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I would like to outline some important core values that drive our financial life as a big family.These ideals drive us to keep our purchases simple and frugal, but still allow us to have fun. I doubt these are universal, but each can be adapted to every family.
People before things — This means that the people always take precedence before wants. For example, instead of using all the money set aside for my birthday to buy something frivolous, I choose to split it up and buy/do something small for myself and spend the rest celebrating with my family.
Every penny is an investment — Looking at our finances this way helps us remember the purpose of spending money and separate needs from wants. Whenever I am buying toys, I ask myself whether the investment will generate an equal or more valuable return. I know that single purpose toys like a bear that lights up and makes noise will become boring much faster than blocks or LEGOs. This is why we use cloth diapers. I can’t bear buying something expensive like diapers just to throw it away.
Buy used and save the difference especially kid’s clothes and shoes— They go through them so fast buying new just doesn’t make sense to me. I am grateful for those who do buy new so I can buy them used. I also only shop for kid’s clothes 2x a year so the budget doesn’t get away from me. Our area has a consignment sale 2x a year called Rhea Lana’s (Duck Duck Goose is another) where local families consign. I get shoes on the first public day so they don’t get picked over but only buy clothes on the half price day. I spent just $350 to complete our 4 kid’s handmedown winter wardrobes last August!
Know where your money is going — keeping a detailed record ensures you control your money and not your impulses. I have thought about doing a Record Your Spending Challenge? Please leave me a comment to let me know if there is interest in one!
Make it, Make do, or Do without— this is a rule we use somewhat sparingly. I almost always freeze my own calzones (hot pockets), pancakes, biscuits, etc. My girls have worn their brother’s jackets and vice versa to keep from buying new ones (after all it’s the function that’s important). My husband and I shared 1 vehicle for years. We have only gotten a second one recently because don’t fit in one car anymore!
Money is time and effort, often spent away from family— A job is selling your time and effort. A lucky few get to work at home, but most have to go away from their families. I would much rather my husband use our time and effort to build up our family than some other’s business.
Do your core money values differ from ours? I would love to read yours in the comments.
A big portion of my financial principals come from the book Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robinson and Joe Domingo.Read my review!