I love shopping! If you asked my Mom, she would tell you that I have always had the shopping bug since I was a little girl. I like numbers and mental math, so shopping and me go way back! However, there is a tendency when you are “born to shop” to go overboard in the spending department. How much is too much?
Certainly, a great deal of our time as wives, mothers, and daughters is taken up with shopping for our family from food to clothes, to gifts and more. How can we stay balanced in this area? In the past I have had the tendency to buy too much. Stockpiling is good and important, but if you stockpile too much, you don’t have the chance to use up what you have before you buy more. Also, even in the area of clothing, I have found that you can go overboard in clothes and have too many pieces, to where you don’t know what you have, or you may have too many decorations and you can’t use them because you literally cannot find them because of the clutter!
One way that helps to know whether or not you are going overboard in your shopping habits is to evaluate your space. Take a look at your home, pantry, or even your bedroom, if you are single and living at home. How’s your space looking? Is it overcrowded and cluttered? What about your pantry and freezer? Is it overflowing? Do you know what you have and where it is located? If you don’t, you probably have more than you need. Sometimes our spaces just get cluttered because we don’t have time, etc., but making time to regularly take note of your “stuff” will help you discern if you ought to shop or stay home and purge (clean out and clear out!) the things you already own. Having less is not a bad thing. In fact, it actually feels good to clean out and know what you have and where it is located!
Another way, of course, is to analyze whether or not you are sticking to your budget. If you don’t have a budget, now’s a good time to set one!* Set a grocery spending cap and see how that goes. Then you can add more categories and track your spending in a more detailed way as you practice more and more.
Remember, before you shop, evaluate. Is my space overcrowded with stuff? Am I spending more than I am allotted to spend in this area? I hope this helps you. Just another two cents on how to downsize, economize, and use the resources we have for the glory of the Lord!
*When trying to set a budget for the first time, it will not go perfectly. Don’t be afraid to try and know that you will have to tweak as you go to make your budget work for your family. The key is just to start.
“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?” (Proverbs 27:23,24)
Katina is wife to Graeme and mom to eight fun-loving kids. Some of Katina’s favorite hobbies are bargain shopping and couponing! She is excited to share good deals, fresh money-saving ideas, budgeting tips, and ways to use what you already have so you can best use your resources to further the gospel of Christ. She believes the first step to a healthy financial life begins with a grateful heart. American Christians are an extremely blessed people!