Apr 11, 2012

An honest post about spending & saving money: 

Two books I am obsessed with..
the "FIX IT" one will be discussed on another day.

A book that I finished reading a couple weeks ago and could NOT put down was:  "Money Secrets of the Amish". After reading "The Simple Home" a couple months ago, I have been working really hard on getting rid of unnecessary things around our apt., so when we do actually move into our little home [oh! we got a home by the way, and move in a couple weeks to Centerville] the spaces will be very simple, cozy, and I easy to clean.  I have also been working hard this year on saving money but more importantly, not buying things because I am bored, sad, or just because we do have money...  I didn't have training on good money habits growing up as some of my friends did, and that has always been something that has weighed on me. Sure I can blame my parents, but I am an adult. Plus it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to save money...you buy only what you REALLY need [that's where true honesty with yourself comes in to play] you live within your means [again, honesty] and you save and wait for things.

So I did a search on amazon for books about saving money  [this is a major struggle for me guys!] and that's when I came across "Money Secrets of the Amish" <- I justified buying this book with the hope that it will act as a preventative in the future.  This book has helped me in so many ways and has totally shifted my thinking about money and it's value/worth  180 degrees!  The main reason though, why this book jumped out at me was because it is all about Amish people and how they live their lives simply and save a TON of money. No, I am not going to go and join an Amish community...but I gleaned so much from this book, that since reading it....I have consistently been asking myself every time I want to buy something: "What would the Amish do?" And I have been able to be honest with myself, and forgo making that purchase. I think more importantly, Jesse has seen a huge change in me too. I want so badly to be a good example to my kids and teach them good habits and omit as much unnecessary stress and anxiety from their lives as possible...and a lot of that has to do with money. And it has to start with me and Jesse, who fortunately does not struggle with this issue.

Anyways...I could go on...and I will, but that will be in a couple days. :)  Here are some things from the book that I can't get out of my head :

A couple things from the author, Lorilee Craker

1. "Discovery the money secrets of the Amish gave me and my family a "Total Money Makeover" of a different kind. Beyond tips on saving, spending, and investing, I learned how to live a lifestyle extravagant in peace, sharing, family, and community closeness."

2. "I realized that thrift is more of a muscle, and I intended to work that muscle until it was strong and lean and powerful enough to withstand temptations of all kinds" <- love that!

From the Amish families that were interviewed & other books quoted : 

1. "When work is done and the cows are milked, the millers have fun together, playing badminton and making soft pretzels and homemade ice cream." <- Now, I understand that not everyone is into playing outside as a family together...but the main important thing here is that all those activities require little, or no money at all. So many families make shopping together their outing... :/ which to me doesn't build strong family and or friend units.

2. "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without." 

3. "It is human nature to want it and want it now; it is also a sign of immaturity." <- quoted from Dave Ramsey's book "Total Money Makeover" and he goes on to say: "be willing to delay pleasure for a greater result is a sign of maturity. <- that was something that struck me and made me realize how immature I had been with money...pretty much my whole life. :/

4. "We are taught not to just buy whatever we please, but rather work and save to pay for it." <- They do this EVEN if they have money to buy what they want....and ironically what they want is very little compared to what most of us all want on a daily basis.

5. "When children grow up in an individualistic society, they soon accumulate in themselves a desire for more things, said Dr. Donald Kraybill, whom we met previously. [Plain] children are not individualistic. They all dress the same, and when you grow up in a family of six to eight children, you soon learn the pie is cut into smaller pieces. The biggest thing is, Amish parents have the community to back them up when they say no to their children; you don't" <- So true! Hopefully though, you and your partner are on the same team, and back one another up! 

SO! With all that mentioned...hopefully you are inspired!? Or if you're already disciplined with your money...well, I am a huge admirer of yours!  Since that book, I have gone through our apartment and constructed a pretty lengthy list of all the ways we can save money, and a lot of it!  This is one of them:

Food! A big chunk of money is lost when not planning meals. This isn't a new idea and most of you already know about that. However, even though I know this..I wasn't implementing it in our life. So I decided that I needed visual references to help me do this. I also like making meals that share many of the same ingredients...plus, that naturally saves money. :) 

So what I did was print out pictures of some favorite meals from my pinterest board [you can obviously do this with a magazine too] and then I rubber-cemented them on to heavy cardstock.
I then found some clothespins in our tool box, and clipped them on the side of our chalk board in the kitchen. I  then wrote the basic ingredients that each meal needs next to the image. To the left of that is a column for what I need to buy for any of the meals.

And then on the back of each picture is the actual recipe and website.  The simple recipe below is of the cucumber -lemon water.

Slowly but surely I will get better about saving money and wanting less. Like Lorilee says "Thrift is more of a muscle" <- and muscles don't come over night...they come little by little. :)


Shoko said...

This is such a great idea. I would love to try this in my apartment!

ROXY MARJ said...

Thanks Shoko. :) I would love to see how you display yours, I am sure it would be really lovely!! :)

Kiasa said...

Roxy, I love this post! So awesome! I'm going to check the Amish book out. We are working really hard at saving money (for a home) and living simply. Most of the time we do really well...but sometimes it can be really hard.


María Heidi said...

Roxy you are so so so wise! I think about that often when reading your blog, but I don't think I ever commented before.
I admire the way you are always trying to be an even better person than you already are.

The idea of the recipe cards is genius! Just what visual people like us need, thanks for sharing it.

Sarah Larsen said...

Thinking of you! Hope all is well.

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