I don’t even know how to begin this post or where it’s really going to go, but I wanted to write something on my journey over the last year or so. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’ve posted financial tips for a while. Tips that helped us pay off debt. I’m assuming many readers think I’m a frugal person and our budget is perfect. Well, no and no! Like many women, I want want want. It takes work for me to be frugal. And our budget is always being adjusted.
About a year ago, I started getting greedy. Always finding myself throwing a pity party for myself because I couldn’t buy this or that, couldn’t get a new car when I
needed wanted it, couldn’t move into a bigger home, couldn’t remodel something in our house, etc. I was making “my own” money now with my Etsy shop, so I justified spending more. And I did. But guess what? I still wanted more and still felt the same things I just mentioned above.
I have since realized my need for greed was spurred a lot by social media, blogs, and Pinterest. And of course my weakness to overcome these desires (lack of getting in the Word). I was wanting what others had. Totally ignoring what enormous blessings I already have.
I’m in charge of documenting expenses in our budget since I do majority of the spending. I noticed each month over this year’s time got worse and worse. We spent more and more. I know we just had a baby and that’s going to incur some additional costs, but those expenses were not that big. It was just the other day that I was going over our October budget with Ryan and he started asking what he thinks have caused the increases. I started looking over past months and tried to notice any changes. To be honest, it was basically a little bit here and a little bit there. More costs in our house budget, shopping budget, eating out budget, etc. I think I have also felt more entitled to spend more since I’m now contributing financially while staying at home as well. It’s definitely lifted some pressure off our backs, but by no means frees me up to spend when I want because “everyone else does.” Do you ever feel that way? Like everyone is spending money and you’re not. Therefore you justify your spending? Maybe I’m the only one. My increased spending was/is very much tied to comparison – doing it because someone else has it and they’re happy with it.
Once I talked to Ryan and had him explain why so much of our budget goes to retirement (I do this all the time to talk me off the ledge), it brought me back to reality. We are living OUR life. Spending what WE make. We are called to be good stewards of the money God GIVES us. Why in the world would I spend like someone else does? Plus, the grass is not always greener on the other side. As a matter of fact, it rarely is. And then I read this…
It was a like a huge slap in my face. Me? Love money? Me? Love wealth? Yikes. God says, the love of money is the root of all evil. As a Christian, this is not what I want. This is not how God has designed me to live. How he wants me to witness to others. Plus, all this is “meaningless.” And it’s so true. I want to store up treasures IN HEAVEN, not here on Earth. There’s nothing wrong with having nice things and having goals for better things, but when it becomes similar to this verse above, it’s gone too far.
We’ve always lived a pretty simple life, but I feel like I’ve been trying to be someone I’m not financially. And quite frankly, it’s wasting my time. Trying to keep up with the Jones’s is tiring We still will spend more money as we get older (higher costs, kids getting older, acquiring new things), but I hope I keep my eye on the (real) prize as we do.
I was driving around yesterday in the midst of my mom and I decorating for Christmas when I thought, I actually want to live a simple life. Decorating for Christmas makes me extremely happy. I rarely buy new décor for Christmas, yet I love it each year. And much of it is hand me downs from my mom or Goodwill finds. Simplicity is sometimes comforting. Accumulate less. Spend less (plus it’s more confusing to write down every expense when you have a lot). Be happy with what I have. Find the joy in the blessings I’ve been given. Prioritize what is worth spending money on and what is not during this time in my life.
It’s always kind of a challenge too. And I love a challenge. I guess this post serves as a way for me to reveal my honesty on this blog, as well as encourage those who beat themselves up about budgeting. It IS hard. I’m preaching to the choir here when I say, find joy in the journey!
In researching some quotes for this post, I came across some cool links on Pinterest about simplicity. Click on the picture for more information.