When $5 Almost Ruined a Perfect Weekend

How I almost let a silly five dollar miscommunication ruin a perfect weekend.

I am a penny-pincher. I like saving.

When I was little and was given candy, I ate a few pieces and stashed the rest away for later. Years later my Omma told me she found bags of candy hidden in “secret places” … that I had forgotten about.

The dentist may approve of my approach to candy, but I failed to realize that sometimes being too much of a saver can keep you from enjoying and sharing what you do have.

When I grew older and money started to replace candy, I kept to my saving ways (though found forgotten stashes much less frequently!) Joshua is also frugal, but has helped me put frugality into its proper place. Thriftiness should be a tool, not an idol.

Now, for the story…

Sometimes the grandest weekends get ruined by the silliest things. I almost ruined our perfect weekend by getting angry over a $5 purchase. Almost.... photo credit

How I Almost Let $5 Ruin a Perfect Weekend

Last week was a busy one for Joshua. He put in long hours at work, leaving home early and getting back late. About halfway through the week he showed me a picture and asked, “Do you want to make these St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes together on Saturday?”

The kids overheard and couldn’t have been more enthusiastic in their response. Every day they asked, “Is it Saturday yet?”

Saturday finally arrived. Joshua had to work a few hours that morning and then it was cupcake-time. Before he left work, Joshua messaged me asking if we needed anything for the recipe.

“We don’t have any sour cream,” I said, “but we can substitue yogurt for it. And we have semi-sweet instead of bitter chocolate.”

“Want me to pick some up?”

“I don’t think we need it. What we have should work great,” I answered. “Up to you though.” [What I really meant was, I don’t want you to get any.]

“I’ll pick some up,” he said.

While I waited for him to get home, I started to stew. Stopping by the store was delaying our afternoon. I’d already spent the grocery money for this week and these cupcakes were turning out to be much more expensive than I’d planned! Did Joshua not trust me that the substitutes would work? 

Then Reason (“God’s viceroy”) slammed me in the head. “After Joshua put in long hours all week long to provide for you, are you really going to let a sour cream purchase make you upset? Are you going to ruin the fun family time by having a bad attitude over $5? If you really didn’t want him to pick it up, you should have said so! Is this the proper attitude of a godly wife?”

[Are you laughing? Me too!]

Thankfully, by the time Joshua arrived home, I’d realized the answer to all those questions was a resounding “NO!”

Instead of starting off our weekend together with a sulky wife, bewildered husband, and disappointed children, we had a lovely time making cupcakes.* Then we spent the rest of the weekend together, reading, watching a movie, playing outside, worshipping and going horseback riding at a friend’s farm.

Maybe throwing a fit over $5 wouldn’t have ruined the entire weekend. I’m glad we didn’t have to find out.

While wisely stewarding your resources is wonderful, sometimes we can take thriftiness too far. God has “given us all things richly to enjoy.” Even a tub of sour cream.

*Joshua even told me “Just wanted to let you know that I was given unexpected cash. The money for this purchase isn’t coming out of your grocery budget.” Isn’t he wonderful? He knows his wife well! 

 

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Comments

    • anna says

      Thanks so much for stopping by Dusty!

      I’m afraid I do too. If only I could always keep the big picture and God’s principles before my eyes.

  1. Candace says

    Anna, I was simultaneously laughing and nearly in tears. So often have I been in a similar situation (though more than $5 was at stake, ha), and failed the test. Oy. Thankfully God is patient, though, and it is His kindness that leads me to repentance! And He has blessed us with hard working men, hasn’t he!

  2. says

    Wow, I’m glad I live in a dairy state, our sour cream is almost never over $1.50 : ) I definitely need this lesson though, it just applies to non-dairy related purchases. : )

    • anna says

      Food is a bit more expensive here than where we used to live, but I should have made it more clear. It was $5 for the sour cream and the chocolate. But yes, I need the lesson in many more areas than just dairy purchases. 🙂

  3. Jenni / Life from the Roof says

    I am a die-hard thrifty person as well. When I was able to babysit in junior high school, I would save all of my money in my metal cash box and count it every night. My mom had to finally force me to spend some of it on some clothes. Most junior high girls would have spent that money easily, but not me!

    I think it’s a good trait to have as a wife over all. My husband is grateful that I worked hard to pay off his $18,000 in seminary student loans in one year before our first son arrived, but there are other times where I’ve really gotten stressed over some expenditure that just wasn’t worth it. It’s good to save, and good to have an emergency fund, but money is also there to provide memories and things that we need in life, and it sounds like your cupcake-making experience was definitely one of those things.

    • anna says

      Haha! I can so relate to being “forced” to spend money in junior high. If what I had was good enough, why should I go out and spend money on something new?

      That’s amazing Jenni! What a wonderful blessing to your husband and family!

      Thriftiness in a wife is such a blessing. It’s just that sometimes I take it a bit too far. 🙂

  4. says

    Great post, Anna. We can also change that $5. to 5 minutes that we wanted for something else. 😛 I’m more inclined to hoard “my” time than my money. Thanks for sharing. <3

  5. says

    We (my daughter and I) enjoyed reading this post – but after reading this sentence ( About halfway through the week he showed me a picture and asked, “Do you want to make these St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes together on Saturday?” ) we couldn’t stop being in awe of your apparently amazing hubby! He actually found a picture of a supposedly green cupcake, showed you the pic, and planned for the family to make them together – really?!?! That, my dear, is awesome. My hubby cleans, shops, washes laundry, but finding and requesting to make cupcakes? Ha! That is too great!

    • anna says

      Yep— he’s pretty awesome… which made even thinking about complaining about a sour cream purchase ridiculous. 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. says

    I’m ashamed to say that something this insignificant has also set me off when my sweet husband is just trying to help me. Thanks for your honesty and this good reminder to think through why we are angry. Gail

  7. Jessi says

    Thanks for linking up! And what a great honest post. So often we do not recognize those moments when we should just let it be, and end up doing much more harm than it’s worth. Glad yall had a fun family weekend!

  8. Kasey says

    Oh, Anna, this would be so me. I find myself biting my tongue sometimes when my mind thinks I know better but my heart knows I’m just being a big oaf. So, soo glad you were able to gather those seeds of truth and let them blossom into good fruit!

  9. says

    What a precious lesson that can be applied to so many situations. The letter of the law instead of grace.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

    Thank you also for linking up to What We’re Learning!

    blessings on the journey!

  10. says

    This story sound like something that goes on in our home quite a bit. I struggle with finding the balance between saving and savoring… Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

  11. Theresa says

    I have done this more than once. Thankfully, I am usually able to recognize it and change the attitude before I ruin the fun. Sadly, I have wrecked a few fun outings because my cheapness got in the way.

    Glad to know I am not the only one.

    • anna says

      No, you’re definitely not the only one! Praise God for His grace.

      The crazy thing is, my kids enjoyed that day of cupcake making fun more than a $50 trip we could have made to the zoo!

  12. says

    I worry about the little purchases my husband makes on the way home, too! He never gets anything unless I ask him too and I often get mad b/c he does not seek out the cheapest ‘whatever’ I wanted at the store. Thank you for the reminder to keep my cool. I recently got my feathers ruffled because he spent 2.19 on cool whip when the store brand was on sale for .99. Haha, he even offered to go back and get the .99 item. What a guy!

    • anna says

      Haha! What the poor husband of us super-thrifty wives have to put with, huh?! One of these days I hope to be able always to see the big picture and be grateful…but for now, I just so glad we have a patient God and patient husbands!

  13. says

    Great reminder that life is more than money and being a godly wife, mom, and grandmom (for me) is way more than balancing the weekly budget. I had a similiar exerience when I was a newly wed (some 30 years ago). My wonderful husband bought me a bouquet of roses on our 1st wedding anniversary. I whined about the $15 he had spent when we were struggling financially and our first baby on the way. That was a really stupid thing to do. In 30 years he has never bought a spontaneous bouquet of flowers, again.

    Now I trust God about our finances and don’t get stressed out about little things. But I can’t take back that event 30 years ago.

    Bless you,
    Chris

  14. says

    Anna,
    I can see myself stewing like this many times…sometimes I do blow it, but I am learning to hold still more often – Praise God! I am so glad you allowed the Holy Spirit to lead you into reason and truth!! I’m thankful you have your Joshua.
    I am frugal, too, as I am Dutch!
    God bless your week, sweet Anna!

    • anna says

      Thank you, dear Jacqueline! I didn’t know you were Dutch. I’m Faroese. 🙂

      Yes, I am so glad when I listen to God’s prompting… and when I don’t, I sure regret it. Praise the Lord for His grace.

      (And yes, I am so grateful for my Joshua!)

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