Monday, April 26, 2010
My name is Oxana and it is nice to meet you...
Call me frugal, penny pincher, or a tightwad and I will take it all as a complement. Strangers may laugh at me during my grocery shopping trips, because of the bucket that is “attached” to my hip in which I carry my coupons. However, those who laughed at me are now raising their eye brows, when they see me pay $4 for $50 worth of groceries. Prior to my tightwad ways, it was not unusual for me to spend $100 at a grocery store for two bags worth of groceries until I entered the world of coupons. As I hesitated to cross the line in to the unknown world, I have to confess that now I can not imagine stepping out of it. I must first give thanks to my co-worker, who introduced me to coupons and persuaded me to give a try. She insured me that I indeed can save money on brand name products, although I was convinced otherwise. Shortly after I began my journey I learned that not only can coupons save me money, but also that they allowed me to acquire free products.
Free became my new favorite word, when my tightwad nature kicked in. But I wasn’t always that way.Born in a small country of Belarus (near Russia), God opened the door for me to come to the US as a teen. I have been blessed beyond my imagination with wonderful people who were put in my path during my journey. One of these people is my beloved husband, Daniel. The first year of our marriage, we were so excited to have pay checks that allowed us not to stress about finances that we would spend all the money quickly. When we filed our taxes during our first year of marriage, we had nothing to show for the money that we made during the year. In fact, we wondered where all the money go.
It was not until economy change for the worst that we began to evaluate our spending habits. One day on my way home I was listening to the Crowns Financial Ministry on the radio when I heard Proverbs 22:77. It says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender”. It was not until the Holy Spirit convicted me that I began to desire to be a good steward of God’s riches. My husband and I began to work on our emergency fund and all the savings that we were seeing from using coupons allowed us to create a small emergency fund in no time. I was so thirsty to become debt free that I know I drove my husband crazy. Although I had fun with coupons, I wanted to find other ways that would help us save. I would unplug everything in the house to save money on electricity. I would reuse zip lock bags until holes appeared. Needless to say, we started to implement new ideas that allowed us to live below our means.
Living below our means took some adjustment. Do we still go out to eat? Absolutely, but we make our outings a special event. Do we splurge occasionally? Believe it or not yes, this keeps our motivation going. Most of all living frugal allows us to bless others through giving. It is my heart’s desire to share all the tips and tricks that we use in our tightwad journey with you in hopes of helping you to become good stewards of God’s riches.
If you have any questions or suggestions, I would love to hear from you tightwadintraining @ gmail . com (remove spaces).