Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A question of Creativity...

Just like most people I am on a budget right now.
The year I got pregnant with our son
 I unexpectedly had to leave work at 5 mos.
That year was tough ,
but taught us a lot.
One year later we had the great economic downturn and are surviving on one salary again.
They always say things happen for a reason .
Had we not had the experiences we had the year I was expecting ,
this past year may have been unbearable,
but we were prepared.
I feel creativity is not just a word you apply to artists.
People are creative in all sorts of ways.
For instance
How often have we had to turn getting our kids to pick things up into a game?
Turning foods they have turned their little noses up at
into something fun that eventually got them to gobble it up?
 (forgive me - I can't get this photo to rotate..I have long way to go w/ the technical skills!)
Yes that is a banana clown atop a muffin....
I have heard so many people say they cut back on gifts for holidays this last two years.
They aren't eating out as much.
They don't make as many trips around town - they cover more ground in one go.
Two things
What is so wrong with  any of these?
I know in the last few years my time has become more precious to me.
Time with my family, time to get things done, time to relax.
Instead of going out to eat we decided to make it fun.
We decided to spend one of those evenings cooking something
we've always wanted to try.
We use less gas and get more time to play.
I got almost obsessive about coupon clipping
When the double or triple coupon sales happened
it became a competition.
You should see the serious Bargainistas who have binders
with baseball card laminates with coupons in them.
I tell you what though...
that creative budgeting put MORE food in my pantry
than we had ever had
and I spent less!
Then I had the money to spend on other things
that some people were cutting back on.
After all that I wasn't going to just spend it on anything.
I was going to be just as thrifty with that cash.
I picked holiday gifts up from September through December.
I bought clearance and sales and made a few things myself.
I think anyone can learn to get what they want if they
put the time and effort in to it.
I don't want to come off with an air of "I am so great"
We have had to struggle and still do.
I just remember so many stories from both of my Great Grandmothers and Aunts
of growing up during The Great Depression
 I am so thankful for what we do have now.
I guess I want to rely on myself a bit more
because I know what we used to spend
and what I have learned we really need to survive.
Someone made a comment about my spending habits once recently.
They wondered why I was spending on "luxuries"
when we are living on one salary.
I didn't indulge them in explaining myself because I don't fell I have to.
Then I thought it was funny because
I have people thinking I am buying frivolous things because I have money to burn.
It made me feel good because I have made what I do have
go such a looong way!
Now that I have gone on...(are you bored yet?)
I'd like to start offering up a few tips every week for thriftiness...
Not major investing advice
Every day things I have learned
That have made my dollar go 2 or 3 times farther than it ever has before.
Thrifty Tuesday?
What do you think?

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