Guest post from Rachel of The Purposeful Wife
Forced frugality often feels like a bad thing. Making cutbacks, adhering to a tight grocery budget, and preparing all of your meals at home isn’t always fun.
Yet many blessings accompany frugal living. I’ve learned so much as my husband and I have tried to get out of debt and grow our savings. Here are just a few of the lessons gleaned:
1. Often the frugal choice is healthier.
Most of the “green” changes I’ve made in our home were in an effort to save money. Making my own yogurt, cleaning supplies, and pantry staples are easier on my wallet and healthier for my family.
Last year I started washing my face with the Oil Cleansing Method. While it is all-natural and feels super luxurious, it also costs mere pennies to make. Frugality for the win!
2. Frugality births creativity.
I knit scrubbies for washing our dishes instead of buying sponges. I can prepare rice and beans in an infinite number of ways. I’ve scored fabulous finds at the thrift store. I make most of our Christmas gifts.
All of these endeavors have expanded my homemaking and crafting abilities.
3. Frugality curbs wastefulness.
My fridge is usually pretty bare, by choice. Each week I purchase only the fresh ingredients needed for my meal plan, and very little of our food gets thrown out. We also wear our clothing until it is worn out, and then cut it up for cleaning rags or crafts.
4. Frugality shapes character.
Thinking so much about how I spend our money, always being on the hunt for a new DIY project, and frequently trying to trim our budget has made me mindful.
I’m more disciplined and self-controlled than I used to be — though I still have room to grow!
5. Frugality can be the training ground of contentment.
It is easy to think wistfully over what we don’t have. But as Crystal recently pointed out, we’re a lot wealthier than we realize. Not having everything we want, exactly when we want it can teach us to rely on God for our needs, and to be thankful for what we have. We choose how to respond to our circumstances: will we grow bitter and resentful, or learn to be content?
My husband and I often discuss how if we’d started marriage with a large income, we probably would have spent recklessly and taken it for granted. Not having it all right away has been one of our biggest blessings.
If the Lord hasn’t given it to us, clearly we do not need it. With greater income comes greater responsibility. Today’s limited finances are the training grounds of our financial future.
Even if our income tripled tomorrow, I would still shop at Aldi, meal plan religiously, and collect Swagbucks. These are some of the things I’ve grown to appreciate on our frugal journey, and I wouldn’t trade them!
Rachel has been married to her husband Niall for 6 and a half years. They live with their two children in frigid Northeast Pennsylvania, where she likes to drink tea, read lots of good books, and dabble in blogging. She writes about faith, homemaking, motherhood, and marriage at The Purposeful Wife.