In some ways, this month has been a real stretching experience, and in other ways, it's flown by and I barely even noticed that I wasn't spending any money. It's encouraging to know that life doesn't seem deficient or lacking when I am not purchasing things. It's also been wonderful to remind myself that I can provide delicious and healthy meals for my family, and be hospitable towards others, even when on a shoestring budget.
I promised that at the end of this challenge, I would let you know the percentage that we were able to save this month. Our usual savings every month is around 10%. With all the scrimping and saving we could muster (and a few unexpected little expenses along the way, because life is never, ever perfect and predictable), we saved (drum roll, please)...
(my husband asked me to mention that this is his late-night, quickly calculated number, but he thinks it is pretty accurate)
A few reflections and lessons learned (or re-learned) during the challenge:
- Even when we are denying ourselves many of the things that we usually purchase or enjoy having, we still have such an incredible abundance- compared to so many people, we are truly rich, even when we are living off of the littlest possible
- When you cannot just go and buy what you want (or think that you need), creativity abounds!
- Just when I would think that the meager amounts of food in my house couldn't sustain us any longer, I had the privilege of providing a meal for a family from church and making a snack for our homegroup- and God was faithful to guide me to use what I had to bless others as richly as possible
- I never "need" a Starbucks, although I will thoroughly enjoy my first guilt-free latte!
- My wardrobe isn't really all that dire and pitiful
- Borrowing is often much better than buying something
- Fun is usually made, not bought
- Not going shopping takes away most of the temptation to spend money!
- It feels so good to be in control of our money, not the other way around
- If you participated in the challenge, tell us how you did!
- If you didn't fully participate, but tried to spend less, how did that go or what areas did you find you were able to save in?
- If you just found out about the challenge recently or just weren't
in a season where you felt that it was doable for your family, then let
us know some saving/paying off debt goals that you have (no need for
amounts, just general goals)
- Or if you just want to get in on a great giveaway, share with us one of your tips for spending less or saving more!
Thanks so much for joining me in this frugal adventure! I know that your families and especially your finances thank you, too! I hope that you found it valuable, and that it challenged you, as it did me.
Be sure to come back on Monday to find out the winner of the giveaway!