Growing up in a very large family meant we had to be a frugal family. Early on, I learned to walk into a store and head right to the clearance rack. What you needed – or what you wanted – you always bought on sale.
Heading into married life, I thought I was set. I knew how to save a dollar and make my money stretch. Since Greg and I married young, we started out with very little, but it was ok. We were living on love 🙂
Greg, too, is very practical when it comes to money, only he has wisdom is ways I lack. Like in the area of generosity. He taught me the incredible joy of giving, in fact giving until you felt it. From him I learned to find a joy found not any where else. A joy when you bless someone who can never bless you back.
Oopps…I digressed. (That can happen easily when you get me talking about my husband).
Greg also knew something about money and making the most of it. He knew the power of waiting.
Our first home we filled with furniture scooped up at yard sales, hand-me-downs and thrift shops. I was good with that! I was just thrilled to be married to the man of my middle school dreams.
Then the day came when I wanted something new; something that reflected our personality.
I wanted our first couch.
I knew I had found just the right couch for us the day I walked into the 50% off sale at Haverty’s. The thrill of the sale. The picture of it it nestled in our living room. Plus…50% off!
Rushing home, I told Greg all about the perfect couch for us…and the perfect price. His comeback, “Lynn, there will always be a sale. Besides, we haven’t saved enough money yet.” From the day we got married, we started a pack with each other. If we couldn’t pay cash, we couldn’t have it. Up until then, our policy hadn’t been a problem. But now…I wanted a new couch! A thousand dollars is a lot of money. How long would it take? Much longer than the Haverty’s Half Off Sale!
We finally saved our money and just like Greg said, the couch went on sale again. But I learned something very important with that first big purchase: the rush of the purchase fades much faster than the money is earned.
For over 27 years, Greg and I have stuck to our “pay with cash” policy and it has served us well. The waiting we have experienced has given us time to appreciate the item before it is even purchased and often, by choosing to wait, we have found we really don’t need that flashing, blinging thing after all. Because in the end, giving it away is a whole lot more fun than buying it away! That’s our Secret #13.
What is Secret 13?
In her new book, Living Well Spending Less, Ruth Soukup shares 12 secrets for seeking—and finding—the Good Life in our day to day lives. From time management and goal-setting to managing our homes and finances, these practical and concrete strategies can help each of us discover a life rich with purpose. Even so, a life well lived is not so much about what we have as who we are, and ultimately each one of us holds the key to our own secrets. Secret #13 is the truth I have uncovered as I have discovered my own Good Life.
With brutal honesty and the wisdom of someone who has been there, in this book Ruth looks at how to:
- Overcome the destructive cycle of “more is never enough” by instead learning to choose contentment right where we are.
- Step off the treadmill of always trying to keep up, and instead take back your time by making simple shifts in our daily habits.
- Stop busting our budgets & learn how to cut our grocery bills in half by making five simple tweaks to the way we shop.
- Create a practical, workable cleaning schedule that works for our own home and family situation.
- Develop a concrete plan for sharing the Good Life with others in order to bring lasting joy and peace.
Today, I’m giving away a copy of Living Well; Spending Less along with a beautiful key necklace engraved with “Secret 13”.
To enter for a chance to win, just share your own “Secret 13” to living the Good Life. I can’t wait to hear from you! If it’s a busy day, just say, “I’m in!” I’ll announce the winner on Friday!