Saturday, January 16, 2010

Power of a Word

Awhile ago, I read a post by my friend, Jennifer, about finding a Word of the Year to live by. I had heard of this from scrapbooker Ali Edwards, but hadn't thought too much about it.

After giving it some thought, and reading Jennifer's post, I decided to give it a try. I went to this website to get some help.

One word kept coming back to me.

I fought it.

I don't know if I can live up to it.

I have delayed this post for days, hoping to "get" another word. To no avail. This is the word I am meant to live this year, no matter how much I deny it.

The word, you ask?


As in, the practice of resourcefully using already owned economic goods/services to achieve a longterm goal. Or another definition, by Wikipedia: curbing costly habits, defying expensive social norms, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint.

Can you see why I was fighting it?

I like to shop. I love Hobby Lobby and Target. I want to go on nice vacations and wear new clothes and get a pedicure.

But I already have a lot of nice things. I've been on many great vacations. Hobby Lobby and Target are in business due to my patronage, and my scrapbook room is full of awesome paper and albums and stamps.

When I look around at the many folks who have much less than I do, I feel convicted to try my best to live this word. By writing this post for all of blogland to see, I am making it official. I am so afraid of failure; I know I have an uphill battle. But I have a plan, a list of five things I can do right now to help me get started.

1. Make a weekly meal plan and stick with it (save money by not eating out).

2. Get books from the library instead of buying them (do I really need to own every book I read?).

3. Use the scrapbooking supplies I already have in abundance (maybe even sell a project or two).

4. Shop without the kids (especially Gabe...can I please get a tiny toy, Mom?) and stick to the list. Don't even LOOK at the clearance rack unless it is something I need.

5. Instead of shopping when I'm bored, go to the Y or out for a run.

My goal is to pay off some bills and put a big chunk of money in the bank. If I achieve this goal by next January, we are going on a cruise and I am rewarding myself with a new camera that I've been dreaming of buying. But if I don't succeed, I will hang my head in shame and try again next year.

Wish me luck living up to my word...

Anyone else wanna give it a try? Click on Christine Kane's link and check it out.


Melissa said...

I'm sharing your word. My other word is restraint......

This has a multiplicity of meanings for me. My tongue, my diet, my spending, my habits.....they all could use some restraint. I have just felt the calling to holiness that I have been avoiding and revisiting. Unfortunately, I seem to be very good at setting goals, but very bad at keeping them.
I'll guess we just have to keep running the race and pressing on.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

You go girl. I have so realized the last couple years that all the things i thought I NEEDED were really just things I WANTED. Big difference.

I make fun of him, but Mr. B is a big bargain shopper - he IS frugal... and it's a good thing. I commend you for your decision and I think you'll do GREAT at it!!!

Kat said...

Michael and I used to be up to our eyeballs in debt. And when we finally manged to dig ourselves out, one of the big things that I retained was to not buy books. The library is rather fabulous. And even now when I get a Borders card as a's difficult to spend it because I know that I could get those same books for free!

mama's smitten said...

That is a great word of the year! I wish lots of luck. I too pick a word of the year but haven't posted about it yet. I am already being challenged to use it!

Suzann said...

LOVE it! I'm gearing up to sell a BUNCH of stuff I have sitting around that I'm not using. Stuff I have no time for even if I want to do it (like scrapbooking). I'm here to cheer u on!

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh mercy me... I just made out my bills & am determined to do good with finances this year myself... so maybe we can all encourage each other...

In today's economy, I think we all need to be a little more frugal!

But oh my - the pull of Hobby Lobby... sigh...

ChicagoLady said...

Good for you! I believe we'd all be a lot happier if we lived our lives frugally. You sound really committed to this, best of luck.

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

That is awesome!! You can do it!

John & I are pretty frugal. We do eat out a lot now that the girls are moved out. But we added it up and sometimes it's cheaper to eat out than buy all the ingredients and cook it at home! (for 2 people)

I agree with you....leave the kids home when you always seem to spend more (or give in)

Good Luck!!

Angie's Spot said...

My word must be frugality also. Ours was forced though thanks to hubby's job situation. However, it's making me be a lot more mindful of just what I was spending on that we didn't need or how much I was overpaying for things. We're surviving not eating out all the time and couponing is my new full time hobby. LOL! I'm cheering you on with your goal for the year!

brainella said...

Great word. I'm trying that word out also. I really like the menu idea. I was doing this for a few months and it worked great until the holidays. I need to get it back together. Good luck!

Brandy said...

I hear ya'! While I'm a bargain shopper when it comes to groceries, I always find myself buying too many clothes. And shoes! God help me I have so much stuff and yet I have to FORCE myself not to buy more.

So that's what I'm working on...and it's h-a-r-d.