Great title, eh?
I know, I got all creative on you.
Let, me just warn you...this post, and its brothers, are neither creative nor rocket science. They are just plain, simple, and I think, easy things to do to save money. But, what I do and what you do might be entirely different things, and what I spend money on and you spend money on may be entirely different things. That is why I find newspapers and magazine articles about saving money to be so not helpful. I recently read "Cut your dinners out to once a week instead of every day or almost every day." Ha! We never eat dinner out, so how is that information helpful? Not.
I don't think there is a checklist of actions any one person can do that saves money. I do think it's a mindset, and sometimes I myself am guilty of getting out of that mindset and spending money unwisely. Often, it's only when money is tight that we try to think of measures to not spend, but lately, money is tight every where. Even if money is not tight, it's a good idea to use the treasures God provides in wise ways.
So, the first, and most important thing I want to talk about is using what you have wisely.
I know I have mentioned a film that is one of my favorites, One True Thing. It's not a movie I really recommend to people, because I dislike the end, intensely. It depicts an act which is not of a faith-filled person, and that's all I'll say. But, it does provide some "good stuff" along the way. Meryl Streep plays a woman, a mother, dying of cancer, and her daughter (played by Renee Zellweger) comes home from her single life in New York to "take care" of her mother. Streep's character recognizes that she did not influence her daughter in the ways she wishes she had and tries to teach her about what is important in life in her last days. One line, which I will always remember, because it struck me as so very true was, "It's so much easier to be happy, my love. It's so much easier to choose to love the things that you have, and you have so much, instead of always yearning for what you're missing, or what it is you're imagining you're missing. It's so much more peaceful."
I just love that sentiment. I tell my kids that so often that now they just roll their eyes and exhale slowly when I say it because they know a big lecture is on its way. But the sentiment is so true. How often do we spend money on things that we think we need to make us happy? And how often do we spend money on things because we have not chosen to "love" the things we have, and when I say "love" I really mean "take care of" because we don't really "love" things, do we?
There was a day, and it may be before your day, but it was not before my day, when things were not disposable. In fact, really nothing was disposable, save toilet paper and tissues (and my family could not afford to buy tissues). Honestly, nothing was just thrown away. An empty can from green beans, yes, or yesterday's newspaper. But nothing was made to be used and discarded. And now think of all the things that are used and discarded. An acquaintance once told me that if a button falls off a shirt, she just throws the shirt away because she can't sew on a button. I was stunned. I still am. I get sick to my stomach when I think about it. When shirts are worn out in my house they get used for rags, or, in the case of dress shirts, the buttons get cut off and put in the button box, and the shirts get cut up for quilts. No article of clothing ever gets thrown away. Ach, the waste.
But, before that shirt does wear out and get cup up for rags or quilts, it must be taken care of so that it lasts longer. And that's the point I want to make with this part of the series: take better care of everything you have, from your laundry to your furniture, to your health.
Today's post is long enough, but I will be back with a check list, of sorts, for you to use to gather ideas for money-saving measures for your family.