Thursday, September 14, 2017

Get A Job!

For the purpose of this article, I’m speaking to wives … some straight talk if you will … some laying it on the line, telling it like it is kind of talk.  

I hear more and more people talking about how hard it is to make ends meet … and I agree with them.  With everything going up except wages, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to figure it all out.

We all know that women set the tone in their homes, so ladies listen up.  You may be a middle age or older woman who has no marketable skills.  You may be a young mother at home with her children or a woman who is knocking on the door of retirement age.  You may be a woman that is disabled or have a home situation that prohibits you from bringing in any extra income or you may be a woman that prefers being a homemaker at home.   Whatever your situation, there is still something you can do.  Get a job!

Before you write me off as uncaring and unsympathic; here me out.  The job I’m talking about is the job of stretching your husband’s income as far as you can, saving as much as you can in the process.

Change your attitude from ‘my husband doesn’t make enough money’ to that of a frugal zealot and a savings guru.  Make it a challenge to see how far you can stretch your husband’s paycheck and don’t forget to involve the whole family.  Make stretching and saving your husband’s income your job!  If you do and stay the course, you will reap some very pleasant rewards, both financially and in your relationship with your husband.  

Below, I’m sharing some things that can help if you chose to take on the job of saving and stretching your husband’s income. The first few are about our attitudes …

Realize you cannot have everything you want when you want it.  That’s just being an adult.

Don’t depend on others to take care of you.  Occasional help from others is fine, but when we start to EXPECT others to meet our needs long term, something is wrong with our attitude.  (‘Expect’ here is the key word.)

Don’t spend money you don’t have. When you spend money on things you can’t afford using money you should have paid bills with don’t expect others to clean up your mistakes.  The ‘I deserve this’ mentality is not adult!  The ‘entitlement’ mentality is not adult!

Don’t play the victim card.  We are all victims of our choices and circumstances.  What we do with them and how we choose to react says a lot about who we are.

Doing without is not a sin!  It won’t hurt you or your children or your spouse.

Know and accept that this will be hard and not fun at times!  It’s called sacrifice!

Realize that your attitude will set the tone in your home about your new job.

Please understand that it is not my intention for this to sound harsh, but in today’s society, these are attitudes and mindsets I see on a regular basis.  (I overheard a conversation in a public place just a few days ago that smirked of an attitude of ungrateful “entitlement.”  That's what prompted me to write this article.) News Flash … The Calvary is not coming; there comes a time when you have to be your own Calvary!  Don’t waste your life expecting someone else to fix your problems.  Get busy and figure it out!

Now, let’s talk about some practical ways to implement your new job should you choose to take it on …

Stay away from online shopping as much as possible.  It is the worse place possible for impulse buying.  Think of it as something temporary if it helps, make a game out of it, but stay away from online shopping.

Learn how to coupon shop and how to shop loss leaders.  Don’t buy stuff you wouldn’t normally buy just because you have a coupon.   That’s throwing away money you wouldn’t have spent in the first place.

Slowly build a well – stocked pantry so that you will have the option of shopping when you want to and not when you have to.   See this post for some ideas on how to get started building a well-stocked pantry.  

Plan your menu and stick to it as much as possible.

Become a DIY person.  If you don’t know how to do something … learn.  There are tutorials for learning how to do just about anything online.

Know how to substitute and make do.  If you don’t have something, let your first thought be, ‘what can I use instead and get the same results’ not ‘I need to go purchase’ whatever it is that you don’t have.

Recycle and Repurpose.  One example is outgrown clothing and hand-me-downs.  They can be turned into new clothing or household items.   Don’t know how?  Search online for what you want to do.

Stay home as much as possible.   This will cut down on fuel costs as well as wear and tear on your vehicle.

Plan your free entertainment.  Entertainment doesn’t have to cost lots of money … just saying!

Cook from scratch.  Purchasing prepackaged foods, heat and eat foods as well as ready-to-eat snacks are much more expensive then cooking from scratch.

Use cash when you go shopping.

Never, ever go shopping without a list. 

Explore ways to bring in a little extra income from home.  Doing Swagbucks will generate you some discretionary income.  I know of someone who has a goal of earning $100/month through Swagbucks and is using it to help pay off debt.  Can you sew?  Do you blog? What can you do that can be turned into an income source?  

Make a budget and stick to it as much as possible.  Include in that budget if at all possible savings and a personal allowance for you and your husband.  You may need to start out with as little as $5/month for savings and $5/month each for personal allowances.  You will be amazed at how you will come to look at your own ‘I can spend it on whatever I want to without guilt’ allowance.

If you feel like your spending is out of control, have a ‘no-spend’ month where you only pay the bills and buy groceries, fuel … the necessities.

Make sure necessities are really necessities and not wants dressed up in camouflage fueled by desire.

Reserve eating out for special occasions.  Two or three times a week is not a special occasion.

When it’s Christmas or your birthday, ask for gift cards to places you would like to shop.

Get creative with your own gift giving.  Set limits on how much you will spend on each person and stick to that amount.  Whittle that gift giving list down to the bare minimum until things are better financially. Gift giving shouldn’t be about how big or how expensive the gift is.   When you are going through lean times, it shouldn’t be about how badly you want an item either if the cost is more than you can afford.

Accept things others don’t want when offered.  What can you do with it? How can you repurpose it into something useful for you? 

Shop yard sales and thrift stores.  Always take cash but don’t buy stuff you’ll be asking yourself, ‘why did I buy that’ the next day.

Don’t be wasteful!  Learn how to use up the last little bit of everything, especially food.

When friends want to meet for an outing you can’t afford, offer an alternative that you can afford or decline their offer.

Work towards getting out of debt and staying out of debt.  Debt is more than likely a contributing factor to your current financial strain.

Stop using your credit cards even if you plan to/think you can pay them off at the end of each month.   When finances are tight, sticking to the plan to pay it off at the end of the month doesn’t always happen.   You cannot borrow your way out of debt!

Be willing to settle for used items until you can pay cash for new items.

Put God first, tithe … even if it is only some change or $1 each week.  God knows your circumstances and what you can really give.  He doesn’t demand tithing; He wants our tithing to be given with a cheerful and purposeful heart.    

Don’t blame God for your financial situation.  He knows what put you where you are and if it was choices that you made, realize that He didn’t make you make the choices that landed you in this situation.

Ask God for wisdom, guidance and discernment in your quest to live happily and graciously on your husband’s income.

Don’t blame others for your financial situation.  Own it and move forward.

Don’t dwell on past financial mistakes, yours or your husbands.  Own it and move forward.

Determine to do better in the future starting now.  You can’t change the past; you can only change your future.

Don’t be prideful.  Accepting help from others on a temporary basis is not sinful nor does it make you less of a person. 

Don’t poor mouth your husband or make him feel less of a man because he isn’t earning what you want him to earn.  This attitude will severely damage your marriage.

Don't walk around with a 'poor me' attitude.  

Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting perfection in your efforts.  You will make mistakes, give yourself some grace. 

Be thankful for what you do have!  Develop an attitude of gratitude!

What can you add to this list?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

42 comments:

  1. To help with online shopping or in person shopping (which is actually harder for me, in part because I really want the time and gas $ worth going out - nearest mid sized town is 40 miles away), make a list. I have one going at all times on Amazon, and don't buy unless it is a price that is comparatively low. In the mean time, sometimes I find it second hand or hand me down or I decide I don't actually need it. I do this with even very simple items, recently a sieve! For in person shopping, having a list means I don't go to town without a mission. I ALWAYS call my husband if I am shopping somewhere unexpected to say, "Do you need anything?". I just love a good list :)
    Brenda Montanye

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    1. Brenda, those are excellent tips! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Great post! When it comes to children's clothing, remember how quickly they will outgrow their wardrobe, before spending every last dime on designer label clothing and shoes. Yes, a toddler learning to walk needs good shoes. But does he / she need Michael Jordan's? Jeans and shirts for a 2-year old don't necessarily have to be Levi's or another top-shelf label. Look for good quality used from online buy/sell/trade sites, resale shops, or discount retailers. Same goes for adult items that will only be worn once or twice. Your outfit for the holiday party? No one needs to know you bought it second-hand. My only caution is with buying designer handbags second-hand. If paying a good price for the bag, make sure you authenticate it as an original and not a knock-off; if buying a knock-off, it better be knock-off priced!

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  3. Excellent article and one that would cost me some friends, if I passed it along to them, lol. Some people will NEVER learn. :(

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    1. Barbara, unfortunately, you are right! Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement.

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    2. I will probably lose a few family friends tomorrow, too since I did forward it to 5 different ladies. You said it so well Patsy and I never seem to be able to say it to them.

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  4. My son used to manage a thrift store, they sold purses for really cheap. I got a real Micheal Korrs (sp?) purse for 5.00. Had it checked out - yep it's real. I find good quality clothing at Savers and other thrift stores. Also know what day has discounts or if they offer a rewards card. You can get discounts for being 55 and over, a veteran or a rewards card holder. Always ask about discount opportunities. Every little bit helps. I save all my one dollar bills and change. It really adds up. Always shop with lists. I have on going lists by stores - when I know I get a good price on the items there. If I find it cheaper elsewhere that's even better and I can cross it off my list. Eyes open people! lol. I also have a "wants / needs" list ongoing. All these lists for shopping in a spiral notebook so in one place. Then my mind is triggered to keep looking for a great deal. It can be a game if you make it one. It's the best "hobby" I have ever had. One that saves me money instead of me spending it. Take care.

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    1. Crystal, good tips and your attitude is a blessing!

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  5. Very well written and I agree. We are responsible for our choices. Sometimes, sickness, job losses weather, throws challenges in our choices but it is ultimately up to us to manage our finances...Thus preparations such as a well stocked pantry. I know from first hand experience that had we not been prepared during my sickness we would not have had meals to eat. But having kept a good supply on hand for years really helped. I try even harder now to stay prepared. However, we do use a credit card for gas and groceries but we keep a running tab so it never goes over what we can pay. When it gets close we say ok...no more charges till next month!!! But we make money using this card and about twice a year we get a gift card from visa for $100 and this money is used to buy oil and filters for our cars. I don't know how we manage that but it always come around the same time Paul has to service our cars znd lawnmower.

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    1. Janet, You use credit cards the way they should be used if you're going to use them. Great comment!

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  6. We are really beginning this journey. Credit card debt and small loans are eating us to death. We are starting that cycle of paying off the highest interest loan with a goal of being debt free in two years. We have had to come to the realization that we are both on disability and we can't continue at this spending rate. 2 kids were in college and not working, neither in college now and 1 working, the other is a struggle with learning disabilities and major health problems so looking at disability. (Makes me want to cry, I knew in 3rd grade this was most likely his future.) so it's eyes wide open, no more blinders. We are slowly building the pantry and decreasing the debt which will let us increase the pantry faster. Thank all of you, I don't post a lot although I read every post and I am learning so much.

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    1. Kelly, thank you for your sweet comment. Hats off to you for recognizing and setting things in order to be able to do something about your situation. I wish more people would have such an awakening!

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  7. I play a game with our budget! Any money leftover from the previous payday on the day the next paycheck comes in- 50% of it gets moved into our savings account and the other 50% gets used to pay extra on a bill or debt! It's amazing how those little "extra" amounts really add up!!!

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    1. gardenpat, now, that's a good idea! Thanks for sharing!

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    2. Love that idea gardenpat. I use all my savings from coupons, ebates, swagbucks, rewards, etc to but in a savings jar. So far, it has been used for our vacations...but I may rethink that as my pantry is being used down a lot this year. Many no spend months.

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  8. Another place to look for good, used items is at auctions. In my experience, auctions are often selling unwanted items from senior who are either downsizing, going into nursing homes or have passed away. Their families already have homes full of stuff. I have picked up lots of things for next to nothing (e.g. a barely used tent for $1 and stockpot with both a blanching and steamer insert for $1, huge boxes of canning jars for a few dollars, etc.). I do caution...if you are looking for antiques, so are all the antique dealers with lots of money in their pockets. Decide what you are willing to pay for the item, before they start the bids and stick to your limit!

    Invest in things that will save you money in the long run. Buy canning equipment and learn to preserve food. Even if you don't have a garden, you can still buy produce in season and/or at rock bottom prices and preserve it (freeze, dry or can). Take a sewing course. Buy a bread maker to make homemade bread/pizza dough while saving you time.

    Use what you have on hand, until you can afford to invest in the fancy equipment that makes the job easier. An ax will cut wood until you can invest in a log splitter. A shove will turn the ground of the garden until you can invest in a rototiller. A rope will work as a clothesline until you can install a better one. It's getting into the habit of doing money saving things that is most important. Don't use the lack of specialized equipment as an excuse not to do something.

    Spend some time learning new skills and/or researching info on the internet. I hate when I hear things like "I'm not creative enough to make my own gifts". There are lots of free ideas on the internet that spoon feed you how to create amazing gifts at little to no cost! All it takes is your time and a willingness to try.

    Look to the past for ideas on how to be frugal. After all, pioneers didn't have the option to run to a store for food. Those who lived through the great depression had to learn how to live with little to no money. There are some great ideas and advice to be gleaned from their struggles.

    And most important, don't buy into the hype that advertisers are feeding you. We do not have to buy clothing every single season! Christmas can still be special without the latest fad toy. You will not die if you drink water instead of soda, fruit juice, or the fancy latte. Use your logic and think about what they are trying to really sell you.

    Love this post, Patsy!

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    1. Love your comment Rhonda! It is spot on!

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  9. A friend once said at a Yard sale, 'If in doubt, leave without', about an item she wasn't sure about. We left the item behind. I love this little term and use it myself. I have found it to be very useful and a good money saver.
    The same friend is a person who loves to go to cafes and have expensive coffee and cake. She also loves my cooking and is more than happy to come and visit me here at home or meet me at the beach for coffee and cake from home. Sometimes, especially if we meet at the beach, she brings the coffee and I bring the cake.
    Bartering is another money saver. We have a bit of a barter system happening between us and out neighbours. There is vegetables, mangoes, avocadoes, handyman work, sewing up of hems and mending, fish, soap and other products travelling over fences. It is a great system and works for us and also providing us with products we couldn't afford to purchase.
    We have $1 and $2 coins in Australia. I put these into a ceramic vase all year long. This adds up to a nice sum over the year. I use this money over Christmas for the special extras. Whatever is left over stays in the vase for next year. I consider it my disaster emergency cash fund as well.
    With gifting I think of the person and what they need. I then think of what I or Bluey can make, that is beautiful and practical. There are so many online tutorials out there that can be used to build your skills and talents. Fabric can be expensive but doona covers and sheets from thrift stores have lots of fabric for a small cost. Pot holders are a great gift that children can make, whilst learning valuable sewing machine skills. Old towels make great wadding between the layers of fabric.
    Get rid of the word can't out of your vocabulary. You CAN.
    Great post Patsy. When with my siblings and their partners, I often feel like the odd one out. I come to pages like yours and realise I fit right in.

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    1. Jane, I love your yard sale slogan, 'If in doubt, leave without!' You've got some really good ideas and I love that those of us who are kindred spirits can come together online for encouragement from each other. Great comment! Thank you!

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  10. love this post Patsy.
    The comments from the other ladies are all great also, lots to consider.
    Margaret

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  11. Very good points Patsy. I would just like to add that many women looking for work in order to supplement the income coming into the home can become discouraged and despondent and feel like they are not good enough to be employed. In my previous paid work role I mentored a lot of students who were undertaking work placements related to their aged care, community services, nursing, or disability care qualifications - all of them became discouraged at times due to the difficulties involved with finding paid work. It is only natural. Those who persevered and kept getting up and putting themselves out there did succeed in finding paid employment. Most of these men and women were over 30 years old - many were in there late 40's to late 50's and were concerned that employers would not be interested in hiring someone 'their age.' Yes, there are some employers who are ageist - however there are many more who are only interested in hiring someone who has the ability to learn the job (meaning that they have some background skills in the area of employment that could be through training or experience); that they are motivated to work; and that they will fit in with the other team members.


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    1. Sherri, this is good encouragement for those who are older and looking for work. Thank you!

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  12. I learned from my mother to encourage my husband (like she did my dad) to become a "handyman". Tell him "You're smart and can do this!" Learn from YouTube videos, there's one for just about anything you need to do. Doing repairs around the house saves a ton of money; as does making gifts. At one point I went four years without a professional haircut by trimming it myself, or with the help of my husband, daughter or a friend. Fancy manicures, pedicures, and anything with hair are not necessities in my book. They cost too much when there are debts to pay. Stay off of Pinterest and develop a mindset of contentment. Clean and tidy makes any house look nice and feel good. Compare yourself and situation to the pioneers in covered wagons, or the poor in India rather than the fantasyland of television or magazines. We are fabulously wealthy! Libraries are full of good books with ideas on how to stop spending money and get out of debt--use them! And help each other by encouraging thrift rather than trying to keep up with "the Joneses". Great post here and comments too.

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    1. Rozy, I like your statement 'compare yourself and situation to the pioneers in covered wagons, or the poor in India rather than the fantasyland of television or magazines.' What a good piece of advice for sure! Thank you!

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  13. Well said and well written. From noticing things here (australia) I would say the ones I hear this from a lot, many of them gamble. They are online gambling. They think its small time and there is nothing wrong with it. Or smoking, drinking, buying ready made foods and soft drinks. These four categories drive me nuts as they all are bad for your health and your families, addictive and expensive. Many people are kind of addicted to shopping to. Get busy, be working, you wont have time to shop! haha that is my advice! Well said Patsy! Love Annabel.xxx

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    1. Annabel, Well said! A good piece of advice too ... 'get busy, be working, you won't have time to shop!' Thank you!

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  14. If you are a stay at home mom, pay attention at bus stops when you go by and see the faces of the women bringing their children home from daycare after they have worked a full day. See how tired they are. Be grateful this is not your life.

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    1. Miriam, most working mothers would agree that you are right.

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  15. Excellent advice! I find that those who need this kind of a talking to are the ones who the least likely to take your advice. A friend's husband has worked two jobs for more than ten years because she will not reign in her spending. He has told my husband that he does not know how many more years he can keep it up but no amount of talking to her will deter her from thinking she is entitled. It is so sad.

    We are reassessing our situation and have redone our budget since it seems we will now be on disability and early retired since my husband's brain injury. We have hardly missed the other half of our previous income. My husband always says that we cannot afford to not tithe. God always just throws open the windows of heaven and blesses us. Week before last we knew our mattress was done for and thought we would have to spend $400 plus to replace it. A clearance deal came along online and I was able to get a replacement for only $76 delivered! A blessing!

    The community of bloggers who live by this principle are a blessing to me everyday because I know that we are not alone in the way that we live so thank you for being here and posting things like this.

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    1. Lana, thank you. Your comment is inspiring on many levels!

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  16. Wise words!! A couple of my very best friends resemble these remarks, but sending it to them will do no good. Their reply to anything is always the same, "I can't because...." So, I simply listen to them and try to use their mistakes as lessons to me. I think one of them is already a bit sore at me for suggesting that while her husband is unemployed (lost his job 18 mos. ago), they keep just one car now that the 2nd car died. "Impossible" was the answer and they leased a brand new one. What could go wrong there?!

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    1. Debbie, what indeed could go wrong ... plenty!

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  17. I think you listed about every possible point. Then I read a few more in comments!!! :) When I try to encourage people to stay home like I did they say that was then..now you can't do it. Yes you can but it takes some work. Housing is so high. It will take time but cheaper places can be found. You don't need a Mc Mansion. Remember the houses of earlier times where people raised big families. They were teeny compared to what we think we 'need' now. We bought and lived in a tiny home and and later bought one a bit bigger when we could. As soon as possible we put any extra penny towards paying off the house early and did so.
    When we married we were not even making $2 an hour and bought a house. Now looking back people must have thought we were crazy but we did it. Then two years later hubby was off work for 11 months when his employer had a layoff. Naturally I got pregnant after trying for so long. :) We had no bills cept utilities...and the one new vehicle we have ever bought. !! :( But we still made it and paid off every bill on time. No help from the government. My parents did gift us with 4 months of health insurance for just me and the baby. Our other child and husband had none but having the delivery insurance paid was such a blessing. Other than the insurance and two boxes of garage sale buys they sent later we were on our own. My husband did what odd jobs for money he could fine. He tried to find other work. He and a neighbor even designed and built a whole kitchen's worth of cabinets for a women. She had none. The women paid for the wood and they did the work free. It did not give us any cash pay but sure boosted their feeling of accomplishment and charity. At that time I only had a teeny pantry. But what a blessing even that was! We always lived below our means..even at $2 an hour!! That helped as the habit was already ingrained. I learned to cut our hair and still do to this day. One thing here and another there and we made it till the layoff was over. That no pay period at least. There have been others but once we knew this could happen we kept ourselves even more ready or it....or to have things here to help another family that was in need. There is so much peace to living like that isn't there... I am so glad you brought this up as so many feel they must work now as they have few telling them they don't have to and can make it. Sarah

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    1. Sarah, your comment is so encouraging. Thank you for sharing. Our mindset and expectations are our obstacles. If we don't want to or think we can't, we're defeated before we even start. Great comment!

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  18. I must confess that when I read the "get a job" line at the top of your post I was slightly miffed. I thought to myself "Patsy! I have a job, it's making the money my honey brings home do its absolute best for us!" Imagine my delight when I read on and realized you had not changed your message!
    As stated in comments above, this way of life is challenging and rewarding and peace-giving! Teach on Patsy!
    Praying your message touches the hearts of many women to affect a change
    Shelly H

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    1. Shelly, I'm glad you read the entire article!

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  19. Good morning, just found you on a blog I love Dostuffandstuffgetsdone. I have read all the blogs on the mortgage free house and I'm so impressed! We bought a HUD fixer upper for real cheap but can't beat this $3000, however, my husband and I don't have your skills. We have loved working on our home and have a very cheap mortgage for California and this market. Thank you God. I agree with this post right here. I'm into the frugal life, not always perfect, but I work on it and make it into a game. Thank you for posting the truth. :)

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    1. Welcome Kate to the Working Pantry family! I'm not perfect in my frugal life either but I continue to learn and put into practice what I learn.

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