After I married my husband, Chad I became a stay-at-home wife & mom. This was not an easy decision since I knew that we were going to have to give up a lot in order for this to work. The following five were the biggies:
- 8 passenger Ford Expedition
- Cable TV
- Daily Espresso Stand Visits
- Frequent Shopping Sprees for Items we want
- Uncontrolled Budget
Change is such a bad word, isn't? Well at the time we made the big change it was BAD!
First the truck was gone and we were left with 2 economic cars the Nissan and what I like to call the Humbling Dumpling. The Honda is a 88 Civic that was first owned by my ex-husband who gave it to my father who then gave it to my brother who lent it to us. It was my husband's commuter car, purposely for him to get back and forth to work. But now that the truck was gone it was my mode of transportation. To keep it short I disliked it so very much and it was so not the comfy, heated leather seats, CD playing vehicle that I became accustomed to.
Second, the cable man came and picked up the box. The box that kept my children occupied frequently. The box that kept me entertained every evening. The box that came on in the morning that informed me of news, weather and all the useless information that I just had to know! I think one of my children actually cried when he saw it gone!
Next to go was the Espresso stand visits. What on earth was I going to do with that little machine that was on my kitchen counter? I can't make a White Chocolate Snickers Mocha with that! The thought made me shiver and quiver inside and out....
Finally we had to live within our means and stick to a budget. Paydays came weekly so I aligned everything perfectly to pay bills, get groceries, gas and items that we needed. Which ultimately meant that when the kids said," I would really like to get _____________ " We did not hop in the car and purchase ______________ as well as several other things we don't need! It meant that when I looked in my closet and found that I did not have anything to wear I could not hop in the car and drive to the mall and find something new. It meant that when I saw the cutest trinket in the store window in the harbor I kept on walking instead of going inside and purchasing it.
I sit here in my favorite pink $25 Goodwill chair with my laptop on my side table, my daughter sitting on my lap watching Instant Netflix Dora episode #39 as I drink my Folgers coffee with Coffemate Coconut Creme coffee creamer and all I can do is giggle. Giggle and thank my Jesus for the latte of blessings He has given me! See the Big 5 changes ended up not being so bad at all. In fact they ended up being really good!
The Humbling Dumpling gave me a new outlook on transportation and I disliked it so much I only used it when I absolutely had to, which gave me a new outlook on the wasteless trips I made in the past, to go somewhere just to go somewhere. I was living unintentionally and without purpose. After driving it for awhile and the Nissan became a nickel and dime, we sold the Nissan and purchased an older 9 passenger Ford Expedition with cloth seats and a tape player. We do not have a car payment since we used our tax return money to purchase it and the gas is affordable since I began living intentionally and purposefully.
No cable gave us as a family an opportunity to spend more time together. Gave us the opportunity to be creative with our time. Gave me the opportunity to study scripture, write, and read things that are encouraging and inspiring. Netflix came into our life and it gives us the opportunity to watch appropriate selected movies together and watch a kid friendly cartoon every now and again!
Folgers and Coconut Creme is my favorite daily beverage! I can have it whenever I want and I do not have to sell my first born for a full pot. Since I began drinking drip coffee I became more aware of my passion for coffee and there came the birth of a latte of blessings & giggles, that would have never happened if I continued to visit my Espresso stand drive thru every morning. Which by the way is a special treat, visiting Starbucks is a very appreciative gift to my taste buds, not having it daily I find that it tastes better and is much more enjoyable! Especially since I don't expect it and I do not have one alone or on the run. I sit and savor it with a friend or two!
Living with a Budget has given us discipline. It has given us the power to be in control of the items in our home. It has given us control over what fills us up. Sure I still see things and WANT them, but I realize that the things that are on my list are what I NEED. Since I don't make frequent trips to the store and do not have cable commercials bombarding my mind, I am not aware of most of the new things out there anyway. Which again gives us the opportunity to live purposefully and full of intent.
All the things we have given up has given us more than I could have possibly imagined.
I'd love it if you'd leave me a comment letting me know how giving up something has actually benefited YOUR family!
I was inspired to write this after reading 'Living With Less So Your Family Has More' by Jill Savage. This book is sprinkled with true stories from families who have used Jill and Mark's techniques for living richly, the Savages' honest, straightforward, in-the-trenches approach will inspire and encourage you to live well while still putting your family first.