Monday, June 24, 2024

Another Month is Almost Over


I was looking at the calendar today and realized we're halfway through the year already. Where has the time gone? It seems I blinked and 6 months passed. A friend of mine told me yesterday that I'd better start my Christmas shopping. I shuddered. This year, the pickings will be slim unless I make some of my gifts. 

Since my husband retired and we're subsisting on Social Security, we've had to adjust our budget. Unnecessary items are out. Many of my friends have mentioned doing the same thing as our government continues to allow inflation to soar. 

Prices on just about everything have skyrocketed and shrinkflation is real. When we go buy our groceries, I'm careful to watch for products that have "shrunk." 

The other day, I bought a box of protein bars. The size of the box was the same so I didn't think anything about it until I got home and opened one. The bar was 2/3 the size it used to be and the price of the box had gone up by a couple of dollars. It may not seem like much to some people, but it feels like robbery to me. 

I remember my grandmother talking about the Great Depression. She told me they saved everything from bread wrappers to glass jars. They repurposed and reused just about everything. Her motto was " use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." She learned the hard way how to survive tough times. 

In my kitchen junk drawer, I've got a stash of wire bread twist ties. I don't know what I'll do with them, but they're there in case I need them someday. And last night, after emptying out a jar of spiced peaches, I almost made the mistake of throwing out that Ball canning jar. Just before I closed the lid of the trashcan, I heard that motto in my head. I yanked it back and put it in the dishwasher. I could find a way to reuse that glass jar.

On my dresser there's a big glass jar of change. We've been throwing pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters in there for years. It's comforting to know those coins are there, but if we ever needed to use them, would cash still be an acceptable form of payment? 

These are crazy times! Maybe you haven't paid much attention to these types of things yet, but you'd better start because I'm afraid it's only going to get worse. 

Whoever dreamed we'd see things like this in our lifetime? Sure, we've experienced many economic ups and downs over the years, but not to this degree. 

You may be planning on flipping the page to July without a care in the world, but I'd like to caution you. If you start your Christmas shopping early, and plan on keeping it as close as possible to last year's gift giving standards, God bless you. 

The Bible says "You lazy people, you should watch what the ants do and learn from them. Ants have no ruler, no boss, and no leader. But in the summer, ants gather all of their food and save it. So when winter comes, there is plenty to eat." Proverbs 6:6-9. 

It might be wise to change your shopping practices this year. Consider thrifting or making your gifts. Better yet, consider giving the gift of quality time through some type of memorable experience. 

Bob Dylan was on to something. Read the lyrics of his song, The Times They are a Changin'-

Come gather 'round peopleWherever you roamAnd admit that the watersAround you have grownAnd accept it that soonYou'll be drenched to the boneIf your time to you is worth savin'And you better start swimmin'Or you'll sink like a stoneFor the times they are a-changin'
Come writers and criticsWho prophesize with your penAnd keep your eyes wideThe chance won't come againAnd don't speak too soonFor the wheel's still in spinAnd there's no tellin' whoThat it's namin'For the loser nowWill be later to winFor the times they are a-changin'
Come senators, congressmenPlease heed the callDon't stand in the doorwayDon't block up the hallFor he that gets hurtWill be he who has stalledThe battle outside ragin'Will soon shake your windowsAnd rattle your wallsFor the times they are a-changin'
Come mothers and fathersThroughout the landAnd don't criticizeWhat you can't understandYour sons and your daughtersAre beyond your commandYour old road is rapidly agin'Please get out of the new oneIf you can't lend your handFor the times they are a-changin'
The line it is drawnThe curse it is castThe slow one nowWill later be fastAs the present nowWill later be pastThe order is rapidly fadin'And the first one nowWill later be lastFor the times they are a-changin'
 
I'm sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but it's time to wake up people! Maybe your life hasn't changed much and maybe it won't, but frugality isn't a sin. In fact, when we're wise stewards of what God's given us, we can bless others. And I kinda think that just might make Him smile. 

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