Thursday, February 4, 2016

On Frugality

I sought some counsel from an older (yes that IS possible) and wiser (no comment) friend about some financial matters.  We had a nice conversation, but at the end he remarked, "You're a frugal guy, you'll do fine."

Hearing that you are "frugal" is a bit hard to interpret.  Does that mean I am stingy?  I certainly hope NOT.  Brenda and I do end up giving away quite a bit of money and other goods each year.  I am generally surprised to see just how much when I total it all up for taxes.

But, stingy, frugal, or tight-wad, I am that.  I spend money only reluctantly.  I seldom pay anything for lunch unless you count the $0.25 for Ramen noodles.  The only time I buy brewed coffee is when I have a meeting in a coffee shop.  We drive old cars, most of which do NOT require collision insurance- it's cheaper to just buy another car.  I wear my clothes until they fall apart, and I mostly buy them from resale shops.

I spend little.  I save much.  Consequently I owe no one anything, except a debt of love.  I need little income, so I am fine, financially. 

Brenda is similar.  She is happy with clothes from the resale shop. She is happy with old autos, and cheap restaurants.  She is not quite as frugal as me, but we do well together.

What's the point?  The point is freedom.  Jesus, in Matt 6:21, tells us, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  Money is often the treasure in our culture, and it is nice to be free of any need to treasure it.  Of course having money is no guarantee we won't be greedy, but it helps not to have to think about it so much.

This reminds us, that anyone, rich or poor, can be greedy.  Some folks can out-spend their earnings, no matter how big their paychecks.  But it is also true that money is a gift supplied by G^d.  He gives us the skills and opportunities to earn $$$.

How we think about it, how we spend it, and how much we treasure it-- now that's the test!

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