Our large family has been living on one income for years. Careful spending is necessary in our lifestyle. Many people equate a thrifty lifestyle with cheapness and deprivation. The pleasant truth is that stretching a dollar can be fun.
I spent some time considering a few of the myths attached to frugality. My frugal truths reveal that stretching a dollar is nothing to be ashamed of.
Frugality does not equal deprivation. We purchase many things that we want. We carefully consider purchases, and save our money until we can buy with cash. We appreciate the items we choose to buy.
Being thrifty is not the same thing as being cheap. A frugal option can actually cost more initially, but save a good deal of money over time. We purchase items of the best quality possible within our price range.
We do not eat beans every night for supper. We enjoy a variety of delicious home cooked meals made from basic ingredients. Beans are part of our menu, but so are many other foods either grown on our homestead or purchased at the best possible price.
Living on a budget is not boring. Our one income lifestyle is packed with adventure, creativity, and resourcefulness. It is a game, albeit a necessary one, to see how far the money can go.
A real joy of frugality is that resources are freed up for sharing, donating, and giving. Carefulness in spending can create a surplus in even the smallest budgets. Paying off debt and contributing to savings are also possible through thriftiness.
We aren’t deterred by the work involved in our frugal lifestyle. Our methods can be time-consuming, but it is time joyfully spent. Cooking from scratch, using clothes lines, and doing repairs ourselves are more enjoyable than working overtime to pay for convenience foods and credit card bills.
Saving money and spending carefully may be considered a bit old-fashioned in our modern credit card world. But, we have found that living within our means is more important today than ever. Living well on a single income is possible, even with a large family. Whether lived by necessity or choice, frugality can be a lifestyle of joy.