"That they (the older women) admonish the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Frugal Balance

This week, while reading Lady Jen's (Joy Ever After) posts about finances, I stopped to reflect back on the topic of balance (take her frugality quiz, it's cute!). Is so easy to get slightly off balance, then a little more each day. Before you know it, a little adds up to a lot and it's hard to remember how you got to where you are. But I'm not talking about in the "over spending" money sense. Hard as it may seem, it is possible to get off balance in frugality.

If you are a Christian, I'm sure you've heard of Jesus' teaching on God and mammon (money). What most of us walk away from this story with is: Don't let spending money on things become an idol. Don't love money more than God. While this aspect of the lesson is a true and very good one, I have to say I think there's more.

I would say that you shouldn't let saving money become an idol either. Money, whether spending or saving it, should never come before God and His priorities for our lives. Money is a tool. If we spend extreme amounts of time trying to save pennies and/or your family or relationship with God suffer because of it, we need to stop and check our priorities. I love saving money as much as the next person, but I do my best to keep it in perspective. It is very easy to get out of balance and go overboard.

Example: It's Wednesday and it's the last day for some killer deals at Giant Eagle (our local grocery store that doubles coupons). I've spent the afternoon printing and sorting all the coupons I'll need, making my shopping list and double checking everything. But what do you know, my kids are cranky, I'm tired and we don't really need the stuff I'm planning on buying right now. Sure, I could use those deals later, but our pantry, refrigerator and freezer are all stuffed. What should I do? What would you do?

I stayed home. Yep. All that time wasted. But I chose my children and my sanity as my first priority. Did I regret it? A little. In the back of my head were the nagging thoughts "but you'll need that stuff someday and will have to pay full price!" I doubt I'll have to pay full price for it (sales cycle about every 10-12 weeks anyway) and even if I do pay full generic brand price, so what? It's not the end of the world. Trying to drag two cranky little kids through the store while I'm tired myself is just asking for a meltdown (from both the kids and me!) A few deals really aren't worth all that. And besides, there's always next week.... Learning to keep balance in areas of our lives? That's a Finer Thing!

Do you have any thoughts on not letting saving become an idol either? Share them with us! And check out other great frugal tips at Frugal Friday this week!


Kara on October 2, 2009 at 1:29 AM said...

This is a great point and a good reminder! I don't blame you for not going, but I understand the conflict. Good for you for choosing your family over the deals!

Michelle on October 2, 2009 at 12:19 PM said...

Wow - what a great post! I've recently stopped trying to get every single deal that comes down the pike - it's very freeing, not only on my time but also on my spending. I find I'm able to save more - money and time. You are absolutely right - I made shopping the deals my idol and I needed to let it go. The deals will come around again and if I'm able and have the extra money to spend, I will. If not, that's okay too! Thanks for sharing your heart!

Amy @ Finer Things on October 2, 2009 at 4:21 PM said...

Excellent post. Balance is so important with money. It's important to save, but whether saving or spending... we can't let thoughts of money consume us.

Lady Jen on October 2, 2009 at 9:42 PM said...

Thanks for the link! Great post!


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