Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Reducing Expenses

Library of Congress: Farm couple doing their bookkeeping at home in 1930.

In an effort to keep our expenses as low as possible, I have been enjoying some quiet, around the property, here in Vermont.  I am doing this to create a feeling of contentment for a simple life. I am thinking more and more about old fashioned living.

Normally I would have a CD of old hymns playing quietly in the background. Or perhaps I would leave the television on after watching an old DVD of something like a Deanna Durbin movie, or some old black-and-white tv show. I am remembering to shut these things off, and unplugging what is not in use.  I am watching and listening to less technology.   This will help keep our bills low because I am not thinking of something to buy. I am not running up the electric bill.  Watching television or listening to a CD are wonderful things to do, but must not take up all of our time.  These are for times of recreation. We cannot be resting all day long watching television unless we are ill.  In my childhood home, my parents had a small, portable black-and-white television. It was probably stored in a closet somewhere because we never saw it unless one of us was sick in bed.  Then it was brought out to give us some amusement while we convalesced in our room.

I have been walking the property, here at our humble Estate.  The sound of the birds singing, the rushing of the river, and the gentle feeling of the blowing wind are quieting to the mind.  I see little purple and blue wildflowers appearing on the lawn.  I see the trees and garden coming back to life, after a long, sleepy winter.  All these sights and sounds of nature bring a sense of joy to the heart, and a gentle feeling of contentment.

In previous generations, it was more common to live a life of careful thrift. This included wise spending, careful use of resources, and a consistent habit of saving.  The goal here was always to avoid waste.  Good financial management meant a cautious and orderly outlook when it came to the use of money. There was waiting, thought, and patience involved in overseeing the family funds.  Budgets, bills, and income were important considerations in planning for spending and saving.  This wisdom is still necessary today.  

We can reduce expenses in thoughtful, creative ways while still enjoying each day.  It is a blessing to have a little pocket money to spend, as long as the bills are being paid and there is a clear plan of saving. We must always save for a rainy day.  These come regularly over the years.  If we can find ways to avoid wasting money and choose instead to be orderly in our spending, we will have a great deal more peace and contentment in our lives.

Yesterday, as I washed the dishes in the kitchen sink, I looked out the back window and saw the rushing river on the border of our property.  It was a beautiful sight and makes me think of a vacation or a haven from the worries of the world.  A great deal of our time is spent in doing things: being productive, cleaning, cooking, taking care of the family, and (in an unhurried, pleasant way) going about our daily work.  This daily labor, of creating and caring for a happy home, costs nothing.  Being busy with this common labor, with a grateful heart, will naturally lead to less spending.


Mrs. White

From the Archives -

What Many of us Crave - An Ordinary Life at Home.

Finding Genuine Happiness at Home - Peace be Upon This House.  

Old Time Frugal Living - A New England Winter on a Small Income.  


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For old time encouragement in living simply on a limited income, order Mrs. White's book:

"An Old Fashioned Budget: Humble Financial Management for the Christian Housewife"

This slim, 77 page, paperback book is available for sale through Amazon.


Unknown said...

Thank you Mrs. White, you are an encouragement and great reminder of what a homemaker should be. I have been feeling a bit of a slump in recent weeks and needed your uplifting post to get me back on track.
Blessings and many thanks,

Elizabethd said...

Very wise words, thank you. We are all having to be thoughtful about expenditure nowadays, and there is so much that can be achieved with a little planning.

Anne Payne said...

Thank you for sharing such great wisdom and sensibleness with us! I needed the reminder as we are in a season of great blessing and it is easy to put aside frugality. Blessings on your day, Mrs. White!!

Angelia said...

Hello Mrs. White. Thank you for your encouragement and lovely writing. I have learned so very much from you. What a blessing you are to us new Homemakers and Mother's of young children. I am always excited to see an update from you.

May God bless you,


Linda said...

So lovely to see a new post from you and I must say, I agree with everything you said - wise words indeed. I'm trying to practice the same things here in my home too. Blessings to you ~ Linda

Amelia said...

Oh how nice to see a new entry from our sweet Mrs. White! : )

This really rang true to me, I too have received the same heartfelt message and unction in my heart from the Lord...Just to be more quiet and more intentional when I am listening to a video etc. and listen ever more carefully to His voice...Enjoying His handiwork as well as you are. What beautiful descriptions you have written here.

It's so nice to read other homemakers here and know the same moon that shines over me shines over you all as well.

Blessings to you Mrs. White, xo ~Amelia

Kathy said...

Lovely as always. You are so right about television. For myself I find myself wanting more things when I’m “plugged in”. Becoming more centered on self. Turning things off and being aware of spending leaves more room for God and my surroundings.

Billie Jo said...

Hello! I am always happy to see a post from you, Mrs. White. Thank you for always reminding me to reevaluate the way I spend my time. It is so easy to get caught up in the busy world outside my home. Have a cozy evening!

Leslie McKinley said...

Thank you for the gentle reminder to plan and save. I appreciate your wise words!


Christine said...

Wise Women tell us how to be content and paractice it themselves. Several Wise Women, who blog, have mention to do a daily walk, slow down and appreciate the quiet and being home. I'm listening to all of you and yes, it's comforting.
Thqnk you for sharing!

Belinda said...

This is a beautiful and encouraging post. Thank you so much for the wisdom included within.