This blog is such an important view of what I am teaching with A Way to Stay Home. I am re-posting it up front for new readers and a reminder for those who have seen it.
"Why focus on not spending? That's no fun!" She said to me. I know the feeling. Just yesterday I saw this saying on a woman's t-shirt: "I'd give up shopping, but I'm not a quitter." Shopping can be fun, relaxing and a day away from the grind. It can also cause a lot of stress from spending money we don't really have, or using shopping to avoid the real issues in our lives. The question is: does it serve us and our family?
Let's take a look at what I am promoting when I talk about Creative Not Spending.
We all know about the money saving idea of not buying coffee from expensive coffee shops. There are myriad web sites based on this one single way to not spend and subsequently how much money is available for other things. For example, at $3.50 per cup per day at the local coffee shop, one would spend 24.50 per week, 105.00 per month, 1,277.00 per year. That's a significant amount!
What happens when a person does that with every aspect of their spending? As a Stay at Home Parent (SAHP) it can be our 'job' to take the responsibility to do this with every part of the household spending. Food, clothes, car, insurance, health, hobbies, pets, house or rent payments, household decor, landscaping, infant and toddler expenses, day care, and so much more. If one can 'not spend' one thousand two hundred and seventyseven dollars in one year by just giving up a cup 'a Joe, what could you do if you really got creative?? THAT's what I'm talking about. It's not about 'poor me' or 'suffering at home' or 'I can't do anything cuz I can't afford it' attitudes. It's about "I want more than trinkets and fancy coffee and buying things that don't serve me or my family. I want vacations and quality time to spend with my family and a college fund for my children and retirement savings and getting out of debt and.....(fill in the blank).
Here's the most important part: get creative. Not Spending and Creatively Not Spending are like night and day. We all know the grouchy tightwad that won't let go of a dime and won't leave the house because it costs too much. This is not what I am promoting. By getting creative I don't mean crafting and painting.
The creativity I am talking about is using your ingeniousness to creatively find ways to solve challenges, to find ways to do without, barter, create alternatives, trade, build, or dumpster dive. Whatever works for you. In my book, A Way to Stay Home, and this website, I give Creative Not Spending Ideas on Financial Management and the Business of Home. As well, I cover topics such as Food, Gardening, Clothes, Health, Vehicles and Travel, Shelter, Children.
In their book, The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley and William Danko introduce it with these words: "When we think of millionaires, we often imagine people who drive luxury foreign cars, wearing expensive suits and only using thousand dollar watches. They're the ones we imagine living comfortably in mansions with several attendants ready to obey their every request. After all, with millions of dollars under their name, why shouldn't they spoil themselves? [This book] shatters that image. This research based book clearly delineates the difference between those who are truly wealthy and those who are living wealthy lifestyles. The first chapter...crushes what we thought the typical American millionaire would look like and dives deep into how they choose to live simple lives. The second chapter is all about their frugality." The frugality they are talking about is .. Not Spending! Keeping your money for you is so important. It doesn't make any difference how much money you make if you just keep spending it. Someone in the home needs to be the one who keeps their eyes on the spending and keeps life simple. That can be the stay at home parent, while the other parent focuses on making money. It makes for a great team. Is it easy? No. Is it worthwhile? YES. Use that creative ingenuity God gave you to find literally thousands of ways to not spend in your life and watch your money grow!