frugal friday: introduction

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welcome to mrs. alsbury’s first official post about her strivings to live up to one sure aspect of a proverbs 31 woman: frugal living.
when i think of being frugal, i think of a few things:

  • living within your means
  • using the money you have wisely
  • being efficient with your time (as my friend paige always says, “time is money”)
  • being creative with what you have
  • using your hands in a constructive way

in my opinion, the primary theme behind all of the above is, “not eating the bread of idleness.” in order to carry out those ideas, i can not be lazy. i must discipline my mind, my body and definitely my heart if i choose to be a frugal woman.
i am making that choice, because i really think it is biblical to be such a woman and such a wife. i have never really been so interested in proverbs 31 as i am now-now that i am a wife. as i was thinking about being frugal as a wife, these bold words really popped out at me in a new way. just look at all of the references to what i believe we can call “frugality!”

“an excellent wife who can find? she is far more precious than jewels. the heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. she does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. she seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. she is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. she rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. she considers a field an buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. she dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. she perceives that her merchandise is profitable. her lamp does not go out at night. she puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. she opens her hand to the poor and reaches her hands out to the needy. she is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. she makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. she makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the days to come. she opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. she looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. give her of the fruit of her hand, and let her works praise her in the gates.” -proverbs 31:10-31

there are so many aspects of this woman that i want to emulate in my own life and being frugal is simply one of them. but i was amazed and encouraged by how many references there were to hard work and making the most of what you have.
i wanted to share with all of the friends and family who read this blog my goals and striving to be a godly woman and an awesome wife. i’m so excited to share our ups and downs with you!

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financial goals of 2009

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Goal #1: pay off our debt!
we are super blessed to have two pretty great cars but unfortunately, both of our cars are the reason for almost all of our debt. we also owe on our wedding rings. and that is all the debt we have. thankfully, it’s not a huge number (around $5,500.00 after some big payments we made in june) and even more thankfully, we are both employed.
we are both committed to paying this off by november! this summer (july and august) we’ll hopefully be able to whittle this number down to $2,500.00 as bryan has been getting more hours (even some overtime this week!) at the bank.
paying off our debt is not only super fun, but it will enable us to pay for bryan’s college tuition entirely our of pocket-which is a huge financial goal for 2010 and 2011!

Goal #2: live within our means
this one isn’t as fun for me, but i’m certainly learning to make it fun. we have a pretty solid budget set-up right now. we’re almost done with our first month and we don’t think we’ll make any changes. this is great because we are technically living below our means so that we can pay over $1,000.00 each month on debt.
however, it is still difficult for both of us to not be tempted by the “extra” money we have. whether its the extra money we’re paying on loans each month, or the money in our emergency fund or just our “floater fund” we have in our primary checking account, we have both found so much we want to spend it on. but, so far, we’ve stuck to our budget and we’re faithfully saving for those things we really really want to buy.

Goal #3: give generously
ultimately we want to pay off our debt, pay for college out of pocket and live within our means so that we can give generously. we both agree that for “some reason”, we’ve been incredibly blessed. and it’s no secret that “some reason” is so we can give to those in need. i love that the prov31 woman is able to provide clothes for her family and servants and that she opens her hand to those in need. she is woman who works hard to make the most of what she has so that she can give the rest away. i want to be that woman and we want to be that family.