Actually, it’s because we are frugal that we can afford things. I find it very interesting how people think that if you live frugally you can’t ever own anything nice. Frugal living is about spending the money you do have wisely. We have been working very hard since we were first married to be completely debt free, including our home. As Greg said, “The entire point of living frugally is so that you don’t have to be poor”.
We are able to live on one income because we don’t waste money on things like: frequently eating out, tons of extra activities for the kids, buying DVD’s or video games, going on multiple vacations, high electric bills (we set our air at 78 during the summer & use the fireplace in the winter), buying brand new vehicles, spending tons on a cell phone data plan for every family member (our cell bill is $100 per yr). All of this adds up big. Our home is now 85% paid off.
I hear all the time from people who say you are so “lucky” that you can stay at home with your kids and don’t have to work. Luck has nothing to do with it. It takes hard work and sacrifice! I see tired and worn out mom after mom who “wishes she could be a stay home mom but just can’t”. They spend $100 a month getting their hair and nails done. They are driving a brand new car. They eat out constantly. They are tired and live in houses that are way out of their budget. In the end they are working for things that aren’t even going to be there in a few hours, let alone a few years.
The entire point of living frugally is that you choose not to spend money on things that aren’t important or won’t last so that you can spend your money on things that will last. For us, the important thing is being there for our kids and providing a secure and peaceful home for them. Greg and I hardly ever fight over money because money isn’t an issue for us.
In the beginning of our marriage we made the choice to live within our means. I know many couples who were married about the same time we were, had twice the income and chose to get the nice house first. Now they are fighting constantly over money, always yelling at their kids because they are stressed out, and on the verge of bankruptcy, all because they chose to buy things they can’t afford.
Another point I want to make is that some “poor” people are making themselves poor. I’ve known many “poor” families. Many of them are always paying their bills late and live in run down houses, both parents are working and the kids are a mess, and they’re just so “poor” they can barely make it. The problem is when you start looking at the true picture, all five family members have a cell phone, they have a collection of 500+ DVD’s, multiple video game systems, eat out every day (it’s “just the dollar menu” “it’s just one delivered pizza”) and drink nothing but sodas. This is a case where the family has it set in their minds that they are “poor” so they are going to spend $20 here and there to make themselves feel better to the point that they spend literally thousands of dollars on junk every year instead of improving their financial position.
One of the reasons so many people don’t want to be frugal– because they think that means they must be poor and deny themselves everything. They don’t want to do that and they are also worried about what others would think of them.
Being poor and frugal are two totally different things. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Being poor means you have nothing at all. You can be extremely rich and be frugal because being frugal means being careful or a wise steward of your money. If you want to throw in being cheap (that means you can have money, but you are stingy with it). Some of the wealthiest people in the world got there by being frugal and doing things like driving used cars and many of them still do these things. They don’t do these things because they are poor but because they are wise and frugal.
I’m not telling you this because I feel I need to justify myself but to tell you that it is not wise to judge people by their outward appearances. Sometimes when we don’t have all of the information, it is easy to jump to conclusions about people that simply aren’t true.
With all of the love my family has & shares…..I feel rich. God has blessed us SO much. ❤