Monday, February 01, 2010

Frugal February - Entry #1

It's February 1, 2010. We are officially in FRUGAL FEBRUARY! What's FRUGAL FEBRUARY, you wonder? I thought you'd never ask.

FRUGAL FEBRUARY is an experiment that the Berrys are doing. We are trying to see how little we can live on in the month of February.

There are a number of reasons why we are trying out FRUGAL FEBRUARY. Some include (but are not limited to):
  • The economy: We all know that the economy is bad. That's not new news. Thankfully, we have just recently felt the belt tighten a little in terms of Brandon's paycheck and other work-related expenses that were once covered, but are now not covered due to the economy and cutbacks that the church has wisely made. It is nice to know that God is our provider, and He has used Brandon's job to provide for our family in great ways.
  • The discipline: It is good for us to work discipline into every area of our lives. Last month, for me, it was in the area of eating. I finished a 21 day Daniel Fast as I abstained from all meats, dairy products, and sweets of every kind. I never thought I could do it, but I did! Now, even after I have finished the fast, I am still able to hold on to some of the discipline that I put on myself as I choose what and how much to eat. This month we are disciplining ourselves in the financial areas of our lives. It is so easy to become "fat and lazy" in this realm...going out to eat for convenience or just because I don't want to do dishes...buying things at the grocery store that I won't really use or need in the near future and/or that may go bad before I use them...wastefulness needs to end (or at least get a good spanking).
  • The need: I am not saying that Brandon and I flippantly spend our money. In fact, I would categorize us in the more conservative tier of our friends when it comes to what we spend and how often we spend money. We do this for a few reasons, but mostly because we want to have more to give to the Kingdom of God and those who are truly in need. This isn't a "pat yourself on the back" moment...it is the reality of our lives when we live them by our principles and convictions. We usually have enough left over each month to be able to bless others with food, clothing, a nice gift, or even a little help with someone's bills which have had to be neglected because of temporary setbacks. This doesn't just feel good, it IS good, according to God (See Matthew 25:40 for just a few examples of what He says about helping others). Recently, we have had more people express a need than we have resources for, so that has aided our decision to do our FRUGAL FEBRUARY experiment.

That's my rant...I wanna hear your rave. How does your family cut expenses? I want any and all ideas! Please comment and let me know...I'll promise to read them and try as many as I can out.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

great post nicole! i use moneysavingmom.com and southernsavers.com to coupon and get groceries and otehr items for pennies on the dollar. I also cvs to get diapers etc.menu planning is huge to try and use what you already have...Last year we also canceled our gym membership and workout at home and i took roman out of school to teach him at home..these two things alone have saved us 200 a month. We also do little things like never buying paper towels,buying produce at the farmers market etc. I also garage sale most saturdays and get the boys clothes etc there.if we ever eat out or do date night its with a restaurant dot come giftcard and parents/friends sitting...in my blogarchive i also have posts about how we have thrown parties and redecorated on a shoestring budget.well, ill stop now because this could go on forever. You will be blessed this month!!