The operational definition of thriftiness is “not letting myself or others spend that which is not necessary.” When you think “thrifty,” do you think of someone who is stingy with their money? Maybe you think of someone who can barely make ends meet, scrimping and saving in every way? However, some of the most generous people, and even the most affluent people, have learned that thriftiness is a key to managing their wealth! As Christians, we know that God is the One Who has given us all we have, and we are only His stewards. However, we want to be wise stewards who carefully manage these resources, knowing we will one day give account for our decisions. Instead of frivolously spending on what you do not need, consider what purchases or investments would meet the Lord’s goals. He desires that you learn to be content, that you seek Him first and allow Him to provide, and that you lead others to Him. (See II Corinthians 9:8.) Thriftiness is reflecting what God values through the purchases we make.
The opposite of thriftiness is extravagance. Spending extravagantly means that you buy whatever you want whenever you want it as if you had unlimited funds! This mindset leads to habits of wasting money by asking for things just because you want them or because you think you should have what “everyone else” has. Instead of rushing into a purchase, ask yourself the following questions: Is this a genuine need? Have I given this need to God? Am I prepared to give account to God for this decision? Extravagance is spending carelessly to satisfy “wants” while thriftiness is spending carefully to meet genuine needs.
- Am I content with what I have, or am I easily drawn toward purchasing the latest modern conveniences?
- Do I compare prices and look for the best buy, or do I purchase whatever I want as long as I have enough money on hand?
- What needless spending is draining my savings and preventing me from investing in people?
- Have I ever walked away from a purchase to think about it overnight, trusting that if God wants me to have it, He will direct and it will still be available?
- How am I saving money to prepare for emergencies and major purchases?
- Instead of borrowing money from others, do I ask God to provide what I need in His time and way?
- To prevent spontaneous, wasteful purchases, do I prepare a list before going shopping?
- Do I take good care of my belongings so that they last longer and do not need to be replaced as often?
More About Thriftiness
God enables me to:
Save more and spend less.
Make good use of what I already have.
Recognize the value of a purchase.
Budget my money, time, and energy.
Save when times are good.
Make distinctions between what I need and what I want.
Be content with basic needs.
Consider lasting things as valuable.
Avoid being wasteful.
Be careful in spending.
Thriftiness in Scripture
Dorcas Wisely Invests Her Resources
Revealed in Nature
Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum
View the Thriftiness booklet sample:
Free Resources for Thriftiness
Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!