"Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”
~ Jani Ortlund

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Saving Money

For many years, it has been our goal to not have debt. I read many years ago about saving for items you want or need so that you can pay cash for them. Then you really own the item, instead of making payments with interest until it is all paid off. When you really own something, should difficult times come, you don't need to worry because those things fully belong to you and if necessary you could even sell an item and have all the money from it.

That made a lot of sense to me, and over the years it has been a blessing to not have debt. With the price of groceries and gasoline going up over the last couple of years, we have struggled to keep to our budget, which has meant dipping into savings on occasion. We really hate this. And with my husbands need for hip replacement, we will be living on 60% of his current income.

To prepare for this I am working toward implementing ways to not SPEND money, so as to be able to save. This last year I have learned about making laundry detergent and we also have learned to make our own salad dressings. I cook mainly from scratch. I sew.

For Christmas last year, I made a lot of personal gifts for family and friends, and it was very gratifying to do it. I know I love getting a gift that someone put a lot of thought and effort into. It means more to me than the cost of the item.

Manuela from "The Pleasures of Homemaking", has a really great post with ideas for ways to save and to also meet the needs of others.

It is really easy to get self-focused at times like these but I believe that God would still have us care for one another.

Also, (stepping up on my soapbox here for a moment), how long could our nation live on credit? We have older cars, a riding mower that we call " 'Mater" after a certain character in a movie (can you think why?). But we own these things, we are not in danger of losing them. How many of our neighbors with RV's, boats, new cars every few years really own those things?

It is going to be pretty painful for us as a society, especially since everyone has been lead to believe that they could live like the rich and famous, without the riches to back it up. But I believe it will get people back to being real. We used to have a cash society, not a credit society. Remember putting back to school clothes or Christmas gifts on lay-a-way? Our parents paid a little bit every week for those items and then when they paid the whole bill, they got to pick up the item. Those things really belonged to them, out right. No interest payments, either.

Ok, I am now off my soapbox and want to say that I am preaching to myself here too! I want to be a careful steward of the money that God has provided for us through my husband's job.

I would love to hear any ideas you have for saving money or any links to other articles.

You know, this could be really fun!

6 comments:

the pleasures of homemaking said...

Remember Lay-A-Way! People started using credit cards for everything and it just disappeared.

I'm sorry to hear that your husband has to have surgery. I guess he'll be on long term disability (the 60%).

I'm with you, it could be really fun. It's a challenge to our creativity don't you think? This weekend I'll have some links that I visit for money saving tips.

Manuela

Alicia said...

This is a great post Auntie Dee. Ryan and I are constantly trying to find ways to save money. We too, live debt free and I couldnt feel more free! I love knowing that I dont have this car payment and that at the end of the month on credit. For us, I do a lot of grocery shopping at Target, like for cereals, breads, etc. which save so much as compared to the regular grocery stores (I do the grocery store for produce, meat etc). And some weeks, when a certain produce is high, we simply go without that certain item and find another something that is a better price. I do have a budget when I go to the store and I actually calculate the items as I am going and learn to put things back that we really dont need. Anyways! Grocery shopping is one major area that we save!

Miss Paula said...

Robert and I were talking about this last night. We were going to Borders because he had gift cards and I had BD money. He said gift cards were hard for him because he said "I don't usually want stuff!" I said except for books and floss maybe, I don't either! (Now when I am on vacation in PA that is different!!!!) But we are usually content with what we have. That is why I am downsizing stuff!! The urge for stuff and buying is really a self centered action, or we're buying to make us feel good to mask some kind of problem. This is not always the case but a major reason why we spend. I hang laundry outside to dry to save electicity. Because when it's hot like today, I need the A/C with hot flashes going on!!!

Kelly said...

This is a great post. We, too, are feeling the crunch since Duane is unemployed. I have been going to Green Dragon for produce because it's so much cheaper there than in the grocery stores. We bought extra meats when our favorite grocery store to buy meats at had a one day meat sale, and I always do most of my grocery shopping at a discount grocery store in our area. Then, I go to Walmart for things like soaps, shampoos, cleaning products, etc. It sounds like I'm spending extra on gas going to all of these places, but they are all very close by, and I start at the one farthest away and work my way back.
We, too, have been debt free for the past year, which I am grateful for since the whole country is facing an economic crisis, and we have been living much simpler, and I have always cooked from scratch. I'm glad I like to cook.

Kelly said...

Oh, yeah, we also just learned about Angel Food Ministries. There are many locations and they provide certain grocery items in a box for a discounted price once a month. You can visit their website for more details at
AngelFoodMinistries.com

~~Deby said...

Welllll.....I am not going out as much...I am not spending much time in stores to include Thrift shops etc....and consequently more projects are getting done in my home..cleaning....organizing.stitching, reading....and it feels good....
Praying for our country..what a mess, huh?
Deby