Monday, May 23, 2011

Why be a miser mom?

I'm not actually a miser, but it's true that I almost never spend more than $1 on any of the clothes I buy, whether for me or my children.  I cook from scratch.  I do my own plumbing repairs.

We live in a world that thinks the proper thing to do is spend money on ourselves -- as that advertisement goes, "Sure it costs more, but I'm worth it."   Intentionally scrimping on ourselves is counter-cultural.  But I believe that we're happier if we spend our money on things that are bigger than us, things that are outside of us.  I want to be able to help a friend in need, or to donate to a cause I believe in, and to tithe to my church.

It's one thing to agree in principal that we should deny ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow grander visions.  It's another thing to figure out how to do that when we're wandering with our kids through the mall or pushing that cart down the aisles of the grocery store:  do we not buy food?  Do we have to dress our kids like thrift-shop hobos?  And isn't our own time valuable enough to merit those conveniences -- who really has time to mend a pair of pants?

I know it's not easy at first to live a life of thrift and discipline, but most great things aren't easy.  Like making music or excelling at sports or learning to cure illness, living a life of frugality takes practice.  It's something I teach my kids every day, and they're just about as good at discipline and thrift as they are at playing the drums (that is, they're still wild and loud, but they're getting there).

But it's a joy to be able to deny ourselves well, and this blog is about that joy.

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