Admit it, in this economy almost all of us have become a little tighter with our money and slimmed our budgets. Sure, there are those few who still spend money like it's going out of style, and don't worry about bills. But, in reality a very large part of the United States population is truly financially struggling in one way or another.
My family is of course no different. Over the last several months, we have tightened our belts until they are almost cutting off the circulation to our legs, and learned to pinch pennies so tight they scream.
We do without a lot of luxuries some people consider necessity. We own only one vehicle, we have no cable, we rarely (if ever) eat out, and we have sold many of our material items. I am sure some of you may be thinking "goodness how do these people survive' Well the honest truth is this, although it is not always easy being a low income "tightwad" family, we have gained a lot through this experience.
Having only one car means that we spend more time together as a family. Yes, it may be true that we spend this time running errands, dropping kids at school, or doing other mundane tasks that we try to squeeze all into one trip, but we are still together.
Having no cable means that we do not spend countless hours staring blank faced at a television screen, instead we have time to talk, play with our children, and enjoy each others company.
Not eating out means that we are given the opportunity to try new foods and recipes, it also means that we are given additional time to spend together around a dinner table where real conversation can take place without constant interruption.
I am not saying that having or doing any of the above things is bad. I am simply trying to prove a point. Many people will look down their noses at people who are at the lower end of the income spectrum, pitying them for the many things they do without. Never once do people consider the things that families like my own GAIN by being "poor"
I must confess that there was a time that doing without many of these luxuries got me down, it was hard to see all the things that others were giving to their children, when we ourselves were not able to. However, I have realized, while it is true that we are not able to give our children lots of expensive things, we do provide them with all of their needs, as well as lots of time, attention, and love. These are three things that no amount of money could ever buy.
Yes, we do struggle, quiet honestly daily life is nearly always a financial struggle for my family. But, do I think of us as poor? NO! honestly I feel like we are rather rich, as we have learned the value of all the amazing things in life that money could never buy.
Do I mind that coupons and penny pinching are a part of my daily life? Well, sometimes I think it would be nice to go out to a big seafood dinner. But, if being a penny pincher means that I get more time with my family, and friends or more time to enjoy the simple life, well... then I'd much rather be a poor tightwad penny pincher any day!!!