Monday, January 13, 2014

Eight Ways to Combat the "No $pending Blues"


"The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life…"
~ Proverbs 31:11-12 (NKJV)


"The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands."
~ Proverbs 14:1

Many of us were (or are) accustomed to heading out to the malls for a few hours of leisure. Once a necessity, shopping has turned into quite the hobby for the American public! But when cash is tight, it is more than recreation, it is an addiction that must be stopped before you run your household desolate. The next time you have that urge to spend, consider these happy options:

  • Organize What You Have
Organize all your belongings and streamline your home. This will give you a great sense of accomplishment and the realization that you probably already have everything you need. It will also aid you in running your home more efficiently and give you purpose to maintain what you have instead of bringing in more items to upkeep.

  • Rearrange
When you rearrange your furniture, it gives you that "new" feeling without spending a dime. Focus on one room a month. In our home, we have an autumn/winter arrangement of furniture which keeps the fireplace as the center of attention. In the spring/summer, I move everything around the coffee table where we gather with our iced-tea glasses and games.

  • Remember, Repaint, Recycle, Refurbish
Dig through your attic or basement and repurpose your old cast off's. When you sift through your surplus of goods, you will probably find something that you forgot about that will be "new" to you. A coat of paint does wonders and gives items a fresh identity. We usually have old cans lying in the garage and I make do with the colors we already have (mix the hues to create more volume or a new color).

  • $ell Your Excess
If you really need to purchase something out of necessity, sell off your excess first and recycle your money back into your wallet. Garage sales, eBay and Craig's List are all easy ways that you can market your goods from home. Just use caution and make sure your husband is home prior to accepting a stranger inside or you can always meet in a public parking lot for safety.

  • Alter What You Own
Altering your clothing is another way to bring the "new" back into your wardrobe. Go through your closet and fix the waistband of that once-favorite skirt, add a new panel of fabric to the bottom of your old skirt and replace boring buttons with pretty ones to give an updated look to an old blouse, etc.

  • Learn New Skills
Lean times can be the "glean" times. Your local community (library, craft stores, etc.) and many websites offer free classes in which you can learn new skills. These skills will enhance your life, teach you to enjoy hobbies at home and thus remove the need to shop all of the time. These are tools that can be passed down to your children and grandchildren like a perpetual gift that keeps on giving.

  • Love Your Library
Ah, the library is the heavenly headquarters for the thrifty minded woman! So many books to inspire you in all areas of life and they are free for the taking! Learn how to ferment, embroider, clean your house, knit, crochet, sew, can, craft, woodwork, etc. Read inspirational biographies that will teach you to count your blessings instead of spending more money. Knowledge is priceless and yet, it is absolutely free when you spend the time to acquire it!

  • Get Creative
I have noticed that the times the money is the tightest are the times that I become more creative and resourceful. That is always a challenge and it can be fun to do productive projects on a budget. Here are some  practical and inspirational posts to get you started:

May you be a blessing to your household and start curbing that spending habit.  May you be amongst the contented women that realize the best things in life aren't "things". Most importantly, may you be that heaven-sent angel in your earthly home since...

"a prudent wife is from the Lord" (Proverbs 19:14b).

26 comments:

  1. Great advice, JES! Case in point - Cleaning out the basement I ran across an old phone table that I started refinishing years ago then set aside when more pressing projects emerged. Consequently, it got buried behind things I needed to store. Now that I've found it again I plan to entertain myself with that as soon as the weather warms up enough to get it outside. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Sounds like a fun project! Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. Great post! I love each and every point you made! I have been wanting to write a post on altering a skirt I made, but need to get up the courage to "model" it for the post!;)

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    1. I would LOVE to see the skirt! Please post soon :)

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  3. What perfect timing. Since becoming a stay at home mom I have never had the means to shop for entertainment, but our current situation is so very tight that we have $10 to last us 3 days. Never before did I think needing toilet paper and garbage bags at the same time would constitute a crisis! Our trips are planned to the mile and there is no room in the budget even to go to the library. At these times I start to throw myself a justifiable (to me) pity party. I suddenly wish for the freedom to buy little things that seem to be a need, but that I can probably live without. Thanks for the ideas to lift my spirits.

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    1. I hope some of these ideas will bless you! And more importantly, that He may bless you with wisdom and courage to persevere and shine through it all! And a prosperous 2014… Love, JES

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  4. JES,
    This is so very helpful and applicable to our life right now. For me, I have found the most success in selling our excess and altering things/repurposing what we have, but don't use often or need. Our decreased income since my husband sold his business (and the profit from it wasn't so great) has made us more thankful all round~ that is a real praise as we rely on the Lord more and our resources and abilities less!
    I pray for you all often. Please pray for me to be more focused and less random, especially in my blogging. I am having trouble with a lack of direction as the multiplicities and taking on the financial cares of our Papa are draining to say the least. Clinging to Jesus!
    Love in Him,
    Jacqueline

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  5. Love this post!!!! As we try to get rid of the last amount of debt we owe this really hits home. Thanks for all the encouragement you provide.

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    1. You are welcome and thank YOU for stopping by :)

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  6. I absolutely LOVE these ideas and have a few in my own arsenal. I have been feeling that itch to shop more often lately than ever, and it always comes to mind that I likely HAVE everything I need, and that I should just go look at all my stuff and it will make me feel better. Great advice, Jes!

    ~Kristi@The Mind to Homestead

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    1. Thanks for sharing here today Kristi :)

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  7. This is such an excellent post, JES! And it came at the perfect time for me...since my dear family and I have moved in to a new home the urge is there to want to "update" several items, but your post has reminded me that we have what we need even if it's somewhat worn out. After all it's still functional :) Thank you so much for sharing this! Hugs and blessings to you!

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    1. Hope the rest of your move goes smoothly :) Nice to hear from you!

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  8. Your posts are so encouraging. I've lived through hard times and many would say my family is living through a hard time now. I've found how I look at things and the creativity that I employ makes all the difference.
    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. Very true :) Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Jes - this is wonderful and it is how we have made it through some rough times.... I make it a habit of "shopping" in my house... "would that bookcase work as a base for that cabinet upstairs?" "I need a little table.... can I switch one to a different room for now?" Works well..... Thank you for sharing this. :)

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    1. That is exactly it Joy! I do the same thing :)

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  10. Great post filled with lots of tips and ideas. I love the links to other posts. Thanks for sharing these ideas. I'll be back to read a few more posts!

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  11. What great hints and tips to stop spending, I really enjoy moving furniture around, we always say that a change is as good as a holiday. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  12. I LOVE this post! Such wonderful wisdom and advice! I am feeling God call me into shedding excess, making do with what we have, and avoiding stores as much as possible. If we don't leave home, we will not be tempted to spend money unnecessarily. Knowing we will one day give an account of our stewardship is weighing heavily as we enter in to this new year. God help me to be more faithful to Him in all areas!! Thank you for posting this edifying post! God bless you in the new year!

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    1. Very true, by simply staying home, we can save much money and financial sorrow. Hoping you stay focused on all good things this year!

      Thank you for visiting :)

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  13. Jes I love this....May you be a blessing to your household and start curbing that spending habit.

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    1. Thank you Tracy for taking the time to share. I have seen many a poor husband struggle financially because of women who over-spend. I want to be a blessing, not a burden! :)

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