I've been reading lots of frugal-themed blogs lately and between the wonderful posts, great inspiration from ladies like Terri at http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/ and the Lord Himself, I've been feeling very convicted that we (me especially, being the chief spender) are not being good stewards of what He's blessed us with. And so, I'm beginning a journey back to frugal and responsible financial living. Thankfully, my husband shares the same heart's desire to please God so we are in it together.
The first thing I did was to remove the credit cards from my wallet. I get so much more tempted to spend on things I don't need when the credit cards are available. And all it does is add to our debt-load! So out they went last evening.
The second item on the agenda, and one I've debated for a few months now, was to subscribe to our local newspaper. We'll be getting the Sunday (with coupons) paper only at a cost of $12 per month. I plan to keep the subscription for 3 months to evaluate whether it's worth keeping. I'd like to double that amount in savings and by planning my menu and grocery list using the coupons along with the store circulars (only one of our local grocers does double-coupons), I am sure I can save $24 per month. Let's hope so. But if I don't, I'll cancel the subscription and go back to no coupons. It's that easy.
One other thing I know is going to be a must-do for me to stay frugal is to stay out of stores unless absolutely necessary. I work very close to a large shopping area, complete with a full-sized mall and many shopping centers filled with enticing stores all waiting to be explored. Too often, I end up in one of the local money-wasters on my lunch break and spend money I don't need to spend on things I don't need to buy. From now on I will have a plan to stay out of the stores unless I'm there for a pre-determined and budgeted reason. The opposite direction from the shopping area has two lovely parks (one complete with a nature trail) and a public library. I can access free Wi-Fi at the library for days I don't want to be outside and the nice days can be even nicer with a quick lunch and perhaps a walk at the park. Staying away from the stores will be a challenge but I know it's important and I'm committing to having a plan to stay out of trouble.
This is just the beginning. I plan to take it slow so I don't get overwhelmed. But I don't want to allow procrastination and hesitation to set in either. Lots of prayer and planning will be required. But living a life pleasing to and reflective of my Savior is worth the sacrifices.