By Nicole Newson | September 29, 2017
Although I’d never be cast in an episode of Extreme Cheapskates, (bc I’m not THAT crazy!) I am definitely serious about getting a great deal!! Trust me I wasn’t always this way, realizing going off to college that I never learned how to become a financially responsible adult! Although I worked all throughout college to support myself, I still managed to rack up college and credit card debt and had no savings to fall back on. Looking back it was pretty pathetic the way I viewed money and debt. I didn’t mind taking out extra student loans to get that alluring “refund check” and I saw no problem with paying minimum balances on my credit cards. I was just crazy!
Now fast forward to my life now. I am CRAZY thrifty and proud of it! It took many tears, years, prayer, sermons, books, and tons of delayed gratification to get to a point where I am no longer held captive by my past financial choices. I also no longer care about how things may look to others bc appearance isn’t always reality.
My prayer is that I can save my own children and others from the annoyance of financial stupidity with my transparency. Drastic measures were required to initially change my past poor thinking, however, everyone’s financial situation is different so this way of living may not make sense nor even be necessary for you.
Living within my means has just become a part of my life, starting from a place of desperation but evolving into becoming a better steward of what God has blessed us with.
So how thrifty am I… you ask?
Here are some basic examples:
1. I ONLY shop sales. Pay full price for something? Why? My motto is- Everything eventually
goes on sale. I am extremely patient with purchases bc there is no material item that I just
can’t live without right now.
2. I coupon. (Nothing extreme) Matching my coupons w/ sales has allowed me to save 30-50%
off my grocery bill regularly. I download digital coupons and also use my Kroger points
religiously to save on my gas which is typically .30-$1.00 off per gallon every fill up.
3. I love thrift shops/consignment shops. I buy most of my daughter’s clothes from stores
like Once Upon a Child or Kid to Kid during major clearance sales. My last trip I got the girls and
my nephew a total of 67 clothing items and I only spent $40!
4. I don’t keep up with the “Jones” nor feel the need to purchase all the latest and greatest
items for myself or for our kids. No, I don’t have the newest iPhone and both of our cars are
older but praise God they have been paid off for years. Our main focus with our girls is on
experiences, sharing God’s love, serving others, and quality time.
5. We pay off debts before splurging. If we get a bonus, tax refund, etc it goes to paying off
debts. There were many years where we didn’t take a major personal vacation, yet we paid
off four student loans, two cars, and paid for four mission trips!
I won’t lie it often sucks delaying gratifications especially in the day and age of social media,
but I realize it’s smart to no longer have those debts and interest hanging over our heads
6. I use a budget! This helps us stick to our financial goals and trust we’ve had some rough
patches along the way but God…! My husband and I talk about and agree on all purchases
over a certain amount of money and we sleep on large purchases. I promise you this alone
has saved us from making a few poor emotional purchases.
We live in a time where people seem to have more and more stuff/affluence yet seem less and
less fulfilled and more depressed/lonelier than ever. Discontentment and dissatisfaction are
running rampant and more stuff won’t fill that void.
“I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content- whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.
I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Wes and I are far from rich money-wise, but we have God, love, family, good health,
necessities, and a purpose, so what more do I really need?!?! I imagine that most of us live in
abundance, especially if we viewed our lives based on what we actually need.
For more inspiration and encouragement VISIT Nicole at www.Idowediditsdone.com