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Learning Frugality Takes Practice

Learning Frugality Takes Practice

Whenever I write about women being keepers at home, I undoubtedly get a comment that this is no longer possible. Families NEED two incomes to survive, they proclaim. No, but it may take a lot of sacrifice and hard work to be able to make it on one income.

One young woman asked the women in the chat room this question: “How do you ladies who are stay at home wives/moms make it work with one income?”

Many women responded since many survive on one income but I especially liked Dolly’s answer:

From someone who knows: DO NOT take on any debt except your home. Whatever you have to do or live without. (I believe college debt is most likely the number one reason why most young women can’t stay home with their children.)

Buy the cheapest home you can get that is still in good shape and don’t worry about it being HGTV fixed up for at least the first ten years.

 Use wood for heat. It’s cheaper than any other source and does not increase in price over time as other sources of heat do (electric, oil, etc.).

Move outside of the city and avoid municipal water and lower property taxes.

Grow as much of your own food as you can and learn to can it.

 Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.

Use one vehicle and do groceries one time per week or less.

Use as little power as possible by opening windows and unplugging things when not in use (toaster, etc.).

Switch to LED lights if you haven’t already.

Find enjoyment from frugal activities like making quilts from scraps and thrift shopping.

Make everything from scratch.

Serve all meals with lots of inexpensive sides to fill up on – carrots, potatoes, peas, simple salads, rice, beans. We call this rubber chicken … people will be filling up on sides so much they won’t even notice the chicken is actually rubber. lol 😆

Frugality comes over time as you learn more and more. At first tips like “make coffee at home” and “pack lunches” felt too hard, and now I wouldn’t even stop to think about those things as frugal. Now I’m of the mindset that buying shredded cheese is for rich people! Hahah. I found reading books like The Tightwad Gazette and Miserly Moms really helped me come up with unique ideas to save money.

House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Proverbs 19:14

Wifely Extravagance Destroys Homes

Wifely Extravagance Destroys Homes

“Wifely thriftlessness and extravagance have destroyed the happiness of many a household and wrecked many a home. On the other hand, many a man owes his prosperity to his wife’s prudence and her wise administration of household affairs.” (JR Miller) In pondering this statement, I thought about all of the women who are marrying their husbands with a boatload of debt due to their college education. They failed to ever consider what a burden this would place upon their future husbands. Concerning college education, women must learn to count the cost and decide whether it will be worth saddling their husbands with debt. The answer is usually “no” unless they can do it without any debt.

If your goal in life is to be a wife and mother even from a young age, you need to consider this carefully and prepare for it. When I went to college, it was very inexpensive. I didn’t want to go but my dad wanted me to go and thankfully, I had no debt when I graduated. I was taught to always live below my means and I have always lived this way. I take seriously the admonition in the Word of God to “owe no many anything” (Romans 13:8).

Beginning a marriage with a ton of debt is Satan’s trap to keep women out of their homes and not having children. There are way too many young women who can’t be home with their children because they are paying off their college debt. This is preposterous! Their children need them home yet young women are forbidden from expressing the desire to be wives and mothers (even in the churches, sadly) when they are young, therefore, they fail to prepare for this. God’s will is for young women to marry, bear children, and guide the home (1 Timothy 5:14). Now, we have all of these children growing up without their mothers. Tragic.

We need to prepare our daughters for marriage way before they get married. We need to teach them to enjoy keeping clean and tidy homes. We need to let them see that this is the best job in the world since they won’t hear it anywhere else. They need to be taught to live simply and contentedly with what they have and within their husband’s income. They don’t need the latest fashions, expensive vacations, manicures, and spa days.  If you model contentment in your home to your daughters, they will pick up on it.

Oh, but many will tell me that there’s no way that a family can live on one income these days. Most likely, it’s because they didn’t plan on doing this early in life. One must be taught to live within one’s means and not get into debt with college and credit cards. It’s called saving up the money before you buy something. This is something our generation has completely lost. They falsely believe they NEED an iPhone, cable, and all of the other luxuries we have today. Yes, they are luxuries and they aren’t worth leaving your children in the care of others to raise.

With God all things are possible and he wants mothers to be home full time with their children. He has told us that women who aren’t keepers at home “blaspheme his word” and as godly women, we sure don’t want to do that! Here is how a mother of seven children stays home by working hard in her home:

 “I stay at home with seven children and counting and love, love, love it! I try every day to cook good meals on a small budget. It is a lot of work to be able to feed a large family without going overboard. Several years ago, I started making foods from scratch and shopping sales and really paying attention to processed food and what I was providing for my family. It has saved us so much money! My husband doesn’t make a lot but is happy when I have his lunch ready for him to take to work every morning. My homeschooled children cook with me every day and are healthy and satisfied. I freeze and can and do all that I can to make sure that we are doing the best with our food budget. My husband leaves every morning to make this money for us and I’m going do my best with it!”

Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathers by labor shall increase.
Proverbs 13:11

Finding a Way to Come Home Full Time

Finding a Way to Come Home Full Time

Written by Genevieve Greenwood

It’s funny how life works out sometimes.

I had been in the work force since I was about 12. My first job was babysitting my little cousin full time. Later, fast food then management, then call centers and eventually banking. I had a decent job dealing with credit card identity and transactional fraud.

My oldest child has autism, Tourette syndrome, and a host of other medical issues. I’ve always dealt with his medical needs personally, and it did make me a far less reliable worker. I had taken on this role of his primary medical advocate because it felt natural and because my husband’s more lucrative career was far less flexible.

After my second child, I went back to work when she was just seven months old. Honestly, before going in for my first shift back, I thought I would do fine! My own feelings of anxiety and missing my baby girl who was still nursing caught me completely by surprise. I felt a sadness, almost grief, from being forced away from my baby girl so soon, beyond what I can describe. It lasted a moment, during which I couldn’t breathe but perceived necessity pushed me forward so I trudged on.

Eventually, caring for a special needs child, a young baby, being away from the children, and postpartum depression took a huge toll on me. I suffered burn out and had to leave my job. I firmly believe the separation from my young baby was the trigger of my postpartum depression.

At first, my husband and I both fought the idea of me staying home. I worked all weekend at a corner store up the street. I had a cleaning gig. I took in extra children. I groomed dogs with my amazing mother in law. I did all kinds of things to bring in money at the detriment of my home, my children, and my relationship with the most amazing man I’ve ever met.

But especially when my son started going to public school (both children are home schooled now), we started really understanding that we needed a parent at home full time. Our son was very often sick and couldn’t go to school. He always had (and still has) numerous appointments with doctors, and has a lot of “bad days”. Some days, his emotional state made it too difficult for him to leave home. I had to be there for him.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think I started to really recover from my burnout until I came back home to my little girl and my little man. Even though I’d been seeing a doctor and getting treatment for my illness for months prior, it’s only when I’m home and being their mother FULLY that I had those healing moments. I’m not good at reading all the messages God sends me, but I think this is where He wants me to be.

But what about money?

We had gone from “this is impossible” to “now we have to do it.”

We had already declared bankruptcy. We weren’t making it from month to month. How can we possibly make this work?

First thing about that: We don’t have it all figured out. We have it way more figured out than we used to, though! And I want to help other families who think they just can’t afford to live on a single income. And I really want to share the lessons God has been teaching me through this process.

1- Organize your life. Do your wife job, let him do his husband job, and never the two shall meet. Being organized in your roles will help you both immensely feel respectively less burdened. Once you both know exactly what you have to do, then nothing gets forgotten or neglected. A husband feels better about coming home when he knows he won’t be ambushed at the door with a list of chores. A wife will feel better about doing her chores if she knows she doesn’t have to work 10 hours the next day. Each of you should have ONE JOB. There should be a wife/homemaker and a husband/provider. If you both have too many jobs, you’ll get overwhelmed all over again.

2- Simplify. Take the kids to the park: it’s free! Play in the yard. Take on projects to make your house a home. The more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to clean. Get rid of the excess and only bring into your home the things you truly need. Find joy in living a simple life and having a simple routine. Children thrive on routine, too. I really believe it helps them develop their sense of family stability. Kids don’t need stuff; they need your time.

3- Make and eat your own food. So many women I know, even housewives, say they have no time to cook. I firmly believe this happens from lack of cooking practice, and having typical things baked or cooked for the family on a regular basis. I can prep cinnamon rolls in less then 10 minutes (30 minutes cook time). I can prep bread for rising in about five minutes. Throwing meat, veggies and potatoes in a pot takes no time and often it’s really good if you cook it all at once! I’m terrible at meal planning (I know, I’m working on it), but it helps a lot with finances if you only buy what you’ll need for the week. And honestly, watching my daughter so excited to watch me make what we need is a reward all on its own.

4- There are usually places where every family hemorrhages money. We tweaked our Internet/Cable bill (Netflix is cheaper, if you like that sort of thing). We’re careful with the heat and lights. Aside from my “just mommy” outings, I make my coffee at home. Look over your bank statement and chances are there’s something.

5- This one is super important: FOCUS ON HIS CAREER. This is a recent lesson for me. My husband had been without work for a while, since his last contract ended. But with me not being out there playing Mrs Provider all the time, I was able to make it easier for him to look for better jobs. I was able to make our home a place where he was able to tend to applications and leaving for interviews. I made sure he had interview-clothes ready at a moment’s notice. There is a lot that us wives can do to support our husbands in being better able to provide for our family.

I’m the farthest thing from a perfect wife. And I have to repent often for mistakes I make. but I think God has been teaching me through this. Unlike back when I was working outside the home, I feel like I’m actually moving forward spiritually in my role as a wife and mother. I’m actually learning and making progress. I’ve been able to correct some profound character flaws in my parenting and my submission to my husband’s direction, even if I have a long way to go.

God put me on this path, even when I stubbornly fought it. I think when we accept God’s direction and go the way He wants us to, we start to grow.

In Christ,

Genevieve

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20, 21

Dogged Determination to Stay at Home

Dogged Determination to Stay at Home

Written by a woman who wants to remain anonymous who was determined to stay home with her children.

In order for me to stay home with my children, I grew a lot of my food and I taught myself to can it. I bought fabric at the thrift store and taught myself how to make my clothes and my children’s clothes. I hung my clothes on a clothesline to dry. We installed a wood stove in our fireplace and heated our home with a wood stove instead of paying a expensive power bill. I drove an older car. I learned to sew and made craft items to sell at local craft shows to contribute to my husbands income. I found a bent can grocery store and bought my grocery items there. I gleaned lots of information from the older women in my church on how they saved money. I turned the air conditioner off in my home and used a fan until my children became too uncomfortable then I turned it back on only during the hottest months. I prayed for wisdom and knowledge and for God’s provision.

During this time, God blessed us with two new homes that we had built and provided all our needs. When God saw that I was willing to work hard and say “no” to worldly things, He blessed us continually. I refused to leave my babies in the care of others because I wanted to be the one that cared for them.

Many mothers want a easy way to stay home by just laying on the couch all day. That is not possible! It is a big commitment and takes dogged determination to learn things to be able to stay home. It is not for lazy mothers. It is much easier in my opinion to go to work than to teach and train your own children and cook healthy meals every day.

It IS possible for everyone but it takes a lot of work. I worked from early morning getting up to nurse my baby and worked until sometime 11:00 pm before I went to bed. I remember canning my garden vegetables after my children went down for the night. I also baked my own healthy bread for my family.

I was a 21 year old mother at the time with a newborn and a three year old! Being young is not a excuse to not learn to do things. I would be happy to help anyone that wants any advice on how to save money to stay home. I did all if this with four people living on one income and my husband did NOT have a college education and did not make a lot of money.

The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
Proverbs 31:11

New Laine’s Letter About Saving Money

New Laine’s Letter About Saving Money

Laine was one of the first women to teach me about godly womanhood through her writings called Laine’s Letters. Yesterday, Annabel from The Bluebirds are Nesting wrote me and told me that she had been in contact with Laine. Annabel lives in Australia and prices are rising so she wanted to know how Laine saved money in situations like this. Laine wrote her a new blog post so I asked if I could share it with all of you!

Annabel wrote, “To introduce, first of all she said that it is wonderful we are all trying to save money.  She said that she is still constantly learning how to save as Art is hoping to retire in about six years time. Even though they live in a hot climate, they don’t have air-conditioning as that helps keep costs down.

I asked what she does nowadays to manage increased food prices and she said she would love to help and this was what she wrote.”

1~ I pray that the LORD will help me save and to develop good habits, because you bring your habits with you wherever you go. I pray while I am shopping for eyes to see the deals.

2~ I try to use meat as a condiment, unless it is a special occasion. I like learning recipes from other countries that already practice this in their cuisine.

3~ I shop at the Farmer’s market and many other stores to stay in my food budget. I shopped four stores this week, but sometimes six stores. I shop the stores that are near each other to save gas, or if I am in that part of town. I shop only with cash and keep a record of what I spend on a small notebook.

4~ I don’t buy much packaged goods, rather I make most everything from scratch. I make my own spray cleanser from one part rubbing alcohol to one part water.

5~ I am already Christmas shopping, a little here, a little there. I have my eight
grandchildren’s presents bought, a well as their birthdays. I love being ahead as I can save money that way.

6~ I love to shop at garage sales, the deals are really great. (The next best place is thrift shops.) I was looking for a waffle iron and found one last week at an estate sale, just the one I was looking for! But I did search for months. If I find something really inexpensive and I already have one, but I use that item a lot, I will buy it as a back up. I actually had a back up for a waffle iron, but I like this “new” one better as my back up didn’t get as crispy as I would like.

7~ I make three pots of tea from one tea bag. I buy Yorkshire tea and fill the pot dunking the tea bag twice, pulling it out and doing the same with the next pot of tea. The last pot I leave the tea bag in.

8~ Fast food for me is buying a cooked roast chicken and using it for three meals; the final meal being a nice soup.

9~ Cheapest protein is an egg, so I love adding eggs to a dish to stretch the protein. I like to make Cloud Bread and mayonnaise out of eggs.

10~ Flour tortillas are a quick bread that can be filled with so many things, and it’s very frugal. Even just celery, onion, and bits of meat leftover sautéed together with some leftover beans is so delicious in a hot fresh tortilla.

11~ I hang dry my clothes to save on electricity.

12~ We don’t use air conditioning, rather solar screens and solar curtains, a good fan, a $7 kiddie pool (great to get wet and put your feet in while the kids have fun), and Frogg Toggs for keeping your body cool, especially at night.

13~ I use one half of the detergent suggested in my wash, unless it is a really dirty item. If so, I will soak it a bit and use three quarters the suggested amount that comes with my detergent. One box of detergent lasts me months, and I find our clothes are very clean.

14~ I love to learn from other women, and one of my favorites is on YouTube called The Fundamental Home. She feeds her family of five on $30 a week! I really enjoy watching her. She also runs a page on Facebook called Frugal Family Food.

15~ I love making fun things with my daughter Lucy who is seven years old. We make Popsicles, cookies, cake, waffles, pancakes, gummies, and other fun things together. We are making a birthday cake today. Everything we make is very healthy, which helps us to keep from being ill, which saves us money at the doctor.

16~ We love going to the library and go there twice a week. There is just so much free there!

17~ I shop with cash; this helps to curb any unnecessary spending.

18~ When I bake, I try to fill the oven. Today, I made chicken, baked potatoes, and broccoli all in the oven at the same time. Filled the rack! I cooked extra potatoes today that I will use in breakfast tomorrow.

19~ I save stalks of kale, celery, etc. and use them in soups and stir fries.

20~ I try new recipes often to increase my skills and repertoire. I am always checking out new cookbooks from our library. I love to try new recipes off the Internet as well.

21~ I stay out of the stores unless I need something and have my list in hand.

22~ I try to buy in the summer for winter, and vice versa when I thrift shop.

23~ If I want to spruce up my decorating, I will move my own items around. It’s those little things that give a room a lift.

24~ I try to make it a game in saving and have my own fiscal year for our budget, which is from May to May. This past fiscal year I was able to save an extra thousand for our upcoming new roof. I love seeing those results.

25~ I do my best to help keep us debt free by continuing to learn how to save. My husband wants to retire in six years, so saving toward that is now my goal. I remember when my goal was paying off our vehicle, then paying off our house, then saving to adopt our little girl from China, and now saving for retirement. There is always savings going on!

I hope this is helpful, Annabel. I kept writing things down as I either did them or remembered them. It was fun, just like the old days when I used to write In My Home. Enjoy your lovely grandchildren! It was so, so good to hear from you!

Lots of love,
Laine xxoo

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

The Myth of Needing Two Incomes

The Myth of Needing Two Incomes

Happy Mama commented on one of my recent posts.  I thought it was so beautifully written that I would make it into a post.  I will let her words minister to you ~

Just commenting on some of the comments…It is sad to me that some people think that having two incomes is a necessity. You may need two incomes to keep up your current lifestyle, but you don’t need two incomes. You just have to learn to live within your means, which may mean getting rid of a second car, living in an apartment not a house, learning to cook simple meals, buying second hand-only things that are really needed.

My husband is disabled and we live on his disability income. It is extremely financially tight, but I would never leave my role as a homemaker for more money. I have found ways to help us earn a few extra dollars (selling things online) that has blessed my family without leaving my role as homemaker. (The Proverbs 31 woman made money through her extra work at her home.) I completely accept we will always live in an apartment; we will always live humbly. But nothing is more important than caring for my home and family.

A simple humble life with my loved ones is better than any big paycheck. People are what make life great, not things. As long as your husband has an income, however small, you can live off it. Nothing is more precious to me than raising my children and caring for my family.

After reading Money Saving Secrets of the Amish I was really inspired by even the things I think of as necessities. The Amish were asked if they could spend extra money on some luxuries what they would buy. One of the Amish mentioned a salad dressing they really liked, but was only a special treat. One of the ladies mentioned Ritz crackers. Even many food items aren’t necessities (I have always thought all food counts as necessities), but really if you look at how people who live the most humble eat ~ much of even the food bought and sold in America are luxuries. I was greatly encouraged to think more simply after reading this wonderful book, and it really made me think about what are true needs vs. wants, even with regards to food. Just wanted to share that too.

We need to get back to being unmaterialistic and living simply so we have time to enjoy the things in life that really make us rich!

She rises also while it is yet night, and gives food to her household.
Proverbs 31:15

Dissipating Her Husband’s Substance

Dissipating Her Husband’s Substance

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones (Proverbs 12:4). “Solomon seems to intend by this appellation, a woman who has all the perfections of her sex; wisdom, modesty, prudence, virtue, and, above all, economy and good management; and by her who maketh ashamed, he means the contrary; and particularly a woman who dissipates her husband’s substance in expensive follies; in the same manner as he called a libertine a prodigal son, a son that causeth shame.” (Benson Commentary)

Many women today are spendthrifts. They are continually going shopping and spending money or scouring the Internet for things to buy. The average woman makes 301 trips to the store annually, spending close to 400 hours a year shopping. This amounts to 8.5 years spent shopping during a typical lifespan. They are not content with what they have and must have more and more. A friend of mine just had dinner with a man whose wife was rottenness in his bones. She didn’t like the color of the Hummer he had bought her and wanted a new one. She spent all of his hard-earned money and was never satisfied. He was a broken and miserable man. Unfortunately, these types of stories aren’t uncommon in today’s materialistic society.

There are other women who go deep into debt by going to college and taking out big loans. Then when they marry their husbands, the husbands have the added burden of trying to pay off their wives’ loans, plus these same women want expensive wedding rings. Women, this isn’t using wisdom! We don’t need an expensive college education, the latest fashions, expensive haircuts and manicures, spa days, elaborate vacations, new cars, perfectly decorated homes, eating out often (Americans now spend more money on dining out than groceries), etc. if all these mean we are dissipating our husband’s income. We must not be rottenness to their bones but strive to be virtuous women who are a crown to our husbands instead, for godliness with contentment is great gain.

Here are some examples of virtuous wives who live contentedly within their husband’s income and are a crown to them.

 Laine lives within her husband’s income and has learned to be content with little. She found joy in living carefully and frugally while praying for wisdom often. “Every paycheck, I do my best to put a little away. Even if it is only a little, it is a savings. We have a savings account, a retirement account where a sum is taken out of my husband’s salary each month, and an emergency account for emergencies. There is desirable treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders all that he has (Proverbs 21:20).

I do my best to keep our electrical and water bills as low as possible. When we were in an electrical crisis and our bill tripled overnight, we went into a very small, hip high refrigerator with no freezer and shut down our water heater. …We had to heat our water to bathe and to wash dishes. It was rough for awhile, but I was able to keep us on our budget. (She admits that they had to truly sacrifice to get out of debt and this is an example of a sacrifice they made, no hot running water for a time.)”

Here’s another woman who was a crown to her husband by living within her husband’s income. “I make my own cleaning products, personal care products, and most condiments. I would also add that we have a child with multiple severe food allergies, and I do buy our staple foods in organic versions and make all my own baked goods, treats, etc. from healthier ingredients.

We have SLOW Internet, no cable. No smartphones. No fancy gadgets. We do have newer vehicles, one that we are still paying on, and my hubby just bought a motorcycle for its fuel efficiency for his commute. We have a small backyard flock of chickens for egg and for meat.”

Then there are all of the women who I have asked how they have been able to stay home and live within their husband’s income. One woman responded, “For me, the most important change for making it on one income was mental. When I quit practicing law, I kept finding a quote that the path of Christianity is one of ‘downward mobility.’ Trusting that there is greater peace, joy, and fullness of life with less money/stuff/conveniences was key for me. Also, I personally don’t make my own laundry soap, can, thrift, etc. That is WONDERFUL for those who do, but tips like that would’ve scared me off the one-income idea. I say this just in case someone is reading this thinking, ‘Obviously, we can’t live on one income because I can’t do all of that!’ Those of us brought up to be career women have a hard enough time with the transition! But there are lots of ways to save money that don’t require Mom to be a domestic creative genius. We eat out pretty infrequently, drive older, long-paid-off cars, no cable or up-to-date electronics, ‘vacation’ only by visiting family, etc. I miss nothing that I used to spend money on, and find family life so much richer than financial wealth!”

It is your choice: do you want to be a crown to your husband by living carefully within his income or rottenness in his bones by spending more than he earns?

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:10-12

The Harm in Worldly Finery

The Harm in Worldly Finery

“Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts” (Isaiah 3:16, 17).

These women were the opposite of modest. They were proud and evil. Matthew Henry wrote this about them. “Let them know that God notices the folly and vanity of proud women, even of their dress. The punishments threatened answered the sin. Loathsome diseases often are the just punishment of pride. It is not material to ask what sort of ornaments they wore; many of these things, if they had not been in fashion, would have been ridiculed then as now. Their fashions differed much from those of our times, but human nature is the same. Wasting time and money, to the neglect of piety, charity, and even of justice, displease the Lord. Many professors at the present day, seem to think there is no harm in worldly finery; but were it not a great evil, would the Holy Spirit have taught the prophet to expose it so fully?” 

God makes it very clear to us throughout His Word what He values and what He hates. We know He hates pride and now we know that He hates worldly finery. There are many verses in the Word about the love of money and how we are not to serve money but God alone. “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15).

Part of pride and loving money is using it to draw others’ attention towards ourselves. He commands that women be shamefaced (“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” – 1 Timothy 2:9) which means “having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one’s merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions.” This not only speaks about our clothing but everything else in our lives and is the complete opposite of the daughters of Zion. Strive to be modest in all areas!

Besides being modest in how we clothe ourselves; modesty means being modest in how much money we spend on ourselves. We don’t need the latest and greatest fashions since this world isn’t our home. We are strangers and aliens just passing through and there are more important things to spend our money on than fancy clothes and the vanities of this life. Besides, how many clothes do you really enjoy wearing? I have heard that 10% of the clothes that people own are worn 90% of the time!

We went to Wisconsin this past summer and were planning on staying there for two and a half weeks so I packed enough clothes for that in one suitcase, along with makeup, vitamins, food, pillows, and only brought two pairs of shoes. We ended up staying almost seven weeks and I did great with the amount of clothes I had. It was so easy to decide what to wear each day and we had so fewer clothes to clean! Many of us have way more than we need and so give away everything you don’t use or wear and stop buying stuff.

We are to be “free from ostentation or showy extravagance” in everything! This includes in the homes we live in. Instead of spending a fortune on making our homes into model homes, God calls us to be generous and help those in need. Our homes don’t need to be constantly updated to look exactly like the homes you see remodeled on the television. (I know many of you do a lot of it on your own and frugally. It mostly comes down to a heart issue. Where is your heart? Are you using your money to keep up with the Jones or to bring glory to the Lord? Does your gorgeous, expensive home sit empty all day or is your home a place of ministry to your family and others?) If you have a roof over your head, food in your refrigerator, running hot water, a comfortable bed, and clothes on your back, you are wealthier than most of the world and even the kings of old. Be thankful and content living modestly in your home.

Modesty also means “having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior and speech.” Act decently in all that you do since others are watching you, especially your children; speak decently to everyone since no unwholesome word should ever come from our mouths (Ephesians 4:29). Don’t flirt with other men but be faithful to your husband.

Live contently on a limited or moderate amount of money your husband makes. Save money by showing self-restraint in eating a modest amount of food. Don’t be a glutton and waste food, plus being harmful to your health. Be modest in your exercise. Yes, exercise is beneficial and needed but it doesn’t have to be in the extreme. Be modest in the amount of sleep you get. You don’t need a ton of sleep or you will become lazy and waste precious daylight to get your work done (Proverbs 24:33). Be modest in how many clothes, makeup, perfume, and stuff you own. Don’t store your treasures (worldly finery) on earth since they can draw your heart away from the Lord and the things of this world will all burn one day. Store your treasures in heaven where they belong!

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:19-21