Penny Pinching

As many of you might have noticed, life is expensive. Everything seems to cost money and sometimes things cost more than you expect. I don’t know about you, but some days I feel really down about the expenses that are put on people. In case you haven’t already guessed, I’m in university which makes money problems much worse. School is unbelievably expensive and so is the cost of transportation, living expenses, and going out with friends. It can get to be a lot to think about. However, it can be a comfort to know that God provides for people. Maybe not in the ways we always expect, but He does provide. It helps we when I focus on this thought and remind myself about not worrying.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”                                                                                                                                                                        – Matthew 6:34

When I begin to worry about money, this Bible verse comes to mind. It helps me to not worry as much, but this is not why I wanted to write this post. It is hard to not worry about money when you can’t seem to make ends meet. This verse made my initial anxiety about paying my bills simmer down, but my anxiety still lingered in the background. I began to think about all the reasons why I had so much anxiety about this issue and realized that it was because I felt out of control. Perhaps this why money can cause so many problems in our world. We want what other people have and hoard our valuables in “safe” places, but most people still crave and worry about those handy pieces of paper and little gold or silver coins. We can never really be in complete control over our fiances, or have complete control in most other areas. Our finances depend on many variables: employment, wages, education, etc. Maybe this is why it is really best to let God take care of those worries. Here goes another problem though. Does this mean we are helpless beings just sailing through life? I don’t think so. Maybe there are many things that we can’t control, but we always have the choice to control our own thoughts and actions. As I was pondering my money anxieties, I realized what I had to do. Let go of the control and do my best. I may not be able to make more money at my job, but I can do little things for myself to make my earnings spread farther. Here are my ideas:

1. I am proud to admit that I am now quite the savvy shopper. Sales and coupons can be great ways to save money. There is no shame in going to the sales rack to see what you can find or in using a coupon to buy a nice hot meal out. Through these savings you can spend what you would have had to pay at full price on something else.

2. As a student, I know textbooks can be crazy expensive! Buy used people! I don’t like buying books with writing in them, but there are still tons of places to get books cheap or used without damage. Amazon is my best friend in these matters. Even if the book is new, it is still cheaper than my university’s bookstore.

3. On that note, be creative! I was worried about paying for my textbooks this year and brainstormed about what I could do to earn enough for them. As I looked around my room, the idea came pretty quick to me: Garage Sale! My family and I have so many unnecessary items in our house so I asked if I could sell the things people didn’t want. Surprisingly, everyone agreed and have supplied me with a ton of things to sell. I asked my boyfriend to join in and his family helped out too! Now we will have the sale and split the profits for school or at least a nice date night!

These few steps helped me feel more positive about my expenses and even enjoy being creative. I hope some of these ideas might help you too.

Until next time,

Katie

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