We started our debt-free journey just a few years ago. Couponing allowed us to have room in the budget. Couponing cut back our grocery bill in half. We took that money and paid off our debt. We are debt-free except for our mortgage which we are paying off now.
Is couponing just another way of life?
Is it one of those “trends” that pull you in, and you’ll never look back? Can you suffer from coupon burnout? And an overload of too many deals?
Do we really want to get caught up in so many must-buy impulsive decisions that we forget the purpose of a dollar?
If you want to start couponing, let me ask you why?
Do you want the free stuff that girl you don’t know on Facebook just scored?
Do you need cheaper food items because your husband just lost his job?
Are you supporting extended family members, and things aren’t where they need to be?
Maybe you want to try it because it seems like all the cool kids are doing it.
Take that answer and speak it out loud.
It will completely direct you in the way for you to go.
READ OR PIN FOR LATER: OUR DEBT FREE STORY- HOW WE PAID OFF $52k in 3 years.
HOW COUPONING SAVED MY FINANCES
Couponing did so many things for me:
It allowed me to get groceries for a family of four for under $40 a week.
It gave my best friend and me another thing for us to try and share.
It allowed me to teach my children the importance of understanding all that goes into a $1 earned and spent.
It gave me confidence in creating room in our budget without me working a job. As a result, I was able to stay home with my kids and pay off debt.
When I was pregnant with our first child, I was laid off while on maternity leave. The company had eliminated my position. I was not too fond of the job, but I was sickened about how we would survive. In addition, we had too much debt.
Debt. That word we say and laugh awkwardly because inside, we know it’s a silent killer.
The thing is- everyone wants to be debt-free.
Everyone wants to save money.
Everyone wants to start couponing.
Then it seems everyone wants to start a coupon blog.
( No knocks to my coupon bloggers, you know I run mybjswholesale.com)
But when are you going to put your faith into action?
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. “(Romans 8:28)
Notice the word “wants” above.
WHEN FRUGAL TURNS TO OBSESSION
I’m frugal. SURPRISE I love shopping, but I hate paying full price. It took me two years to learn how to buy something we needed that didn’t have a coupon, clearance, or rebate app.
You see, couponing had a stronghold on me. I became obsessed, in a way. My obsession led to buying so much mustard that it expired before I even used it. I wish it stopped at mustard.
My obsession turned me into a spaver. That’s right, my next post someone who spends to save.
My obsession led to so much that I would go out to the stores after the kids went to bed to look for deals and use my coupons.
Oh, I have a husband?
Oh, I have a deal, Hunny.
My obsession led to a blog- Batavia’s Best Bargains. A little fantastic learning blog about deals in Batavia. Then God closed the door. It reminded me of the story of the Veggie Tales creator.
You see, couponing did indeed save our budget. It freed my financial debt. But, unfortunately, the deception came in and locked me up in the corner of comparison, exhaustion, unhealthy choices, and chasing money.
I needed control. I wanted to control our finances. Yet, it wasn’t about my power at all, was it?
You see, couponing isn’t a new way of life. It’s a life skill to apply during certain seasons of life and sprinkled in all the other seasons. Can I tell you that chasing every -single-deal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
COUPONING IS A LIFE SKILL WE ALL NEED TO KNOW
Couponing is a life skill we all need to know. Because those times when we have an income loss- couponing can keep your head above water. Couponing can ease the burden.
That is to say, with work. You can’t just float in the water without moving the rest of your body.
Yet be careful when you are couponing and online all day looking for the best deal.
Your breastplate goes down, and you are vulnerable to many evil things.
Comparison, guilt, neglect, lust for money.
All of a sudden, the enemy has you right where he wants you. What you thought started as something to help your family survive has slowly ripped apart so many of the things you enjoyed.
We often get so focused on the task at hand that we put up a wall to anything else that goes on while we are carrying out our mission.
How many times have you started couponing and had to bring the kids? It may not be in the budget for a babysitter, or you may not have family near to help out. When you are starting to coupon and save money, these little distractions become weapons. You may lash out at the kids in the store and give up couponing or you may lash out at the kids in the store and give up coupons or try to save money. You may blame the kids. But you can’t blame the person. Why?
It’s the enemy at work, my dear.
FIGHT BACK YOUR FINANCES WITH YOUR ARMOR ON
You opened a door for the enemy.
Now the kids are to blame. You feel like a failure. You can’t succeed at couponing or try to get a deal at the store, and it’s all because your husband lost his job.
You go home, and you get snippy with him.
The guilt comes around and cushions you all nicely in.
The enemy has you right where he wants you.
With everything you do in life, you have to prepare. You can’t just wing the things you know you are being called to do in your life.
For example- you want to save money. So Google, here you come. You type in how to save money. Let’s say one of my favorite bloggers-Crystal with Money Saving Mom, comes up. You click on her site, scroll through and say- oh, that looks like too much work.
Then you see a popup. Oh, subscribe to get a free so and so. Sure.
Then the emails come, and you don’t open them.
You have to be intentional. Do not miss the benefits that surround you. Yet don’t get into a battle without wearing any armor.
My friend, you must be intentional and prepared if you want to save money.
Suppose you want to live a life of financial freedom. You make the difference. You make the change. Once you realize the enemy is after, you-you will learn to trust in the Father who is ready to break those financial chains.
THE JOYS OF BEING FINANCIALLY FREE
Let me tell you- my husband works in construction. We are not living with a considerable salary. Yet, we are free. Financially free. Yes, we still have a mortgage. That’s the only debt. We are currently working to pay it off in 7 years, give or take.
Part of being free in finances and free from the enemy’s chains are allowing yourself to enjoy. As our income has increased, we have learned how to be joyful.
An example in our life is something like this.
It’s been a crazy hectic day. For me, we are managing two websites, the kid’s demands, farm life, and such. Yet, something unexpected kept coming up. So, as a way to regroup and let go, we would take the kids out for ice cream.
Now that may seem minor to you. But for me, someone who says I can get a whole gallon of ice cream for $2.50, it’s a step. And one that I enjoy seeing the kid’s faces. One, I enjoy myself.
Yet, the discipline still needs to continue. As good as it feels, it can’t be something we can do every day. It’s not in the budget.
Another part of being free for us is we don’t argue about money. I know it may seem rare- but it’s the one thing we have never fought about. Why? We are financially secure. We have a plan. We have a budget. We are intentional with our money. We serve a God who is almighty.
I think about every dollar I spend five times. I always think do I need this? Do I want this? Is this a good price? Can we afford this? What’s coming up this week, we need money for?
This mindset is more for more minor things. When it’s more critical items like the tractor my husband keeps showing me on craigslist- it’s the same questions but looking at the long haul a bit more.
Listen. We are here for a purpose. You and me. It’s not to be so stressed out about money that we aren’t enjoying the blessings God is giving us and has planned for us.
YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
I’m going to be sharing money-saving tips with you on the blog here and there. But I want you to hear this.
You make the difference. Figure out what it is you need when it comes to your finances.
Is it more money? Is it the organization? Is it a mutual understanding with your partner?
Figure out what you need. Then make a plan to get it done.
We have everything at our fingertips when it comes to helping online. Many resources are FREE.
And once you know what you need- talk to God about it. Pray about it. Follow the spirit that guides you through the steps you need to take.
Is it that part-time job? Is it freelance work online? Is it stopping the Starbucks visit every other day? Is it not buying new clothes for a few months?
Take a close look at your lifestyle. Figure out what you need. Not what you want. Most of the time, our wants are just an emotion that passes when the next season comes around.
Don’t let the want be the most significant financial mistake you’ll ever make.
You make the difference. The best part is you are not alone. God has your back. He is so faithful, and he will guide you on this journey.