Friday, January 8, 2010

Frugal Living

We recently had some friends over for a fun day.  They had wanted to see the farm/homestead and "play" with the animals.  We went out back and shot ALL of our guns and had a general good time.

At one point, after showing off a few neat things we got for christmas, our one friend commented, wow, you have a lot of stuff.  I noticed the sound of envy in his voice.  His wife chuckled, uncomfortably.  It was not my intentioon to create envy in our friends.  They are struggling, financially, so they view our possessions as wealth. 

We are not wealthy, by any standard, let me make that clear.  We struggle, daily.  However, my wife has learned to stretch a dollar bill until the eagle's feathers fall off.  She is just plain good at it.

I responded to our friends with the truth, (which is always the best policy).  The fact is, it may look like we have a lot of neat, cool things, but we don't.  We simply know where we place our priorities.  We purchase things we need and occasionally some fun stuff.  But, here is the point, for all of the things we have, we never pay full retail.

For instance, the nice digital, $120 weather staion with outdoor remote I got for christmas.  My wife paid $20.  Or the brand new Carhartt jeans, two pairs, for $40 I got three years ago and am still wearing.

I could go on, but that would be pointless.  We live frugally, with the intention of being debt free, someday.  We have only the mortgage.  I work a full time job, my wife stays home.  We earn extra monet from our farm.  With this frugal mindset, we have noticed great improvements, over the years.  We have come from totally depraved, poverty, to just poverty.  Sounds funny, I know, but that is the best way I can explain it and it is very true.

There are many things we do without.  We don't eat out much, at all.  We think and pray before we spend, and we try to save.  We work hard at other income opportunities and try to stay within our means.  This is very un-American, really.

A great book for you to read, if you want to learn to make do with less is, The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn (do not ask me to pronounce that).
This book has everything imaginable for frugal living.  From ideas to generate income to fixing thins yourself to making your own, it's in there.

Frugal living is the way most people lived in the not-so-distant past.  Frugality is also a virtue.  It is not something to be ashamed of, but it is something to be proud of.  Look into it and read this book, you will gain something from it, I promise.  I know times are tough and money is tight, but this book could be the best $15 investment you can make outside of a pound of gold.  And few can afford a pound of gold.  Go for it.


Jennifer said...

Great post, it is so true. You and I think alike and I wish we could have animals. Slowly, it is something we want to tackle in the next year or two.

Scott or Pam said...

You might start with chickens. The startup is low and they can be a great source of income.
Thanks for the kind words.