One of the things that my mom did really well was to teach her children frugality. While it was not a predetermined goal of hers, it certainly was a necessity.
Our childhood years were marked by difficult times and Mom did her best to take up the slack. We didn’t have expensive cuts of meat on the table, our Christmases were often lean, and our clothes seldom came to us new with the tags still on. But she didn’t complain about it, so it just seemed like our lifestyle was normal.
I believe that since she didn’t complain, as we entered our teen years, the “hunt” of the garage sale and the thrift stores was truly a fun thing for us. It was a great adventure to see how far we could stretch our dollars. I came through those years feeling as though I had everything I needed and much of what I wanted. Even still as I go “hunting” I frequently end the day feeling as though God put something in a shop especially and specifically for me.
Frugality is truly a great life lesson.
This life lesson has carried through all stages of my life — even into the present day. Serving a small community in funeral directing is a very fulfilling life. However, it is not the lucrative life that one might think. Yet we have done remarkably well in raising our children, renovating our facilities, and giving back to our community through this life. I believe that God has not only provided the funds, but He has also stretched our dollars in memorable ways.
The latest big thing in our lives is that we are building an addition onto one of our funeral homes. This, too, is proving to be a great adventure to see how far we can stretch our dollars! Sometimes we have the money we need for certain things. Sometimes we re-evaluate to determine if this thing that we thought we needed is really a need. And sometimes God just stretches our dollars to bring an idea to fruition.
My funeral director husband does an amazing job as a general contractor. When you calculate the savings of doing this task himself, he has really stretched our dollars! He keeps his eyes open for less expensive ways to accomplish our objective and very often he is led to just the right solutions.
I am a good match for my husband when calculating up the dollar stretching genius. And even now, during the construction phase, I am looking ahead to the interior decorating and gleaning ideas and making a plan. It is not in my disposition to hire someone to do this portion of a project. Besides, I love creating inviting spaces…when I grow up I want to be Joanna Gaines. Throughout all the decorating plans and ideas, my mom-taught frugality continues to guide me.
As I look at our project, it is rewarding to remember those points where God has undoubtedly stretched our dollars.