It’s all about the Benjamins baby, Part 2: the rewards of change

Yesterday I wrote about the perspective change I’ve been having about money this year. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

It’s incredibly easy to think about making a change. New Year’s resolutions are full of every good intention to change. Actually making a significant change in one’s life can be very difficult.

Over the past year, Josh and I have made a lot of significant changes to our budget. We increased our giving, our housing expenses (moving will do that), and paying off our debt. I was not willing to slash the grocery budget because we have two small kids who LOVE to eat and we have people over to our house often and it’s really awkward if you can’t offer them some form of food and drink. Thankfully, we were on the same page from the beginning and basically cut our “lifestyle” expenses down to almost nothing.

I’m going to get super practical for a minute here. We have a small amount set aside for a date night once a month and a small amount set aside for “weekly spending.” This means all clothing and fun items or outings must be paid for with my weekly spending.

Thus begins my adventures in thrifting. Moving and having babies stirs up some primal nesting instinct in me. I can’t help but want to make the space I call home look beautiful and feel comfortable. Trying to do this on a tight budget could have been stressful, but I’m a firm believer that there is grace for every season and this season of a tight spending budget has been smothered in grace.

There’s a verse in Joshua about how the miraculous provision ended the day the people of Israel left the wilderness and entered the promised land. I think that this happens in our lives all the time. Whenever we find ourselves in a season of need (financial, emotional, physical, relational), God will supernaturally provide until that season ends.

And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. Joshua 5:12

Thrifting has been that supernatural provision in this season for me. There are a few reasons I’ve learned to love thrift shopping besides the obvious budgetary ones:

  • It forces me to think, work, and organize creatively
  • I find treasure from someone else’s trash
  • It’s a sustainable and environmental way to shop
  • There is little to no impulse buys because something is the latest fad
  • I’ve been discovering my own taste rather than what’s trendy  (although I do love some trends!)

I had $25 to spend a few weeks ago and here’s what I found:

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I had been looking for decorative storage for our basement bathroom. The blue vase and wooden bin were each $1. The vintage posters were $3.50 and the fall painting was $2. I had been searching for a warm, cozy blanket for ages and found this gorgeous one for $2.50! $4 Eddie Bauer boots (which I had desperately needed) and two shirts for $12. I’m pretty picky in thrift shops – only buying what I absolutely love or have on my “need” list. Sometimes you have a good day and this was one of them!
One of my latest obsessions thanks to thrifting has been cloth napkins. I love how you can reuse them, they look pretty, and they’re so much cheaper to use than paper ones. I found these two sets at different thrift shops in the past few months.

$2.50 for 11 matching white napkins, and $2 for 6 patterned ones. This is why I have fallen in love with thrifting. It gets me out of my box and helps me think about life and the way I do things differently. Even in the everyday, mundane things like napkin usage.
$2.50 for 11 matching white napkins, and $2 for 6 patterned ones. This is why I have fallen in love with thrifting. It gets me out of my box and helps me think about life and the way I do things differently. Even in the everyday, mundane things like napkin usage.
I feel like this season has been one where I’ve given what I have to Jesus, and like the boy with the fish and loaves he’s multiplied and increased it to fill the need. It hasn’t just been with finances, but with time, energy, patience, joy, wisdom, knowledge. I could keep going and going. When we are faithful with whatever we have and give it to Jesus, it’s so much better than holding onto it ourselves and trying to make it work on our own.

 

those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10

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