Spend Money On What’s Important

by Kelly · 6 comments

in Money & Spending

We went to church this Sunday for my husband’s cousin’s daughter’s baptism; my husband is her godfather. I’m Jewish and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve set foot in a church; what I know about Catholicism would fit on the heads of two pins at most.

The one constant thing that I have seen at all the (not so) many church services I’ve attended is the passing of the collection plate. This is, it seems to me, a perfectly normal thing- after all churches have to get their money from somewhere.

My husband, who is a non practicing Catholic, tossed a few cents, all his spare change, into the basket as it was being passed. I don’t begrudge him this and I’m sure he gave less than a euro in change. Even had he chosen to give more it would have been his choice. On the other hand, if he or we were regular church goers, it could be a significant part of the budget. His aunt, who goes weekly, gave €20. I don’t know if she gives the same amount every week, but even given once in a while €20 adds up. That is something to add to the budget and of course many people choose to tithe ten percent of their income; it’s that important to them.

If something is that important to you, why not spend money on it? I’m not talking about shopping for the latest fashions and putting them on your credit card, I’m talking about making an investment in something you’re passionate about. For me it’s books- books for myself and books for my children. I don’t consider it to be spending over my budget when I buy books, I just buy them. Without reading my life would be very difficult. I do make as much use as possible of the local library and Book Mooch but when we were on vacation I ended up buying a lot of books at the local thrift stores. Even at $.25, that can add up pretty quickly!

How about you? What are the things that you consider to be so important that you make room for them in your budget?


1 Southerner May 13, 2008

If I could pay nothing else, I would first give my tithe. It is not because by my giving it I am working to earn God’s blessing or because I am afraid if I don’t give I would be punished- I give because I am thankful for what I have and want to give my first fruits back to the Lord. I also believe God’s word that says that he will provide shelter, clothing and food. I have had past opportunities when we were so broke and giving was a true stretch of faith because there was not enough after giving to buy groceries. We always have had what we need. It has opened the door to see God provide for us in ways beyond what we see.

I really can’t think of anything else that I have not given up when facing a really tight time. We moved a year and a half ago and it took 15 months for our home to sell in the other state. We were so stretched having two house payments and all I had after paying the mortgage and rent was enough for gas, utilities on a strict budget and a little food. I did not have money for clothes so did not buy things. I did buy husband 5 shirts from a thrift store- all Lands End and name brand- for his new job. I kept thinking I would have to not tithe a month and just get by and catch up later but kept giving and our other needs were taken care of.

2 thrrrnbush May 13, 2008

For me it’s “homeschool.” I can’t afford $10 dollars for my own entertainment, but I’ll quickly shell out $30 from the same budget because “it’s for homeschool.” There is great truth underneath this- I value my children’s education. That’s the good part. But then there are all the foolish ways this becomes an excuse for the high of new stuff.

I have learned not to buy school supplies for someday, maybe. Just because I would’ve loved something as a kid doesn’t mean that they do, or ever will. Just because something seems like a great idea that we’ll all love doesn’t mean that we have time for it. Just because we love it and have time for it and do it doesn’t mean it was worth the money. I think starting out I needed to prove myself and prove that my children weren’t going to miss out on ANYTHING. Now I’m a lot better at evaluating whether or not a cool educational purchase fits into the next year’s worth of syllabi (two kids, two syllabi), and whether or not it’s the sort of thing that really works with how they learn, and whether or not there’s a cheaper way to impart the same knowledge. Even with a great underlying value it takes a little discipline to spend wisely on what’s important.

3 no more spending May 13, 2008

Books for me too Kelly, I love to read and so do my children. The only gift I ever buy the kids outside of birthdays and christmas is a book.

I found a great blog tonight, well it found me and I thought of you
milesawayinfrance.blogspot.com. Some lovely etsy items 🙂

4 The Conscious Snob May 14, 2008

I tend to spend money on books as well, and my guilty pleasure of really good skin care products. I do not spend a lot of money all the time, but I selectively choose what I purchase, from clothes to groceries to handbags to even a car battery. Knowledge is power, and as long as you know what you are spending on and being really conscious about it, then I don’t see a problem with splurges.

5 Kelly May 14, 2008

Gorgeous Etsy stuff- thanks for thinking of me!

6 Meg from FruWiki July 1, 2009

For me, frugality is all about saving resources in certain areas so that you CAN spend them on what is important to you! And while financial security is important, it's not the only important thing in life — rather, it's what allows you to live the rest of your life easier and with less stress. So, yes, I definitely believe in spending money on things that are important to you so long as you can also find a way to afford them.

My husband and I really love good food. We're not complete health nuts, but we both like fresh food that isn't pumped full of pesticides or antibiotics. We love good chocolate, great drinks, and fine cheese. We like things more if they're fair-trade or greener or more ethical. We like knowing our eggs come from happy chickens (which in our case is Cleo & Chloe Clucker in the backyard). And while we don't eat out as much as we used to, when we do we like to go to a locally-owned place and really make a night out of it. So, for the good of our bodies and our spirits, and the good of our community and the farmers and animals involved, we'll definitely pay more for better food.

In most other things, we still appreciate good quality and appearance. However, in a lot of cases we'll just go without instead of buying a much inferior product. I guess that only works so much with food!
.-= Meg from FruWiki´s last blog ..Special:Log/delete =-.

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