Thursday, January 8, 2009

Aesop Got It Right

"It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow."

Oh, Aesop, you are so very wise.

And with this quote I offer up to you my first weekly installment of "Thrifty Thursdays".

In order to insure that I post at least once a week, and as a means of communicating to those of you who are amazed at how I am able to find, what our family calls "treasures", at various resale and consignment shops (and sometimes getting things absolutely FREE), and wonder how I find the deals I do (I rarely, rarely pay full price for anything), I have decided to begin posting "Thrifty Thursdays."

Thrifty? What does that mean? It seems to connote second hand, right? Well, not exactly.
Read the definition of thrifty for yourself:
  1. Practicing or marked by the practice of thrift; wisely economical.
  2. Industrious and thriving; prosperous.
  3. Growing vigorously; thriving, as a plant.
I have always looked at thrifty as being, well, cheap, because one had no other choice. Constantly struggling to make ends meet, and yet having to be content with living paycheck to paycheck. Just getting by. Always scrounging. Accepting one's situation for what it is and settling for shopping at Family Dollar.

I was wrong.

The definition describes thrifty in a very active way. Words such as "industrious" and "prosperous" and "vigorous" are not normally used to describe someone who feels stuck in their circumstances, and thus gives up. No, this definition opened my eyes to thrifty being a verb. It reveals thriftiness as being a means to propel one forward to a more sound (wise) and even healthier (thriving) state. I've never contemplated that being thrifty could also be equated with being industrious and prosperous, or that it could provide vigorous growth and a ticket out of the monthly crunch or the paralytic state of "I guess this is all there is."

I just thought I was saving a buck here and there.

When, in actuality, saving a buck is small potatoes compared to what thriftiness actually offers. Merely saving a buck doesn't make me feel industrious or prosperous. I'm missing something.

I must be setting my goals too low. Rather than just saving a dime or two, I would rather experience the industrious, prosperous, and vigorous growth that being thrifty can afford me. No, I don't expect to strike it rich. I just expect to lessen the financial straps that are binding me. One, by making new choices with our money. And two, by feeling released from the mental and emotional pressure because I am following number one. The result? A more relaxed environment in our home where money isn't the key to all things good. For it isn't. And by being industrious in making a few tweaks to the family budget, I am certain we will find a healthier prosperity (which involves so much more than just cash), and experience vigorous growth in so many ways. We waste a ton of money. We aren't frivolous spenders, and yet, by making new choices (on where we shop, how we shop, and deciding when and if we actually need to shop) I bet we will see that we actually have more than we thought. More to give. More to save. More for emergencies. I just think we can be smarter spenders.

So, each Thursday, I'll share my journey. I'll share my treasure hunts, money-saving ideas, websites that have inspired me and will hopefully will spur you on to make new choices with your finances. I'll share brainstorms, ideas, and specifics about where I shop, and where I find the best deals.

It's Thrifty Thursdays. And Mondays, and Tuesdays, and, well, you get it.


Katie Pckard said...

Well done! I like it!!! I can't wait for more "Thrifty Thursdays". I am so more ways than one!

Cuppa Jo said...

Thanks. I'm really excited about this new addition to my blog. Writing about being thrifty will also help to keep me accountable to my financial goals . . .

Liz said...

I love this and, dare I say, probably equal you in my ability to pursue a good price for something I am looking for. Around here, I am considered the Queen of CraigsList and Ebay! And of course, you know of my favorite "second-hand" grocery store, Amelias! I'm going to read your thrifty Thursday now and post my latest CraigsList finds there!