It’s Not About the Money

Image courtesy of Simon Howden/freedigitalphotos.net

If there’s anything I’m good at, it’s finding bargains.  I love walking into a store and heading straight for the sales/clearance area and digging around for treasures.  You could say that I got the “el cheapo” gene passed down to me because frugality runs in my family.

Let me tell you just how cheap my family is – my sister told me a few years ago that she didn’t know cars had windshield wiper fluid because the hand-me-down she inherited didn’t have any!  I guess my dad never bothered to refill it after it ran out, which meant my poor sister had been driving around with a dirty windshield.  And whenever my parents give my kids things that are not packaged, I can be certain that they found it lying around somewhere (and some poor kid is still looking for his or her hat/scooter/swimming gear/nintendo). 😛

While it’s not a bad idea to save some money for a rainy day, I’ve learned that being cheap is not always the best way to live your life.  For one thing, it’s a bit limiting to buy something I kind of like just because it’s on sale instead of buying what I really like at full price.  It’s also kind of silly to have a bunch of almost empty lotion or shampoo bottles taking up residence in the bathroom because I’m trying to squeeze every last drop out of them.  And driving across town for less expensive gas may be defeating the purpose of saving 3 cents per gallon. 😛

When it all comes down to it though, it’s not about the money; it’s about people and how money affects them.  As hubby, Mr. Not-So-Cheapo, has taught me, money is just a tool and should be spent with a purpose.  Maybe its purpose is to buy lunch for the kids at Wendy’s instead of cooking it at home so mom saves her sanity.  Or its purpose is to buy a little plastic toy from one of those money-sucking vending machines just for the sake of making your kid smile (this was hubby’s idea, not mine, haha).

Lately, I’ve been seeing the purpose of using money for helping those in need.  I really want to pass on a heart of giving to E and C and not a heart of frugality, which can easily turn into one of stinginess (believe me, I know!).  So, being inspired by hubby of course, I now try to keep some cash in my wallet and give to people who are homeless.  The kids have caught on and whenever they see someone standing on the street, they readily want to pull over and help them.  One time, C even wanted to give her fruit bar to a guy holding a sign that read, “homeless and hungry”.  It makes me so happy to see them show concern and being generous towards others.  And hopefully they are learning that it is better to give than to receive (which would be nice to keep in mind the next time we are in the toy aisle at Target).  🙂

I’m certainly not a scientist, but I’m starting to think about doing some genetic engineering.  I think it’s about time to modify my el-cheapo gene cause it’s about so much more than the money.

Here’s a fun song, “Price Tag”, by Jessie J.

Are you a spender or saver?