Fueling Frugality

“Precious treasure and oil are in the dwelling of a wise person, but a foolish man consumes them.”—Proverbs 21:20 (HCSB)


What do you do when you get a little extra money? Recently we were faced with that decision when we received a larger than normal tax refund. Instantly, I started making plans for a little home renovation. Convinced that this was God’s way of replacing the 1980s “white” carpet in a house of five children, I began to scour the ads for flooring.


Thanks to Financial Peace University, our only debt is the mortgage, and we have stashed away some emergency savings. Surely Dave would approve of adding a little value to our home with this windfall! But then a car broke down. And then another car broke down. Little by little, my dream of allergen-free flooring was slipping away.


When I mentioned my woes to a friend, she reminded me that my house was already beautiful. Instantly, I knew exactly what she meant. My house is beautiful because of the people inside of it, not because of the style of the floor under our feet. I realized that if we were going to change our decor, it would have to be free. I began praying for free flooring and contentedly accepted my job as monthly carpet cleaner. A week later, on my way home, I passed a house with wood planks stacked high by the curb. Upon inquiry I found that because of a tiny “flood” in the kitchen of that home, all the flooring was being removed, free for the taking. The color was just what we wanted, and the exact square footage for our home is now sitting in our garage waiting for my husband to install.


When Egypt was living through a season of great wealth, God warned them to start storing up for the future. And they did what many of us cannot: They saved sacrificially.


Putting money in the bank requires trust and contentment. You must trust God to provide for your needs, and be content that He already has. We live in a culture that tells us “You deserve it! And you can pay for it later!” However, the truth is that we deserve nothing and will likely pay dearly for it later.


When you say “No!” to spending and “Yes!” to saving, you give God an opportunity to bless you beyond your imagination. Then, like Joseph, you can bless others out of your abundance! 


DIG: What does the Bible say about contentment in Philippians 4:12?


DISCOVER: What motivates some of your “want” purchases? Is there any area where you could cut back? Ask the Lord to show you! And then if you’re really brave, ask a trusted friend or loved one!


DISPLAY: Make a plan to adjust your spending plan to eliminate purchases based on emotions rather than truth and share with someone you trust for accountability.

About the Author

Lauren Chastain