Live With Financial Freedom―Live Frugal

“Freedom is a possession of inestimable value.”[1]

― Marcus Tullius Cicero

My late husband had a favorite saying, “You can only spend a dollar once!”

After the dollar is handed over to the cashier, it’s gone. The only way to keep spending more money than we truthfully have is with OP’s (other people’s money). Have you ever thought about credit cards as using other people’s money? If not, maybe now is the right time. The best way to explore that thought is to follow the money to see where the funds for credit card purchases come from.

People, like you and me, who put their hard-earned money into a savings account at a local bank or credit union create the capital funds for the financial corporations to lend out. Our neighbors, co-workers, professionals and laborers alike, and retirees . . . , all of them make it possible for us to shop with credit cards.

Depositors’ earn a little interest from the financial institutions who, in turn, offer patrons tantalizing opportunities via: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and a multitude of other credit cards. The deals that arrive in our mailboxes sound good. Teasers are purposely attached to snag new users. Quite often ideas of frugal living fade when our eyes are lured to the extras—the rebates or reward miles to be gained when we spend money. The perks are meant to bait the hook long enough to snag the shoppers.

I grew up with a good example of frugal living.

My dad was what I could rightly call tight. But now, when looking back on those years, I see he set down a pattern of living within our means. Our family didn’t have a lot but we didn’t do without. We welcomed hand-me-downs and thought they were wonderful. Dad was known as a ‘horse trader’ but the trading wasn’t limited to horses. If there was a need for a sofa or a sewing machine, he’d trade something we had for something we needed. Other times a farm animal would be sold at the livestock auction or he’d be selling locker beef or pork for extra cash.

Sadly, most people spend more than they make. Easy credit is too convenient and puts instant buying power into our hands. Too often our sights are on what we want rather than our accumulating debt and the added fees. This immediate gratification could cause us to stall out financially and cost us our financial freedom.

Credit cards are big business meant to turn a hefty profit. Remember, some customers get in too deep. When they fail to pay the bill or go bankrupt, this drives the cost of credit card buying up for the rest of us. As with any business, a profit must be generated to cover overhead and to remain viable; thus fees upon fees.

Our financial freedom is worth protecting.

Simple, cost saving ideas like I experienced can still happen today. We’ve got to think about what it is we need above what we want and then find creative ways to buy frugally.

Debt steals the very freedom God meant for His people to enjoy. Do some trading! Visit thrift shops. Compare prices. Push back from the I wants? Pursue financial freedom. Stress lessens when the choice is made to live free and within your means.

Honor your family by adopting a more frugal and financially free lifestyle.

Will you let these words ring true in your ears the next time you have an attack of the ‘wants’? “YOU can only spend a dollar once!”

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out Your precepts. Psalms 119:45 NIV

[1] Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.), Roman orator, philosopher, statesman. Paulus.