Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Re: Would you do this if you didn't have to?

I was reading Mercedes' post today, asking her readers if they thought they would still try to save money, even if times weren't "tight". It made me think about the last few months since I started "couponing". We haven't saved a ton of money yet (though I have a feeling that once I get the hang of things, we'll see more savings add up), but I have appreciated being held accountable for our budget.

I believe that we should be stewards over the blessings we have been given. That means our family and children as well as our home and our money. A wise steward should spend her money wisely. These past few months, I've paid more attention to how I'm spending our grocery budget and trying to find more creative ways to stay within that budget. One advantage of this is that we have a little extra "found" money to put toward our car loan, and when that's done, it will go toward saving for a house.

We never know what life will bring us. The skills that we learn in our times of trial can help us throughout our life, rainy day or not. So even if there comes a day when I don't "have" to do this anymore, I think I will. I love the freedom of living within our means. (One of my dad's favorite things to say is: "The worst place in the world to live is just beyond your means." See, some of his smarts did rub off!) I am grateful that we don't have to live paycheck to paycheck because we are being responsible with the money we have.

Let's face it: it's not easy to live in the Bay Area, especially on one income. It's a sacrifice that Husband and I decided to make so that I could be home with our little ones. Sure, we could have a nicer house and fancier cars and eat out all the time, but we'd miss out on other things. Saving money and living frugally is allowing me to have the greatest job for me: being able to stay at home and raise my beautiful little girls.

What do you think? Would you do this if you didn't have to?


Sara said...

Courtney, I found your blog through the Grocery Gathering. Thanks for keeping me up to date on the latest Safeway sales!

Since I attended the Shopping Cents Workshop through BeCentsAble, I'm an enlightened shopper. I thought I was good at getting deals, but I was just scraping the surface. Now, I never buy anything at shelf price and I'm loving it. It's addicting.

I stay at home with my two children too, and while we're fortunate enough for me to do that, it was a bit of an ego hit for me to no longer earn a salary. I know I've always contributed to our family even if it wasn't financially, but with this new way of shopping, I can almost assign a dollar amount to my contribution. I think of it as my husband making the money, and me saving them money. :)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I like to say to my husband, "If money weren't an issue and there were no financial needs at any place in the world whatsoever . . . . then I would buy this." But of course, that's never the case.

We've been trimming our budget lately, and despite the fact that we live on one fairly limited income, we are able to set aside a little each month (because I scrambled to pay off our debt before I had my son). Even so, I am glad that we set aside this money and try to budget as much as possible, because you never know what the future holds. My husband, for example, doesn't face a layoff, but his job may have to cut salaries next year (gulp!) - but knowing that we are living below our means even on a limited income gives me a little peace that we can handle a minor financial hit.

We are also trying to use our savings each month right now to fund a 6 month emergency fund. It's not easy, but we know that once we reach that, then we can start saving for other things, though I don't know if I can ever imagine owning a home in the Bay area!

Before this turns into a post, I'll stop! Thanks for your blog!