Friday, June 26, 2009

Step out in Faith

Frugal living is hard. I never would have thought that being frugal is like having a full time job. You can't just wake up one day and decide you'll be frugal and then never give it another thought. Your money won't save itself. You must be active in your frugality.

When I first became a stay at home mom, I assumed I would know how to be frugal. It comes with the territory right? We cut our income by more than half and our bills went up! I continued to grocery shop by buying whatever I wanted. I still shopped Kohls for clothes and toys. We even still had cable!! Honestly, I'm not sure how we made our money stretch those first few months, it was nothing short of a miracle. Our budget never worked on paper... there was never enough money to cover the bills but yet everything got paid.

After watching my husband become more and more stressed over me being home and not having money I realized I needed to learn to be frugal. It wasn't just going to happen. I had no idea how to save money. I went straight to the library and checked out a stack of tightwad books. The most helpful ones were, The Heart Has it's Own Reasons ( this is an older book but really helped me!!), The Tightwad Gazette, Not Just Rice and Beans, and How to feed your family on $50 a week. I began to study where we could cut back. I started cooking from scratch. Our grocery budget was $150 a month! Somehow I would make it stretch and we learned to use it up or do without. We turned off the cable and used an antenna. I quit taking the kids shopping for fun and started going to local parks. We played in our backyard. We stopped eating out.

We still didn't have any extra money, in fact we often paid our bills late but we knew God had called me to be at home. We stepped out in faith and trusted that He would provide. Was it easy? No way. Many times nights you would find me at the table crying because the money just wasn't there. God would provide every time. If He has called you to be at home, step out in faith. If you have doubts, I'll leave you with one more testimony....

We were living on a grocery budget of $150 a month. One month there was no grocery money. None. We ate up our meager little stockpile and were down to a roast, flour, milk, noodles, and pasta. Our cupboards were empty. Our freezer only had a roast in it. The fridge had milk. I told nobody of our plight. Many family members were not supportive of me staying home with our children, and I didn't want to add fuel to the fire. I was worried. I cried. I begged God for a miracle.

My aunt and uncle who we weren't close to at all called me out of the blue. They wanted to stop by and give us something. They came carrying bags of groceries. Meats, cereal, milk, fruit, cookies, and ice cream. My son was so excited. He kept saying " mom, there's oreo's and milk. Ice cream!! Pancakes!" I was in tears. No body knew how close we were to being out of food.

Step out on faith. Don't limit God, if He has called you to stay at home, He will provide. Faith is the most frugal thing you can have.

For more frugal Friday tips check out Life as Mom


Jennifer said...

What a great story.

Becky w/ Nickels-n-Dimes said...

Wow...this is an amazing story - written beautifully.

Laura Paulus said...

Thanks so much for this post! My husband and I are really seeking God on this topic. It is so hard! I consider myself to be so good at trusting until it comes time to do just that!Thanks for allowing God to use you today to be an encouragement.

shelley said...

thanks for posting this story! I have been home and trying my best to be frugal for over 4 years now. Sometimes it is scarey, but god gets us thru in ways we could never imagine.
My husband is getting laid off for two weeks after next week and I have been worried about how we will get by. But after reading this story I am going to stop worrying, keep praying and trust that god will provide.