7: Spending

I’m joining Marla for another read-a-long.  You can find all posts in this series here.

My brother is a plumber and he was telling me over the weekend about a client of his who had a hand carved bath tub from Italy imported for their new home.  The cost of that tub was $25,000!!!  (Yes thousand).  And it was so heavy, they had to use a crane to drop it through a sky light to get it inside the house.

I shook my head in disgust and made a remark about the list of worthwhile things that money could have been spent on.  Then I was reminded of Jen’s comment “..we are not big-ticket item buyers; we nickel and dime ourselves to death.” (p. 167)

My husband and I are not typically big spenders.  But, I am guilty of making small purchases that are more often than not, unnecessary.   The Dollar store and Target’s Dollar spot always trip me up.  And that money really does add up.

Even so, I’d say we do pretty well when it comes to spending.  We never spend more than my husband makes and our only debt is our mortgage.   And we hope to pay that off ASAP.

We tithe and support missionary friends and I just recently started sponsoring a Compassion child.

On the other hand, right before I started reading this chapter, I was working on our budget and noticed we were already over our grocery budget and we still had almost 2 more weeks to go!

Then again, our budget was made over 3 years ago (before we had our daughter) and when we lived in a smaller home that was less expensive to heat. Like I said, we never spend more than my husband makes.  Our budget numbers are just suggestions that perhaps need to be revised.

There are so many things that I used to spend money on when I was single (and had a full time job) that I no longer spend money on, or at least not as much.  I still love to buy (inexpensive) clothes, but not as often as I used to.    Which was just about every weekend.  We hardly ever eat out.  I love fast food, but my husband doesn’t, so it’s a rare treat to go through a drive thru these days.   The monthly massages?  Those went out the window a long time ago.  My annual hair highlights and fancy cut?  Gone years ago.

So, yeah, I feel like we do pretty well as far as actually having a budget and not spending more than we make.  But, I know I still have room to grow.   Or should I say to cut back.

“The poor don’t lack ambition, imagination, or intelligence; most simply lack resources.” (p. 169)

It is really sad how we can disillusion ourselves and treat the poor as less than human.  On Easter we were driving to my parents house and as we came off the highway, there was a guy with a sign  that said “Vision of a cheeseburger.”  I thought it was clever.  But, as traffic started moving, the guy in the car next to us opened up his car door while we were moving (don’t ask me why he didn’t  just roll down his window) and yelled “Get a *(#!@$$ job!” and gave the guy the dirtiest look (yeah, he was driving with his car door open, and his eyes not on the road).

To be honest, I used to have little compassion for homeless people.  I figured if they could write a message on a sign, they could fill out a job application.  Then I spent a year in Canada and was introduced to the idea of social justice.  And my heart has been softened ever since.

My goal is to cut out the unnecessary spending and to use that money to help someone in need.


3 thoughts on “7: Spending

  1. I am with you on the cutting back of things- clothes (you read my clothes post), hair, massages, less drive thrus.

    Love the quote that the poor simply lack resources. The tension comes in that we have the resources they need.

    I too want to cut my spending and give to those in need. It is the only satisfying way. Thanks for sharing!

  2. sounds like you’re in a similar budget situation as me and my hub-sand. we find it helpful to review the budget monthly. i’ll print out our expenditures for the previous month and we’ll discuss what we need to spend the next month. $$$ amounts vary – given what we’re doing.

    now to find more creative ways to give!

  3. Marriage budgeting and this kind of compromise seem so daunting. I guess that is part of the point in doing life together and iron sharpening iron. Thanks for your post!

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