Friday, November 7, 2008

Why do we live frugally?

We live a frugal life. For us, living frugally began as a necessity since we were married so young on a very limited income. Right now, you could argue it is a choice for us, but we feel it is still necessary since we do not own a home and do not want to have any consumer debt. So, if my husband has a pretty good job why do we choose to live frugally?

There are many reasons I can think of. The main reason is because we are Christians. In Matthew 19:16-24 a rich young man asks about eternal life. Jesus responds to "sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." Because the young man was rich he was not willing to give up his wealth on this earth for eternal life and Jesus told His disciples "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Because we live a frugal and simple lifestyle our desire is not for things and accumulating great wealth. If I had to choose all of my possessions or my eternal life, I would chose eternal life! And we have learned in our young lives that the more "stuff" we get, the more "stuff" we want and the accumulation of "stuff" can become consuming.

We plan to live off of one income indefinitely. My husbands income is what we live off of. We don't want to rely on any of the money I make because once we have kids and I am not working it would make that a difficult adjustment. Because we are doing this, anything I earn is saved which is helping to build up our savings and we have no stress about having children, they are not going to be a financial strain to us once they arrive! Since we are content to live off of his income I know that I won't feel any stress of having to go back to work and because of that, I am planning to homeschool our children.

We also don't feel like we deserve things. So many people in our culture feel they are entitled and deserve things they don't work for and can't afford. We don't feel this way. We don't think we have to drive the latest and greatest cars, we are content with my 2002 Ford Escape with 95,000 miles and his 2002 Ford Ranger with 80,000 miles and plan to drive these vehicles to over 200,000 miles and once they are old and unreliable purchase another used car! We also don't shop at the mall. We don't spend outrageous amounts of money on clothing and are content with the clothing we have. Once you get over the need for things and pursuing stuff it is amazing how frugal you are able to live!

We have goals which is a major reason for us choosing to live so frugally. We budget our spending and try to stay within our amounts for gas, groceries and miscellaneous items and try to limit the times we eat out. For the cost for us to go to Cracker Barrel (typically a mere $20 with tip) I can make 3 or 4 meals at home that are just as good! We have really started evaluating this type of spending and reduced it. We are funding an emergency savings and have a lofty goal to have a 20% down payment on a home when we are ready to buy(we anticipate being permanently settled somewhere within the next year). There is no way we could reach this goal without being frugal and watching our spending.

While being frugal we are able to give more to others! This is hard to understand for some but once you get over your desires of having stuff you are more willing to give. We joyfully give more to our church, ministries, purchase Christmas gifts for needy children, and try to bring a bag or two of groceries to our church food pantry once every week or every other week. When I am watching my expenses I am more aware of what it costs to live and the struggles that many Americans have every day about food and other necessities. I can't imagine going to sleep hungry so I try to give a little to help those that are hungry.

Since we are living frugally we plan to have our home paid off before we are 35 and then focus more on retirement savings and children's college. Once these are funded we will have "True Financial Freedom" and will be able to give even more to God's kingdom and giving to those in need around us.

Those are just a few reasons I can think of to explain our frugal lifestyle. We are so happy and content and I credit this to living a frugal and simple life.


Phoebe said...

Hopped over here from Biblical Womanhood...Very well put post!

Rachel said...

Good for you and your husband! That's the way to start out a marriage! My husband and I were married three years ago and are both working to pay off those darn student loans! We have very similar goals too! Keep it up! Jer. 29:11