10.05.2019

# enemies to homemakers # frugal homemaker

The Homemaker's Biggest Obligation




My Homemaker Series continues on The Daily Connoisseur with today's video, The Homemaker's Obligation. Can you guess what it is?



In this episode, we are going to explore the biggest obligation to a homemaker. And you might be surprised by what it is. First of all, what is an obligation?

An obligation is defined as an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.

Let's look at that last part again: a duty or commitment.

OK, are you ready to hear the homemaker’s biggest obligation?



To be frugal.

Yes, a homemaker’s biggest obligation is to be frugal. This isn’t the funnest obligation, but typically obligations aren’t exciting or fun. But it is your duty as a homemaker. And yes, your commitment as well… even if you are prosperous.

Yes, even if you are prosperous and thriving financially, it is still your obligation as a homemaker to be frugal.

Let me clarify what I mean. Being frugal will vary from homemaker to homemaker, of course, as we all have different household salaries and lifestyles. So why should we all be frugal then? And what does that mean?



Well, I particularly hope that my new and younger homemakers are paying attention here, because even if you are doing well now… chances are that could change in the future. I’m not trying to be a downer here. I’m just being practical.

Illnesses come, jobs are lost, hard times can be ahead. Thankfully with much of this there is also restoration— peaks and valleys where we are doing well and not. I don’t know a single family who hasn’t gone thr ough hardships. Not a single one. So trouble will come. Just be prepared for it and you will be able to weather the storm much more gracefully.

Like I mentioned, being frugal will look different for different people… but here are some ideas and ways that I stay frugal:

🍂 Make coffee and tea at home.
🍂 Do manicures and pedicures at home. (Here is a playlist of my manicure videos for inspiration)
🍂 Employ a capsule wardrobe (which gives you discipline with shopping)
🍂 Cooking from scratch
🍂 Cloth diapering (we use these and these) We have saved hundreds of dollars by cloth diapering
🍂 Choose fulfilling hobbies like reading...
🍂 Or gardening.
🍂 I even exercise at home (this is the rebounder I use)

There are thousands of other ideas on how you can be frugal at home. The ideas I share in today's video are just a few of how I practice frugality... your ways might look different.

Being frugal doesn’t mean you have to live a strict parsimonious existence… I always say you should buy the best quality you can afford. And what you can afford will vary from person to person.

It’s truly about adopting a frugal mindset. How can you save money and resources in your current lifestyle?

When you adopt this lifestyle and realize that it isn’t a punishment, but a very fulfilling way to live, you will become accustomed to this beautiful way of life and if hard times happen to hit, you will be better prepared for them. Think of all the money you will save that can aide you in retirement. A wise homemaker is frugal and looks to the future.

A wonderful companion to today's video is my affordable eCourse, Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living, where I go even further into the living well on a budget mindset.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Homemaker video. I would love to know your thoughts on the Homemaker's biggest obligation. Your comment could be chosen as comment of the week. Have a lovely weekend and I'll see you on Monday.


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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very interesting article. I would initially have said it was to live within your means, but on reflection, you are right, it is to be frugal.
You never know when hard times are going to hit and it is really hard to adjust if you have been living the high life for years. If you live frugaly, hitting hard times is less of a shock, and you are likely to have built up savings over the previous years. You also teach your children valuable life skills in living frugally.
My husband and I have lived fairly frugally since getting married 25 years ago. We now live in a small home, with a small mortgage, drive a small car and both work part-time. We have time to look after our health, relax, enjoy days out and help look after ill and elderly parents. When my parents were ill, I was lucky to have a flexible part-time job, I couldn't have done it if I was working a full time job, trapped with a large mortgage and large outgoings.
I am now see many women my age in their early 50's who aspire to a more materialistic lifestyle than me, with large mortgages, designer clothes, expensive cars etc. That is what our society tells them is the definition of success. They work full-time in stressful jobs, their family life is suffering, many have had husbands who have left them, husbands who are stressed due to over work, husbands dying from cancer early, probably due to stress. Many had multiple properties and I could never understand why they didn't down size and semi-retire on their profits.
Unfortunately, they always want more.
I would say the next step on from being frugal is to try and achieve financial independence and be able to retire early from paid employment if you wish. Jeniifer, by being frugal, you have freed up time to write, blog, YouTube etc and earn an income that is not derived from an employer. Your children are going to learn some amazing entrepreneurial skills from you.

JennyP said...

Such wonderful advice and such a good role model that being frugal is just sensible but not boring and can definately be stylish!

Aussie Connoisseur said...

I always tell my kids, it is not a matter of 'if' a rainy day will come, it's a matter of 'when'. Currently we are experiencing extended and severe drought and this has impacted the whole community, including my business. Because we have been so frugal, our quality of life has not been impacted at all and we can sleep well at night knowing we have no debt and our home is safe.

Some of the frugal things I do include - growing fruit and vegetables, really trying to avoid any food waste by planning well, 'use it up, wear it out, make do or do without'. I make the effort to go to different shops to get the best price on each food item - 30 cents saved here and there quickly adds up if you are buying many items. We also avoid wasting water, electricity and firewood as again, little bits add up. We often shop second hand and do DIY wherever possible - making curtains and painting, for example, have saved us many thousands.

Madeleine

Mimi Gregor said...

I do all of the things you mentioned to be frugal: I do my own mani/pedis/facials, cook from scratch, exercise at home, and color my own hair. We also have a vegetable garden, and grow more than we need so that I can can or pickle the surplus. I bake our bread and make our yogurt.

One of my favorite ways to be frugal is to try to buy most things at garage sales or consignment shops. This serves a double purpose, as I love the thrill of the hunt and chatting with strangers, so it also constitutes a hobby. By leaving my purchases to serendipity, I have found many game-changing items that I didn't even know I needed... a pressure canner... a yogurt maker... a Dyson vacuum cleaner for only $25. I buy some of my clothes from consignment shops, and some online (usually with a product code.} Since I have a capsule wardrobe, I like to buy quality rather than quantity, as the items last longer that way, and look better throughout their lifespan. One must exercise restraint, however, and not buy things just because they are cheap or "cute." For me, they have to have a "Wow" factor, or they stay where they are.

Ladylike said...

Hi Jennifer,
This is a very important video you shared! I would like to illustrate the wisdom of your advice with my own story. Our need for an emergency saving account was brought home to us when our dog suffered a $4000 injury, and it caught us unprepared. We are grateful to our dog for that lesson because we started an emergency account after that. And it's a good thing we did. This year, my husband was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The advanced treatment we desired for him wasn't covered by our insurance, but he was still able to have it because we had our emergency savings account! Our funds are still tight since my husband can't work as much as he used to, and we need to pay for more hired help. The frugality continues~ I use many of your same methods. Thank you so much for the video.
Warm best, Alexandra

mominapocket said...

So glad you posted on this subject and glad you are talking to new homemakers. As a grandmother and retired teacher of many years, I have been concerned with the increase of childhood obesity and learning problems due to nutrition...too much fast food/convenient sugary cereal,breakfast bars, etc. What happened to cooking oatmeal or eggs, or yogurt and fruit for breakfast? Glad you are demonstrating that going back to the basics does indeed upgrade/ elevate quality of life.

Sherrylynne said...

Along the lines of this post, which is fantastic (Thank you!); my mother gave me a framed copy of this poem. It hangs in my laundry room where I spend much time scrubbing dirty athletic clothes and ironing. I thought you would appreciate it. Have you seen it before? The poem/prose is entitled "Continue On" by Roy Lessin.
Continue On
By Roy Lessin

-------------------------
A woman once fretted over the usefulness of her life. She feared she was wasting her potential being a devoted wife and mother. She wondered if the time and energy she invested in her husband and children would make a difference. At times she got discouraged because so much of what she did seemed to go unnoticed and unappreciated. "Is it worth it?" she often wondered. "Is there something better than I could be doing with my time?"

It was during these moments of questioning that she heard the still, small voice of her heavenly Father speak to her heart:

"You are a wife and mother because that is what I have called you to be. Much of what you do is hidden from the public eye. But I notice. Most of what you give is done without remuneration. But I am your reward. Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be without your support. Your influence upon him is greater than you think and more powerful than you will ever know. I bless him through your service and honor him through your love. Your children are precious to Me -- even more precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise for Me."

"What you invest in them is an offering to Me."

"You may never be in the public spotlight. But your obedience shines as a bright light before Me."

"Continue on."

Anonymous said...

Great post and great comments from your readers! It's hard to be frugal when your spouse is not. BUT, I am going to try and do better because it's good self-discipline. And I have to add that I'm thankful we have no debt, and we do have savings. God has been so good to us.

keokeo said...

I totally agree with you and know that as we sacrifice our time and learn some basic skills we show our children how to be frugal too. Then they're more likely to stay out of debt and know how to cook from scratch when they leave home. It's a gift we give them. And an investment in our own future. In 2010, I started a blog called feverishlyfrugal.blogspot.com - the name says it all. I put everything on there I want to have access to when I'm gone from home and a lot of recipes I've tried - with lots of tweaks (for example, I sometimes using a little bean flour in breads). I love the creativity I can have when I cook from scratch. Having the blog not only gives friends the opportunity to see what I've learned over the years, but has saved a lot of paper. Thank you for your example and encouragement in living a simple and elegant life.

Brittany said...

Sherrylynne I just loved that poem. It was timely for me because I have been feeling those questions lately. The questions of is this really worth it, and what if I put in all this time and effort and don’t see the fruits of my hopes for my children. It can be hard to see everything clearly. Thanks for that.

Kgirl said...

Oh gosh, this. The number of times I've seen someone complaining about not having any money while holding a juice they'd just bought from a juice bar and I'm mentally calculating how much all the fruit would cost vs the juice (which, btw, is about a week's worth of anyone's sugar requirements vs eating one piece of fruit).
I like nice things but am, by necessity, going through a frugal patch and have just discovered by enquiry that it costs me almost two-thirds less at my hairdresser if I opt for the wash and go rather than a fancy blow dry (I'm usually never going anywhere after appointments anyway!). All the money I've wasted on this over the years just by never asking!

I remember in your very early videos when you'd make reference to a housekeeper and going to the beautician for monthly facials and while this is aspirational, I felt the financial pressure of trying to achieve that. (I always used to write 'facial' in my monthly budget, and it never made the cut but I figured by writing it that it would encourage me to earn more to do this.) I find your budget-speak a lot more relatable now. :-)

But I also think about the flow-on effect...if everyone is self-sufficient what happens to the coffee shops, the restaurants, the manicurists, the gyms...these are people who need jobs too. If anything, when I do buy a coffee or go to a hairdresser, I'm very discerning in my choices and try to go the same places to help keep them in business in these uncertain times. There are going to be no shops left on the high street in the UK soon the way things are going. People just don't go out to shop like they used to and it makes me wonder if it's good for society, not in terms of less mindless shopping but in terms of cashflow and everyday interactions. The world is operating more online and in silos and I'm not sure that's entirely good but the theme of your message is definitely senisble.

Lisa said...

Thank you for such a great reminder! We unexpectedly are having to redo our master bath as the shower was leaking through the ceiling downstairs- we hired contractors to do the plumbing work, and are doing the rest ourselves. My dad will be helping with the tile, while my husband and I do the rest. We are saving for each part of the bathroom and THEN completing it. Sharing a bathroom with the kids and waiting much longer than anticipated to have a completed bathroom is actually making me feel pretty good, because there will be no debt at the end. Remodeling a bathroom so slowly in this way wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I realized we are blessed to have another one to use, and doing the work ourselves when possible is giving us more satisfaction in the project. Not to mention teaching patience! :>

Lisa said...

Thank you for such a great reminder! We unexpectedly are having to redo our master bath as the shower was leaking through the ceiling downstairs- we hired contractors to do the plumbing work, and are doing the rest ourselves. My dad will be helping with the tile, while my husband and I do the rest. We are saving for each part of the bathroom and THEN completing it. Sharing a bathroom with the kids and waiting much longer than anticipated to have a completed bathroom is actually making me feel pretty good, because there will be no debt at the end. Remodeling a bathroom so slowly in this way wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I realized we are blessed to have another one to use, and doing the work ourselves when possible is giving us more satisfaction in the project. Not to mention teaching patience! :>