You have surely heard the description, "Poor as church mice". Growing up, my parents talked about how poor we were at times. When I grew up, I learned that we had never really been poor at all, and that my parents had an upper middle class salary, but were struggling with debt and our family was being suffocated by "stuffitis". I hope to never describe our family as poor. We are tremendously blessed and enjoy a comfortable living. One of the most comforting things about being a preacher family is that I feel confident in the fact that as long as we are dedicated to serving the Lord, all of our needs will be supplied. We will never be wealthy, but we will never go hungry. People working in the secular world do not necessarily have this kind of security.
Proverbs 30:8 - Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion... (NASB)
Still, we live on a single, modest income, and are currently dedicated to paying off the last of our student loans with "gazelle-like intensity" (thanks to Dave Ramsey). By paying off many times the monthly amount of our loan each month, we live on a small percentage of our income and are always looking for ways to shave off bits here and there from our expenses. I am always looking for creative ways to live a frugal, yet bountiful life, and in these difficult economic times, I'm sure many of my readers wishing for the same.
I get very tired of reading silly newspaper articles with "The Top 10 Ways to Save $___ This Year" or some such thing. I never learn anything new in those types of articles because they usually recommend brewing your coffee at home instead of stopping by S-bucks every day, or brown bagging your lunch 3 days a week and only eating out 2, or other things that are rather ridiculous to me. Learning how to spend less is something I'm continually working towards and is as much about good habits as anything. I have learned much by imitating habits and advice given by my grandmothers and great-grandmothers who lived through the Great Depression. Living frugally is a lifestyle, and in my mind a good one. The Biblical concept of stewardship is one that deserves our meditation.
Ephesians 4:28 - Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (ESV)
It is not about being "cheap", rather it is about being temperate in all things and not being wasteful of our blessings so we are ready and able to help others as we see a need.
So we are learning to -
Use it up,
Wear it out,
Then do without.
If you would like to do the same, you have come to the right place!