“I don’t want saving money to be what consumes me.”

Guest post by Lacey Wilcox at Live Loved

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re on this website because you have a desire to save money. I’m right there with you.

Like many people, my husband and I have made achieving complete financial freedom as one of our goals for the new year. Together we’ve created a budget, told every penny where it is going to go, fought to maintain “gazelle-like” intensity (you’ll only appreciate that if you’re a Dave Ramsey fan), and worked to see that it all happens.

I have loved how each of us has our own unique role in this goal. For my husband, that role involves working to earn an income, being our spiritual leader, and taking care of things that are above and beyond me (things like knowing when it’s time to rotate the tires, or change the oil).

My role, however, is a little different. I get the blessing of taking care of our home, and more importantly, our sweet baby girl. While my husband earns the income, I try to make sure we spend as little of it as possible. Websites like MoneySavingMom.com have become my best friend. Couponing is becoming an art form. And getting things at the lowest possible price is now, well, an obsession.

I think about it constantly, read tons of websites and ads throughout the day and cut coupons like crazy. (Please tell me I’m not alone. If I am, just don’t let me know.)

It’s a noble obsession. I mean, who doesn’t want to help their family save as much as possible? What could be wrong with something like that?

Nothing is wrong with it. Not one thing at all.

In fact, I think such a desire shows responsibility, diligence and good stewardship. For me, I feel it is a part of fulfilling my call as wife and mom, one that I am so humbled and honored to receive. So I repeat, there is nothing wrong with wanting to save money, and doing what is necessary to carry out that desire — unless it becomes an obsession.

The very definition of an obsession is something that eventually consumes you. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want saving money to be what consumes me.

And so, I find myself already tweaking my New Year’s resolutions (Okay, to be honest, I had never really set official resolutions to begin with, but you get what I mean).

I want to save money. I mean I really want to save money. But with everything I do toward that, I’m going to check my heart and mind constantly to make sure that my motives are coming from a pure heart, and not one that is consumed.

My guess is many of you have already been at this place. What suggestions do you have to help keep a right perspective on saving money, without making it an obsession?

Lacey Wilcox lives in the Panhandle of Texas with her husband, Kade and sweet baby, Selah, where they manage Panfork Baptist Camp. Lacey writes about adventures in marriage, mommy-hood, and camp life at her blog.

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Comments

  1. Tessa says

    thanks for this reminder. got a wake up call yesterday when my husband and i both went to the dentist. we don’t have dental insurance and found out that we are both going to need some very unexpected work done. we were planning on paying off our car by this summer…instead we will be paying for our dental work. so…God put things in perspective that He is in control…not me…not my plans. thank you.

  2. Jena says

    What a great, thought-provoking post! If anything is “consuming” me other than my relationship with the Lord, be it couponing, my children, or my marriage, then I am in sin. Balance and keeping our hearts in check is vital!

  3. Traela says

    I SO agree! In this economy it would be so easy for it to become an obsession. I definitely believe that God wants us to be wise stewards of what He’s given us, but not let it consume our thoughts, time, and lives. Thank you for being transparent and sharing what many people may be struggling with. Blessings.

  4. Jill says

    This post was great. I had been couponing for a while and probally was “obsessed” before I was laid up in bed with strepthroat. I missed a week of couponing and I did not even miss it. I realized then that I needed to find a balance. I still love couponing and getting that great deal but I feel less stressed about it and don’t worry I miss I a night or even a week being on the computer to help me get that great deal and in the end I will be OK.

  5. says

    For me, I found that the saving money could start to start to consume me, when I realized I am thinking more of myself than others. We live in a smaller town and if I buy 100 boxes of pasta because I can get it for free and no one else can get any before they can get another load in, I am not living my Christian walk and thinking of others. I have to make sure I think of what I can use, to have enough to share someone else, and then think to leave some for the poor lady who drove 80 miles to the grocery store to get some pasta…..since that happens here alot and I have been the poor lady who only comes once a month to shop and finds someone cleaned out all the stock!

    • Stacy says

      Thank you. People are more important than things. (already said by a prior poster, but appropriate here too)

  6. Jennifer says

    Great post! I was completely consumed with deals when I started couponing as I was blown away by how much money our family could save. Loved getting the deals, but didn’t like how it was taking so much of my time. I prayed for balance and eventually found that it was okay to take a couple weeks off as there was always another sale. Now I’m not so stressed if I have to buy an item and don’t have a coupon. I try and just be thankful that the majority of the time I am able to get an item on sale and with a coupon. It makes a huge difference.
    I also like being able to save by getting cheap toothpaste and razors, so I can spend more on different ministries that I want to support!

  7. Carol says

    I so appreciate everyone’s comments about how their husbands perceive their couponing.
    Our husbands are a great barometer of where we’re at with couponing!
    I hadn’t realized that it was becoming an obsession with me until my husband became angry with me while I was talking about yet another great coupon deal.
    He’s always been very supportive of me and proud of my efforts; but he confessed that my obsessiveness was beginning to cause him to feel like he just “wasn’t enough” as a provider. In my “pride” over my ability to score good deals, and steward the money he was bringing home, I was unwittingly making him feel like he’s not doing enough (and he earns a fantastic salary!)
    It was definitely a huge wake up call for me that I needed to repent, and restore balance in my life!! The value of my relationship with my husband: Priceless! :0)

  8. Angel G. says

    When I first started couponing, I drug my hubby and two children all over town to save less than a dollar a box on things like pasta and was buying toys and board games that just messed up the house. My hubby and children were miserable, and all I could think about was the good deals I was getting. A few months in my husband asked had I realized that I just waisted a gallon of gas and forty five minutes to save 25 cents a box on pasta. Another month went by, I had a garage sale and guess how many “good deal” toys went? Keeping in mind that a good deal must include the minuses…
    good deal – gas – time – storage space – ware and tear on family = worth of the item

  9. says

    I think that it is so important to keep this in perspective! Obsession with money, even if it comes from a good place, is toxic. I keep myself in check by remembering that I don’t have to be perfect. There have been times that I have spent hours couponing, only to not even get to the store! I find myself get into a situation where I coupon for hours and then feel burnt out so I don’t keep up with it. In those instances, I remind myself that I’m doing my best and its okay to not be perfect!

  10. says

    I feel your pain. About 10 months ago I got into couponing hard and heavy. I had my nose in every sale ad or every online site I could find, just to find another coupon. I was at CVS about 4-5 times a week (granted it’s right next door to my job) but I was consumed with this. I would buy way more than what my family needed, donate some to charity or my sisters family. But it was getting crazy. People at work said I needed to go to coupon rehab. Now I give myself a budget on groceries and pretty much stick with it. Menu planning is a great way to stay on budget and much easier when dinner time rolls around. I think having a plan and budget for everything will let your mind rest a little and enjoy your family. Like Cheryl says, No Women is Super Women!!

  11. Jenni Georgeson says

    I, too, became obsessed with couponing when I felt like it was the only way our family could stay within a budget; it consumed all of my free time, and became a matter of personal pride. Then I realized how stressed I was, how exhausted, and it didn’t seem to matter to me to save a few dollars when I wasn’t enjoying my family. I also started competing against numbers I found on blogs online, and would feel bad if I couldn’t stay within someone else’s budget.
    Right now I don’t use very many coupons, and it’s ok! I know how to shop well, I know how to stay in budget, and I’m much less stressed when I think less about shopping. I’ve also come to realize that food is my passion, and it’s ok to splurge on your passion, within your budget guidelines. My husband works in entertainment, so we get a lot of free tickets to shows. We keep our expenses to a minimum in every area that we can, we pay an honest tithe, and we are grateful for everything the Lord has given us. If those things are all in place, the rest of the budget works itself out. Every. time.

  12. Liz says

    My advice is to take scheduled time off from couponing. For me, this is usually in the summer. Not only does it eliminate that feeling of it consuming you, but it allows you to use your stockpile. I will only seek out deals during this time that I always need (for me that is razors and detergent).

    Also – once you get a grasp on what your family needs, what a good deal is, and how much money you can spend, the “consuming” feeling tends to subside and it becomes just a way of life.

  13. Libby says

    I also was consumed by couponing at first. It was so amazing to me how we could find such great deals and how much money I was saving. I lived and breathed couponing. Now I’ve got it figured out what works for our family, what we really need, what is easy to donate and I don’t fret if I miss a sale cause there will always be another one and God will always provide. I also found my house was getting too stacked up with “free” items and I was looking like a crazy “freebie” lady. I don’t talk about it as much anymore but I am a much more conservative shopper than I used to be and I believe God blesses us for being wise with the money He has given us. It just takes time to figure out what your family needs, how often items go on sale, what you can donate and eventually you will have it down to a science and it won’t take as much of your time. Hang in there.

  14. Amy says

    The messages above have been like 100 whispering voices that my heart has been waiting to hear for awhile now. I have been obsessed with couponing for my family for a year and a half now, and like Lacey, I worry that it will consume my life, my marriage, my motherhood, my friendships, my job. I have been slowly starting to pull back my OCD behavior and I now find myself even more rewarded in all areas of my life. I strive for better balance across my life and I truly thank Lacey for the inspiration in this post, and to all the wonderful women who have felt moved to share their stories and their inspirations here! All your whispering voices are truly helping hold my spirit high!

  15. shanna says

    Just wanted to encourage to strive- by God’s grace- to prioritize, not just in the use of our time (which is also God’s, that we need to be good stewards of too), but also in why we are doing what we are doing. We don’t want to be so consumed with saving money that the focus is money, but on blessing first our husbands and children that God has given us the role and resposibility to care for and love. For example, you may be getting lots of great coupons, sales,…but are the items even beneficial/healthy for the ones you are caring for? Many times they are cheap and great ‘deals’, but laden with harmful chemicals, toxins, preservatives,….that we are putting into the ones we love. NOT a blessing or benefit to those who are under our care :( and stewardship. Prov. 31, Titus 2,…
    Pray constantly for wisdom, strive to trust God’s sovereignty and provision of money and how to use it (He is the ultimate Provider),
    be discerning, sensible,………..

    praying and striving to humbly do the same