Have you cut back on your spending and become more frugal during the pandemic?
Maybe you found it easy to stop spending during the lockdown since going to the mall or big box store wasn’t possible. Even the grocery store had empty shelves and limited choices for what we could buy. The simple act of going shopping, like so many other things we took for granted, no longer had any importance in the new 24×7 stay at home lifestyle we were forced into.
On the flip side, many of us gained a new appreciation for simply being at home without all the pressure to run errands, go to entertainment events, drive the kids everywhere they needed to go, and generally keep ourselves busy, occupied and distracted.
The biggest challenge as life returns to normal is cherishing what we learned and how we changed during the slower lifestyle we experienced during the lockdown. Hopefully those family game and movie nights have become a new tradition. Maybe we have learned to appreciate evening walks through the neighborhood, watching the sunset and visiting neighbors we never saw when everyone was so busy.
The virus has made people evaluate their lifestyle in many ways, including how they spend money.
Maybe you have embraced a new frugal lifestyle and will continue to stay frugal with less spending and more attention to where your money is being spent. The definition of fugal is: careful about spending money; using money or supplies in a very careful way.
I believe that frugal people are good stewards.
Our responsibility to be a good steward is summed up in 1 Corinthians 4:2 “Now it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.” Stewards understand that God owns everything; all they have is a blessing from God. This includes the money they have to spend and the material items they currently possess.
A frugal person desires to spend less money, but the money saving decisions are made with a balanced lifestyle in mind. A frugal person balances money against other areas of life such as faith, family, time, energy, friendship, love, and health.
Being frugal is about prioritizing your spending so that you have more money to spend on the things that are really important to you and your family. Those who are frugal are resourceful with their spending, maximizing their dollars, so that they can fund big picture wants and dreams.
We consider ourselves to be frugal. We use up every bit of the products we buy. Standing ketchup and other bottled products on their head will completely empty the bottle. Using a teeny tiny spatula helps to get all the product out of a make-up tube. Cutting off the end of a toothpaste tube means we get a few more nurdles of toothpaste out of it.
We only buy what we can afford. If there are things that we need but don’t have the cash for this month, we delay buying it till we can pay cash. We avoid having a balance on the credit card and wasting money paying interest.
In short, we are carefully managing all the resources God has put at our disposal. We do everything we can to maximize value from the money we do spend. We want to be good stewards of the blessings God has entrusted to us.
Being a good steward and being frugal is a balancing act—spending money on what is most important and saving money in those areas that are not so important. And not wasting any money frivolously.
Proverbs 21:20 tells us “Precious treasure remains in the house of the wise, but the fool consumes it.” Being frugal helps you keep precious treasure and ensures you are not foolishly wasting the treasures God has bestowed on you.
Hopefully the recent events have given you a new appreciation for what God has given you. We pray that in the last few months you have experienced the blessings of a frugal, simple lifestyle and that those blessings will remain with you long after life returns to normal.
As the pandemic proved, life is short!