Thursday, April 24, 2008

For many years this is what I've thought, "For us homemakers, in some future year, our day will come. Something will happen which will make people seek our advice about how we can afford to stay home, without real jobs, and save money."

I think That Day just may be here.
You know, with the price of gas and groceries zooming ever upward and causing people to rethink how they spend their money, even how they spend their lives.

Each day now I see money-saving advice from 'experts' on tv or in newspapers and magazines. Everyone, everywhere, is moaning about the high price of gas and food and how they must cut back in other areas in order to afford to drive and even, to eat.

Actually, as I see it, cutting back can be an amazingly good thing. It teaches us what's most needed, what's most important. It requires that we let go of what we--most likely--never neeeeeded anyway. Do we really need the high priced cable tv package? Or the fastest, sleekest car on the market? Or the house which, technically, could accommodate 12 people? Do we really need that expensive vacation 'for the kids' sake', or the huge tv, the gym membership, the trips to fast food places (or restaurants), the designer clothes, designer shoes, designer purses?

Do we really need what all the tv and magazine ads as well as our friends tell us we need?

Well, do we? :)

I'll let you answer that for yourself. But as for me and my hubby, we will ask ourselves questions before we buy things. Questions like, "Do we really need this? Could it wait until we can pay cash? Could we buy it used, instead? Do we already have something around the house we could use? Could we make/create/build one, ourselves? Can we trade/barter for one? Do we have something we could sell, first, for the needed cash?"

When it comes to gas: Is this trip to run errands really necessary? Could we make due with what we have in the cupboards? Can we wait until we have additional errands to run, making the trip more efficient? Can some of our errands be taken care of online from here at home?

Regarding food: Can we carve out some space to grow fruits and vegetables? Would a chest freezer be a good investment? Could we cook more often 'from scratch'? Could we use our (free) town library for becoming more knowledgeable about cooking food or growing and preserving it? Can we eat less? Can we do away with packaged foods and eating out (and become healthier)?
And do we realize that by cutting back we are often, instantly, 'going green' in many cases, automatically creating less waste and using less energy? (I am curious as to why lots of Christians don't seem to care about the environment, according to what I've read from them online in blogs, etc.. Tom and I see it as being good stewards of the world God gave us--and being rude and ungrateful to Him if we don't give a rip.)

Well, you get the idea. Tom and I have gotten rid of much of the "fluff" of our lives... the extra stuff. I would say we've tossed the "luxury items", but you know? I believe the real luxury is living within our means and being wonderfully creative with our necessities....
... and discovering how little it takes to live comfortably (as opposed to how much).

As they say, "Necessity is the mother of all invention." And to me, that is one awesome invitation to a fun, imaginative life.
"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." ... Proverbs 31:20,25


Hilmarose said...

"I believe the real luxury is living within our means and being wonderfully creative with our necessities....
... and discovering how little it takes to live comfortably (as opposed to how much)."

I do not do credit or credit cards so I have to live within my means... not to say that I never need any help now and then when things come up,I am on a very tight budget, and like right now my vehicle is down and I don't have the funds to get it fixed at the moment, but I KNOW that Yahwey will provide ALL of my needs... He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
It would be nice if I were "comfortable" and didn't have to think about exactly what I had in the bank when things come up... but to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't trade the lessons in faith I have learned during this time in my life for all the money in the world. The Father has proven His faithfulness over and over again... even if AT THE MOMENT I don't always see it.
Yahwey is faithful even when we are not faithful!

... Paige said...

the price of gas will keep kids from being able to work at the "fast food" places and then they will have to charge more to be able to pay kids to work there. but then no one will have the money to get there anymore much less to eat there. And that means somebody better learn how to cook at my house and it's not gonna be me!
She says as she is planning on what to cook for supper tonight :-0

Saija said...

yes, what is the real "need" ... and what is the luxory ...

Dianne said...

These are such good questions, Deb. One of my new favorite quotations is "The questions we are willing to ask ourselves are infinitely more important than the answers we think we know." Ruth Haley Barton. What a good way to examine our lifestyles and see where we can bring them more in line with God's good intentions. Great post.

Pat said...

I am to the same place in my life, it makes me savor the "extra's" more and not take for granted those many blessings I have. There is abundance in life that doesn't require the use of a credit card.
Wonderful post!

molly said...

good post :) I think I can do without most of that stuff. But if I got to spend more time in the kitchen cooking from scratch I'm gonna need some help. Then I can really go green. It takes a villiage and time is money. Do you know where I can get some rice, wheat and soybeans? They seem to be running out. :P Do you believe that? lol