Friday, April 2, 2010

Frugal Friday - Looking at the Big Picture

I've always loved shopping. For years we had 2 incomes and no children and no school expenses. It was easy to go out and mostly buy what we wanted. We ate dinner out regularly, treated my husband's younger siblings to new clothes and school supplies each fall, gave whenever our hearts thought we should, and picked up that CD, new clothes item or other treat here and there without thinking about it. Yes, we were truly blessed. Our expenses were low. Our incomes were good. And we even had automatic savings each month.

Then the kids came.

And so did daycare.

Then my job was eliminated.

Then I went back to school.

Then John went back to school.

Now we're sending the kids to school.

Finances keep getting tighter and tighter. And it's been harder and harder for us to just buy something. We have weigh the printer cartridge and kids shoes. We have to weigh light bulbs and car tires. We have to weigh a new screen door and the repairs on the clothes washer.

I really dislike it sometimes. I wish we were back where we were before some days.

But I know something else.

That we're better off financially than we were in those days too.

We don't need all the stuff that we would buy. We have more in savings than we did then. Our spending is more in tune with where our priorities are - giving, saving and education primarily. We aren't struggling with car repairs or home repairs or tuition payments.

Looking at the bigger picture is my boost on the days when I feel discouraged.

I remind myself that having a retirement account to supply us in our old age, being able to send the kids to college and being able to pay off our house before John gets his first call is more important than a CD that I'm going to sell to second hand store in 3 years anyway. Or that new blouse when I have 10 in my closet. Or another toy for the kids when they have a birthday coming up and will be getting a lot of things then. Or being able to go out to eat when I really don't care for the food anyway.

Yes, looking at the bigger picture is a huge help.

What do you do when you're discouraged out keeping on track with your finances?

For more Frugal Friday, check out Life As Mom!

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