It’s been awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to share a Frugal Lutheran interview. (Hint, hint, to all those other frugal Lutherans out there!)
Today, I’m pleased to resume the series by introducing you to my cousin, Lisa. Lisa is my closest cousin on the Barz side – probably due to the fact that I’m only a month and 2 days older than her. When we were little, our families lived in Detroit and Saginaw at the same time, so we were close for those precious play moments.
Now that we’re grown, married and followed our husbands to their churches, we live close(r) again. It’s a three hour drive (that we don’t make nearly enough) but it’s always nice to have a cousin close.
Lisa has a great perspective on frugality as a Pastor’s wife and new stay-at-home Mom to one (soon to be two) little boys. I hope you enjoy getting to know my lovely cousin, Lisa Joy.
Tell us about yourself and your family.
My name is Lisa (Barz) Moyer. I am a pastor’s wife and mother of one sweet and energetic boy (Thaddeus) and have another baby boy on the way. I am now a mostly stay at home mom. I am a nurse and do some work for the schools in our county by providing staff trainings, but I am able to do that around my schedule. I enjoy music, scrapbooking, baking, trying new recipes and engaging in my son’s development.
Where do you live? What’s your home church?
We live in Grand Blanc outside of Flint, Michigan. We attend at Faith Lutheran Church in Grand Blanc where my husband Jon is one of the pastors.
Who’s more frugal – you or your spouse? How so?
That depends on how you look at it. My husband is afraid to spend money, so I do most of the spending and shopping. However, because I pay the bills and see where our money goes, I also have a better picture of where we need to cut back and spend less.
Were you raised to be frugal? If so, how? If not, what made you become this way?
I was absolutely raised in a frugal household. When my mom tells me how she managed the grocery budget, I am amazed. She cut coupons, so I have always cut coupons. I even pretended when I was little. She sewed most of our clothes or had a tight budget for our beginning of the school year “new clothes.” So, now I try to sew for presents and am looking for creative ways to “give” at Christmas. I accept hand me downs and shop resale for the boys. When I left home, I told my mom that I wouldn’t be saving and washing ziploc bags, but guess what? Now I wash and save ziploc bags myself.
Who (or what) has had the most influence on your frugality?
I think our financial situation has pushed me to be more frugal as the years go by. When Jonathan and I married almost 7 years ago, I had some credit card debt from moving and also from our wedding. (I didn’t save as much as I should have while I was single.) It seems that as soon as we get ahead in one debt then we have more unexpected expenses pop up and we delay getting further ahead. This year I read “The Money Saving Mom’s Budget” and am working to implement many of her principles. We don’t use cash because we bank online, but my money management is slowly getting better.
How does your faith influence your frugality?
Being a pastor’s family, we know that it is important to be an example for the members of our church. But I am more moved by being a good steward of what the Lord has blessed us with in this life. We always give 10% and will work towards giving more as our finances improve. As I have learned to trust in God for what we need, he continues to bless us in unexpected ways.
What’s so appealing about being frugal?
In some ways, I experience the “thrill” of a good deal. But I also find myself spending too much time looking for those deals and getting frustrated when I don’t get the deals. So, I am still learning how to balance the deals with my time and energy. I also believe that we are our children’s best teachers and we are to instill in them the principles of stewardship and discipline.
What is your biggest frugality challenge?
My biggest challenge is that I still like “nice” things. We prefer to buy things new. So, I have been slowly learning how to find good bargains at garage sales and resale shops. We aren’t very “handy” so it is a challenge to keep up on household repairs and to repurpose items as I would like. When decorating my sons “big boy” bedroom we bought clearanced 2012 calendars to frame for his vintage transportation room. We love how it’s turned out and now we have extra pictures to frame for our finished basement.
What’s your best frugality tips?
Look at all of your non-essential budget costs. When our son was born, we cut cable. Partly because I didn’t want him to watch it but also because I didn’t want to spend the money on a time waster. We only have internet and cell phones, and are still able to watch the TV shows we want without commercials by using Netflix streaming and the internet. We also just made a switch from Sprint to a new cell phone company. Even though we had to pay upfront for our phones, our monthly bill has decreased at least 60% and the overall savings in two years (the length of a contract) will be huge.
Any final frugal thoughts to share?
My journey with frugality seems to have just begun. We are learning often how to cut our spending. We recently cut out most meat from our diet which increases the produce we buy, but we have been blessed with a good farmer’s market. We use cloth diapers because I hate the idea of adding diapers to my grocery list. My husband actually hates using disposables when we are on vacation. I also follow many bloggers in order to find crafts, gardening tips, and shopping savings. The internet is both a time waster and a money saver, so use it wisely.
Each month, I try to feature an interview as part of our “Meet a Frugal Lutheran…” series. The interviewees share how their faith has shaped their frugality. If you’d like to participate, simply send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll send you a questionnaire!