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Talk about thriftiness! This is an old post office mail box that was made into a bank with wood pieces that were stained and finished. When you are thrifty, you find ways to repurpose other people’s junk. You can make a living doing this!

This week we are talking about thriftiness. –How can I make the most of what I have?  How can I make my money stretch?  Am I thankful for what I’ve been given?

“A man’s treatment of money is the most decisive test of his character–how he makes it and spends it.”–James Moffat

“A penny saved is a penny earned.” Boy, did I ever hear I that a lot growing up. Does anybody save pennies anymore? Do we even save our dollars? What do you spend your money on?  Are you living paycheck to paycheck, wondering how you’re going to survive something like this virus for 2 maybe 3 months or longer?  Are you up to your eyeballs in debt?  Many Americans are. They just keep borrowing, borrowing, borrowing. Do you have emergency cash stashed in a savings account somewhere to help get you through?

Oh, if you could talk to people who had lived through the depression, they would be able to write a book on how to be thrifty.  They saved everything!  My father-in-law would take very thing that was salvageable from anything that was broken and save it: screws, wood, whatever. My mother-in-law was the same way.  If anything had to be thrown away, it had to be thoroughly unusable for any other purpose.  You never know when you may need an extra screw, nail or piece of wood.  I’ve known people who will save plastic cups, forks and napkins from restaurants.  These people lived through a depression and were dirt poor. They knew all about thriftiness.

Being thrifty can help in tough times, especially when things are tight, like now, during this Corona virus pandemic.  I think that we are all going to learn how to be thrifty, whether we like it or not. I’ve learned a few things over the years that I’d like to share.

Let’s start with the basics.

7 ways to be thrifty:

1). Check out  Dave is a guru in money matters and he has a killer Budget worksheet that will set you straight and get you started thinking about saving money.

2). When you go to the grocery, use coupons to save extra money.  Stock up on the really good deals that you can only get 5 of on a Friday or Saturday.  Sign up for the store’s rewards program.  If you purchase groceries with a credit card, be sure you have one that gives extra percentages for food and groceries.  Use apps like Ibotta to save even more.

3). Stay at home and cook your own meals. Home-cooked food is more nutritious than fast food.  Learn the skill of cooking! Teach your children.

4). Reuse, repurpose old clothing.  Make quilts, or pillows.  Get crafty.  Be creative. Pinterest has a lot of ideas.

5). Cut back on TV expenses. Find cheaper ways to entertain yourself. Quit watching so much TV! Learn a new skill. Read a few books.

6). Play games with your kids instead of taking them shopping or to movies.

7). Get clothes at garage sales and Goodwill. You don’t have to have name brand stuff.

Thriftiness means being able to sacrifice a few things you think you have to have now, for later.  What’s really important in life? It’s not all the stuff we have. (Check out my other post on Hanging onto Stuff. ) It’s the people in our lives and the relationships we have. Honoring God with what He gives to us and being grateful for what we have.  It’s learning how to do without some things and sacrificing the urge to buy with the desire to save.

So, get started. I encourage you to get on a budget, if you aren’t already.  Visit Learn a new way of life without debt, without credit.  Let’s learn to be thrifty.  Start saving so you can live a life that is full, a life of less stress, a life where you can give to others out of love.

I am a living testament that it can be done.  It doesn’t happen overnight but through consistent practice, determination and action, you can be debt free. There is so much peace and joy that comes from not owing anybody anything.

If you want some coaching or encouragement you can find me on my Facebook page, Character & Virtue, LLC.  I just created a private group, if you’d like to join.  I’d be happy to help/teach/coach.

God bless–Barb