Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Frugal Living

Have I ever mentioned that I love saving money and love seeing how I can make it stretch? I truly do. It's a challenge to me and such a sense of gratification by caring for and using what God has blessed us with. I believe in being good stewards of what you have. Whether that means maintenance on vehicles, ie: oil changes, cleaning and caring for appliances in other preventative measures or simply looking for new ways to wear the same shirt with different accessories, etc.

This is a very materialistic world. How do we combat that but still, for us fashion conscious mommas, still look cute and in style? Hey, if wearing whatever the wind blows your way fits you, then by all means do it! Me, on the other hand do prefer to do my best putting on a reasonably cute and fashionable attire most of the time. How do I do this, you then ask, without breaking the bank? Easy! I do NOT buy when the fall line or summer line first come out. I wait at least until mid season and pay no less than 60-75% off the original retail price. A few years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I walked out of Gap Maternity with over $300.00 worth of maternity clothing for only $27.00. Talk about a savings! I felt so good and enjoyed every moment that I wore those outfits. Because they are name brand, which is what I almost always go for , for a plethora of reasons, I am able to resell them for pretty much the clearance price that I paid for them, thus not losing any money in the process.

I also enjoy accessorizing. This is probably one of my favorite parts of an outfit, huge earrings, cute necklaces, scarves, shoes etc. These are all ways to boost your favorite shirt/skirt. Make the most of what you have and do not hoard. If you have not worn something in over a year, get rid of it or donate it. Clutter overwhelms and encourages us to feel frustrated and desire more. Why do we desire more? Because we can never find the "thing" we are looking for as it is hidden under mounds of other " things", so we go out and purchase another.

Now that we are homeschooling, I can see how managing money and resources is going to benefit us all in the long run. I am such a planner and enjoy looking far enough into the future to plan and anticipate, but not so far that I am living there. I learned that lesson the hard way. Jayden is doing so well in school that at 5 and 1/2 I am anticipating him ending his Saxon Math 1st grade by mid February. So, instead of waiting.....and paying a high price at the home school convention or off of the main site, I searched around and purchased what I needed for a mere $20.00. That is almost an $80.00 savings! See how much fun that is! I can see how homeschooling can be as expensive and inexpensive as you would like to make it. I would like to fall somewhere in the middle. I know that my husband and I can give our children a better education than anyone else can, but how to do it without breaking the bank. I have found so many resources online, in books and magazines than I know what to do with. One, that I am reading now is " Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas".

There are some amazing ideas in here. One that I loved was taking math concepts, adopting it to an interest of the child, ie: dinosaurs, and creating a large map with fields, rocks, caves, woods and ponds, then make nests out of grass and put "eggs" ( small circular holes) and work double facts, multiplication, etc. out of this. I love this idea for many different reasons. One, it takes math and makes it hands on and interesting as well as applicable to a child. Two, it is not hard to create nor expensive. There are so many geography games, writing activities, literature activities, etc. that I could get lost in the book. Again, these are all ideas that do not break the bank but also take invested time over some monetary costs. It's how you want to play the game. I enjoy saving and making our money go as far as we can. My husband and I love that I can stay at home due to financial decisions that we made in high school! Yes, the financial decisions you make at such a young age will effect you for the next 10-15 years of your life. So, what are you going to do? How will you steward the money God has given you in the life situations He has placed you in?

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