A friend glances down at my trendy, chunky white floral necklace and gushes over how much she loves it. Without even thinking, I immediately spit out how much—or rather how little—I spent on it.

Saving money is my badge of honor. It’s a skill I carefully honed out of necessity while our family paid off more than $127,000 in debt—an assortment of student loan debt, credit cards, car loans, medical debt, and more. I’ll use whatever coupons, codes, and deals I can to whittle away the retail price… and then proudly show everyone in the parking lot the evidence on my receipt. Yes, I’m one of those people who can coupon my way to paying little or nothing. I nicknamed myself (and my blog), “Queen of Free.”

I do believe the Bible calls us to live within our means, so I champion frugality as a way to avoid extravagant spending, meet financial goals, and free up our resources to give to greater causes. But even with these noble motivations in mind, can we take things too far?

Our culture is clogged with measures to save money—from the easy (coupon apps, free shipping, big sales) to the more extreme (dumpster-diving, DIY everything). The Internet runs flush with women sharing the best buys and money-saving tips. Online coupon sites have boomed into a multi-billion dollar business. It’s seemingly a snap to save money doing everything from making your own laundry detergent to knocking off your favorite restaurant recipes to taking your family to Disney on the cheap using top secret strategies.

Watching others score big discounts, our mouths agape, we become mystified by the mundane. She did what to save money? She got those boots for that price? How can they ...

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