Saturday, October 9, 2010

fighting to be frugal

Let me give you a word of advice... if you are trying to be frugal and save money, don't move to New York! In my case, there wasn't much choice in the matter, which was a gift from G-d to make it harder for me to get in His way!! I used to be pretty good at being frugal: clipping coupons, repurposing and reusing things, only buying items on sale or on clearance. However, I wouldn't boast in being very frugal at this point in my life. Just about everything costs more in New York! Although I still do all of the things listed above, it doesn't seem to make as much of a difference here. And certain stores that I knew and loved just don't exist here, or I can't get to them! Frugality has become something that I truly have to fight for. Indeed, in our materialistic culture, we all have to fight for it. There is a big difference, however, between spending money on things that we truly need and spending money just to spend fill a void that we are experiencing in our lives. I know that I am certainly guilty of doing both. I enjoy shopping (and it's a good thing that my husband doesn't) for certain things (not groceries). And perhaps because he is the "breadwinner" and provider for our family, my husband is more prone to worry about how much money we have or don't have. I, on the other hand, don't spend much time worrying about where the next dollar is coming from (probably because I am thinking about where I am going to spend it!). The L-rd has truly provided for us in miraculous ways while we have been living in one of the most expensive cities to live in the world! That is no excuse for me to spend money on unnecessary things, though.

In thinking about this, I have come across this verse a couple times in Isaiah (Yesha'yahu): "Why spend money for what isn't food, your wages for what doesn't satisfy?" (Isaiah 55:2) I think that is sometimes the key for us, especially as women, to understand. The world is constantly telling us what we need to spend our money on, but none of it will satisfy.What do you like to spend your money on? I can't say that I look forward to spending money on food. It's usually other things that I think about.

There is a beautiful song that also came to mind. You can listen here: "Jacob's Well" by Nicol Sponberg. This song, especially the second verse: "It's a long hard journey, all the pain it brings... try to quench my yearnings with material things... So I will go to Jacob's well to fill my cup with living water...", sums up what 'shopping' becomes in many women's unsatisfying and unending quest for fulfillment. It doesn't have to be that way. Let us instead continue our fight to be frugal... for our sake, for our family's sake, and for the sake of telling the world that we have the Living Water-- and it was free.

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