you are constantly, weekly, monthly, doing this, A) I would think you have enough jeans to clothe Africa and B) Why not help someone else that struggles to buy a $10 pair of jeans? (sidenote: If you love giving/donating, please check out donation centers. Some are more for personal profit than charitable help. It helps to know. )
Ok, way off topic where I started this. Frugality, yes, whatever the reason, it all boils down to, contentment. Being frugal can mean, learning contentment. If you think of the depression era, many were forced to learn this quickly. What a wonderful thing we have that some of us arent forced too yet, yet we are learning to do without!
I guess this turned more into a rant than a helpful post but to those that wonder why we are frugal, here is one writers goal;
To pay of house and put cash down for a house that will hold all of us and our hobbies
To live like no one else so we can live like no one else (Dave Ramsey’s motto)
To be able to be at a financial point where we can help those in our community, those that sail across the seas to be missionaries to those in need.
Whatever our goals, we hang in there… one coupon, one dollar, one day at a time…