Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How it ALL came about...

I feel like I have written this before, but I have gotten several emails in the past few weeks from people that I have known for a while. There question was "How in the WORLD did you go from little miss diva ALWAYS shopping and buying up everything in sight to being this frugal, coupon clipping lady?"

Fair question. :)

Honestly, it was gradual. I didn't have one of those pivotal, life changing moments, when I just woke up and thought "I've HAD ENOUGH!!" That didn't happen over night, but eventually i got there.

One day my husband made a comment about how he didn't see me as the "shopper" he had always assumed I was. (REMEMBER--I worked for my husband for 4 and a half years a long time ago... so he knew me pretty well). I told him that I felt the same way. That I just found myself being less and less interested in shopping. Which is WEIRD for a girl, and for me. It took some soul searching before I realized that I had always used shopping and buying stuff to fill a void in my life. I had always used shopping to turn my bad days around. i had always used shopping to numb pain. I had used shopping as my filler for anything that wasn't going well. So once I reached a better place in my life, shopping took a backseat to living life. :)

After realizing that i had gone a LONG time without shopping I was of course proud of myself, but turned it into a challenge. Like if i can go THIS long without shopping and not even realize it, then what if I really put my mind to it and try super hard not to go splurge on anything. I passed that test....but the amazing thing was that i realized that I didn't miss buying things. I didn't miss the countless hours I used to spend in the mall. I was a happier, more joyful person, who wasn't trying to stuff my closet to help stuff my feelings down deeper.

It just happened. And then I made it a challenge. and then I saw how much money I was saving so I took it even FURTHER... I had enjoyed the money I was saving by not shopping so I was more cautious about what I spent my money on. So that's when "thrifting" became a way of life for me. I had been in consignment shops before and didn't spend more than 2 seconds in there and I was out the door. But when I made my challenge that I was going to purchase all previously owned items I didn't have a choice but to spend more time. :) And then I fell in love...

So at this point I had gone from being a shopaholic to not shopping at all, to then adding in consignment shops, and from HERE decided that I needed to take it ONE step further.

Purging. Getting rid of it. Decluttering my life. Making my closet easier to find things. Making MONEY off of selling things. Being proud of my bargains. Being super frugal.

I figured if I could save lots of money at consignment shops then SURELY there was something else I could do to save MORE money.

Enter stage right.... COUPONS!

That was my next big step. I hit it pretty hard, backed off, and now I am at the PERFECT couponing place. i don't go over board, but I get some terrific deals. I have a nice stock pile that I am proud of, and that I have very little actual cash invested in.

THEN... why not get completely out of debt by selling my car? So I did. And i paid cash for the car I bought. I added the money I made to my Babystep #3 and now i am moving right along to investing 15% of my income into my IRA account.

What used to be a part of my life, is now the complete opposite. What used to help me numb pain and feel special, is now opposite. Now I feel so good when I save a dollar. I feel so good when I find bargains. I feel so good when i can help others to save money!!

Over time I began to pray very hard about finances, shopping, money, my financial future, etc... and God began to work in me. The latter steps I took came with convictions but I had prayed specifically for them. I prayed that God would show me where i was being selfish and prideful... and as He promises... He showed me alright!

So there ya have it... my story. My story once again with all its messiness is still MY story. I'd love to hear yours!

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