We’ve discussed the five life standards, now it’s time to start simplifying! Our first topic is money and stewardship.
Someday I’ll give the whole novel of how things worked in my first marriage. Let’s just say I made many, many mistakes, including how I viewed money and credit.
It’s harder these days to get credit and huge loans on cars and homes, and I think that’s a good thing. Choosing to get off the credit treadmill is so freeing. It’s not about depriving yourself; it’s about living by the life standards that we talked about in previous weeks.
Do Justice: How can I be sure my money is not harming others, or purchasing products made injustly?
Learn from the World Community: Does what I want to buy exploit others?
Nurture People: Am I spending my money in a way that puts people first, above things?
Cherish the Natural Order: Is the product I’m about to buy environmentally friendly?
Nonconform Freely: am I buying this because I NEED it, or because I WANT it?
As you can see, it’s not just about NOT spending money; it’s about making purchases that uphold the life standards. Buying fair trade coffee might cost more, but it is in line with cherishing the natural order and learning from the world community.
Tips for Simplifying:
Don’t go shopping. I know, sounds sort of obvious, doesn’t it? I rarely just “go shopping” anymore. In fact, I try to find ways to get things I want outside of typical big box stores. I get my vegetables from the farmers market when possible; bulk grains from a health food store. I try to choose recipes that mostly use those items, and if I need anything from the store I make a list and stick to it. By the way, this applies to online shopping and browsing catalogs, too!
Read frugal blogs. There are lots of them out there, and it helps getting tips from real people. It helps combat the “buy now!” messages with which we are bombarded.
Before you buy anything, ask the following questions:
- do I really need it?
- can I borrow it from someone?
- do I already have something that does the same thing?
- can I repurpose something I already own, or find one secondhand?
- is there a fair trade or environmentally friendly version available?
- can I afford it?
What are YOUR tips for living simply when it comes to money and stewardship?
This post shared at Frugal Friday