May Stewardship Corner: Spend Simply

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. – 2 Corinthians 8:9

In late December 2021, I had been doing a lot of reading on minimalism. With inflation hitting its highest percentage in over 40 years and wanting to retire in 5 to 6 years, I decided to focus on the components of minimalism that impacted my spending. So in January and February, I put into practice a discipline of spending my money differently. Here is what I did:

• I bought absolutely nothing that I did not need. Sounds too simplistic but in reality, the focus is on the word “need”.
• I did go grocery shopping, but I only bought want I already did not have. My freezer and pantry are full and for those 2 months I used the items that I already had.
• I have a closet full of clothes, TVs, shelves full of books, board games and my entertainment was made with family and the items that I have plenty of. I told family and friends that I would no longer be giving gifts for birthdays and holidays but instead spending quality time with them.

Here are some lessons I learned during my practice:
• It is very easy to swipe a card to buy things. You seem to focus on the product versus the value and long-term need of the product.
• Stop trying to keep up with the Jones. There are no Joneses!
• Understanding what you are spending your money on. I took an inventory of all the things I have “more than enough of”: clothes, shoes, craft supplies, books….
• I have had two weekends spent with friends that created lifetime memories and yet I don’t remember what I gave them or what they gave me for gifts the last 5 years
• I spend too much money on things I do not need

We are bombarded on a daily basis by messages that relate to money and materialism. These messages tell us that money and possessions will make us happy. During January and February, 
I learned that God has provided me with all that I need. I am trying to focus on what I have been given and making memories with my family and friends.

I challenge you as Christians to try this spending practice for one month. You will appreciate the
blessings God has bestowed on us and the extra money that will be in your pocket!

Submitted by Tamie Miller