One of the things that have helped me the most with being frugal is straight up in my brain. Taking time to realize what I have really puts in perspective what I need. I've been on some missions trips to third world countries that have changed my life, they have shown me the excess that we live with in the United States. When I get caught up in the American mentality of buy buy buy I try to stop and remember what I have seen.
The first time I went to Haiti I met a little boy named Edward, he was 10 and just the sweetest little boy. Edward and I became best buds for my time down there and every time I went off of the "compound" Edward was right at my side. He brought me to meet his family, his mother and two little sisters who lived in a space that was about the size of my kitchen pantry. It had two closet sized rooms(not walk in's either); the first one had a waist high "table" that Edward and his sisters slept on, the second had some blankets on the floor where his mother slept. I gave the little gifts that I brought with me to Edward and his family as well as whatever else I had. My last day there I was walking to the bus to go to the airport and Edward ran up from behind and pressed something in my hand and ran away. I looked and it was the smoothest, most beautiful shell I have ever seen. I keep this shell with my most prized posessions and look at it often to remind me of what I have.
Usually during these periods of introspection I realize that we have plenty. That my 9 year old Ford Escort is good transportation, that our house is more than what we need, that I don't need ANOTHER pair of shoes. That shell keeps me from spending and inspires me to give more. Thats exactly the type of person I wanted to be when I was little.
Basically taking stock and being thankful for the things you have is my Frugal tip for the week.
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Found out that Frugal Friday didn't start here-the original is at Biblical Womanhood