…Whether by our own doing, or more likely by God’s divine plan, my husband and I were self-employed during most of our marriage. This was a two-edged sword that at once was wonderfully freeing when we had business and money coming in, and at the same time was tremendously unsettling when no work was on the horizon, there were bills to be paid, and there were mouths to feed.
Early on in our marriage, we began implementing a more frugal lifestyle. After all, when we began having children and left our well-paid, full-time professional positions-with-benefits, we had to make every penny count as we literally cut our income in half while we doubled, then tripled, then quadrupled our family’s size. Through the years I developed a list that I have shared with others who wanted to learn to “double their income by cutting expenses in half.”
SHARI’S FRUGAL FORTY: A philosophical outline for families to live wisely and save money
1. Live modestly. Live in a modest area and surround yourself with modest people and activities in church, social settings, and in shopping opportunities.
2. Live simply. Hang around, and make friends with, those who live simply, not materialistically.
3. Buy only what you need. Let others give you what you want as gifts (and give them suggestions).
4. Make a monthly budget. 10% tithe, first; 10% savings, second; major needs (groceries, housing, utilities), third; extras, fourth. This is very hard—it is a goal; you may get off track, but keep updating it as a plan.
5. Discuss with your spouse every purchase before you make it. Large or small, prioritize your planned purchases….