Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A good deal vs. trusting God to provide


 I was raised by a very frugal mother. I used to say she could stretch a dime until it squealed. Most of her penny pinching was for practical reasons. She was a stay at home mom with six children to take care of. My father's drinking consumed much of his paycheck. 

From my mom, I learned to coupon clip and seek out bargains. I have found that even when I have the money to spend, it is way more fun to go on a hunt and destroy mission searching the clearance racks and the bargain bins. There is something triumphant in being able to tell the story of how I pieced together and outfit that would have cost $200 full price for $20. 

While I belief that we are called to not be indulgent and careless with what God provides, I also belief there is a down side to being frugal. I have to guard against going totally the other way and live a life where I am depriving myself when God had provided a way for me to celebrate abundance. 

When my mother died, she owned two pairs of pants and three shirts. All of which were threadbare. Something about that made me really sad. Her kids were mostly grown and she could have treated herself to a new outfit. My mother lived in such a place of fear about money, that she could not trust that God would provide in the future and that spending money to meet needs and even celebrate the joy of how good it feels to twirl around in a pretty shirt and pair of slacks would have been okay. 

I can't change the way my mother lived. I can only move forward and always be aware of when my tightfistedness is not about being smart with money but rather simply not trusting God to provide. God has a pretty good track record with me in terms of financial provision. There is something truly wonderful about going out to dinner with a friend and leaving a big tip for the waitress. That having been said I still can't bring myself to pay full price for clothes and furniture. I always wait for the mark down and the sale. 

How about you? Do you love to bargain hunt? When do you think that spending is a way of celebrating God's provision? What life lessons did you learn from your parents about money, good or bad? 

Leave a comment with your email address. To celebrate getting a good deal, I will be giving away copies of my 2 for 1 bargain books for Love Inspired Suspense. This Mountain series features one of my full length books along with another author's full length book. Such a deal. 



29 comments:

  1. like to buy books
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  2. I have to say that I look for sales and almost never pay "full price". Thanks for having this giveaway! ddwilliams13@gmail.com

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  3. My mom taught me how to be frugal on less. (My mom have seven children.) My dad taught me to read!

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  4. Both my husband and I had parents who were frugal. When we got married and had more money, we weren't! Wish we had learned more from them!
    cpicha@earthlink.net

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  5. Thanks for the reminder to trust God and not the bank account. My dad was very thrifty that way, clipping coupons, loved a good bargain. My dh has taught me to enjoy life more and worry less.

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  6. I absolutely love to bargain hunt. I go to yard sales and thrift stores all the time. I used to say that my home is furnished in early garage sale. fishingjanATaolDOTcom

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  7. I rarely buy anything considered want unless it is on sale. I have had several times I’ve felt buyers regret, not bought something and later went back and the item was gone.
    My parents never seemed to have enough money. They lived pay check to paycheck. I always had what I needed and never felt we were poor. My husband grew up with a father that saved and he does that too. Thankful that he looks after our finances.
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I, most definitely, like you. I was taught to make a dollar go as far as it can. My parents lived through the depression. Then like so many of my time, we lived on one income. Mom was a homemaker baking what we ate and most times sewing what we wore. I've worn lots of outfits made with 4 yards for a $1 material. I was also so happy with my new outfits knowing all the love that went into sewing them. I think I was blessed to have a childhood before brand names became so important. They still don't measure up to me as what's important in buying something. Although, I've found that most times better quality comes with a price, I also know that waiting a while instead of buying when an item first comes out amounts to savings in the long run as does finding in on sale or a clearance. I'm a big coupon person and always looking for ones I can use. You just have to watch the thrill of saving over buying what you don't need just because it's a big deal.

    Also like you, I can see and remember things my parents did or didn't do that makes me sad now. Mom would do without to make sure everyone else had what they needed or wanted. In later years, Mom was also good or bad depending on how you look at it to buy and put back for hard times. When my Mom passed there was a closet full of new sheets and towels - for when the ones she was using wore out. Again, I think it was from years of not being able to find necessities when she was growing up. I think of what she could have done with the money if she hadn't bought all the stuff for "just in case". They kept putting off traveling because of the expense. I can remember my Dad, who was a career Army man, dreaming about wanting to go to all the places he was stationed in the United States just to see how things had changed. They never did it and then health wise they weren't able. Now as we are retired, we have decided to do some of the things we have always dreamed of before we too aren't physically able to go. I'd rather have memories of what we say instead of what we wish we had done. My thing is finding a balance of what we need to feel secure about the future and what our needs and desires are for the present. I think we have worked hard, saved and with the grace of God are at a point that we can allow ourselves a bit more leeway in the spending aspects of life. I think life is about balance. I have faith that God will provide, but also think he makes us smart enough to know how to save for that rainy day. I give thanks every day for the health we had to work and put back for that rainy day and for time now to enjoy those labors while not wasting what we have saved.

    All in all, I love a bargain and free is the best bargain there is. When Mom lived with us with Alzheimer for her last 5 years with the later part requiring care 24/7, I was needing something to occupy my time but allowed me to be in her line of vision. I started using the computer to enter contest and sign up for freebies. It was often the highlight of my day to get the mail and find a package of something I had won. The biggest item and most expensive thing I won was a Big Green Egg with stand - over $1000. I'm not online like I was and don't enter much now but book contest because of my love of reading, but hubby still uses the Egg quite often. I makes me smile ever time we does to have gotten something so wonderful for FREE.

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to win a copy of one of your 2 for 1 Love Inspired Suspense books! Shared and hoping to be the extremely fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. I didn't touch on it in the post but you reminded me about knowing how to make food stretch. I am not a canner. I love to watch the videos and read the articles about how to feed a family on 30 dollars a week or whatever.

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  9. You make a very good point. I think there is a middle ground of spending and saving. I'm not the best at looking for bargains or waiting for sales. That gets me in trouble. I tend to spend too much. That causes me to have guilt over that and it makes it harder to give money. God has been working on me in this area. I'm all set to begin living within a budget that includes practicality and fun. Thanks for the giveaway. racheltirzah(at)gmail.com

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  10. my Mom would grocery shop on double green stamp day & used the filled stamp books to buy her 6 kids b-day gifts! Mom canned food & made everything from scratch, including homemade cookies for school lunches...she also sewed/made our pajamas & some of our clothes! I bargain shop for fabric (quilter) & books & shop at an Amish bulk food store (cheaper prices) badawson16 at aol dot com THANKS for an opportunity to win!

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  11. I love to go to thrift stores and almost all of my clothes are from the thrift store. I do, however, have things I want and don't always save for them. It's a definite fine line but my husband and I have trusted God many times in the past and He has never let us down!

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  12. I love to bargain hunt. We were raised to bargain hunt out of necessity growing up but now I love to do it to save for special things.

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  13. Nothing beats a good bargain. The charity stores are fabulous here. I'm helping myself and others.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  14. I learned to be frugal after an abusive marriage ended and I had nothing but two kids and the clothes on my back. I have a hard time paying full price for anything for myself. My husband tells me I can smell a clearance rack. Blessings

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    1. Lucy you have been through a lot. yes, I always seem to know where the clearance rack is.

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  15. I too am too frugal in some ways. I was a young divorce with a child in the late 60s when welfare was unheard of. I still have trouble spending money at times. jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  16. I like to find a good deal, too! I do like to treat my kids to special things occasionally, but only when I've been able to save the money to do so. amy bradsher at gmail dot com

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  17. Rondaasta@yahoo.com. I’m not always frugal but do try to find bargains often. My thought is if you get something at a great price and it’s not a need that’s still not spending wisely. I’m a widow of less than two years and still learning how to live on less than when he was still here. I’d like to do better but am managing. Be blessed.

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  18. Rondaasta@yahoo.com. I’m not always frugal but do try to find bargains often. My thought is if you get something at a great price and it’s not a need that’s still not spending wisely. I’m a widow of less than two years and still learning how to live on less than when he was still here. I’d like to do better but am managing. Be blessed.

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  19. Rondaasta@yahoo.com. I’m not always frugal but do try to find bargains often. My thought is if you get something at a great price and it’s not a need that’s still not spending wisely. I’m a widow of less than two years and still learning how to live on less than when he was still here. I’d like to do better but am managing. Be blessed.

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  20. I have been raised to be frugal with money, so I rarely buy unless it is on sale. Shelia Hall sheliarha64(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. As we grew up, we were taught by example to be prudent and frugal. To this day I weigh if something is necessary or not before buying it or when there is a good sale price is the better time to actually buy something. Just because I may like something doesn't mean I will buy it, depending on what it is and if it could be useful as well as just pretty. So maybe I don't get everything I might want, I've been blessed to have needs met and often extras. My email: livinginjoytogether@gmail.com

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  22. I love to hunt for bargains. I enjoy going to garage sales, thrift stores, and resale shops. My sister-in-law and I call it "Retail Therapy". :) It's so much fun to look for a special treasure and get a great deal on it. Many times when money was short, God would provide things that we needed through these resale treasure hunts. Many times I am left in awe at His provision! But I also have to remember moderation, and not get carried away getting one too many good deals!

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    1. Oops! I forgot to leave my email. It is: nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Allsion, I agree the hunt is half the fun.

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  24. Thanks for the giveaway! (And my mother-in-law called me the "Coupon Queen"...!)

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