I used to be a regular on this thread for years and learned a lot here. My dh and I started out our marriage broke and sustained that status for more than a decade :) We were so great with money, but we just didn't have any. Well, after following the advice we got here and on other sites for years and years...we finally feel less broke. The good news is - this really works. The thing is that I watch us spend money we NEVER would have spent 5, 10, 15 years ago and I don't know what to make of it...is this okay? Once you know how little you have to spend - is it always wasteful to spend a little more?
Mom to 3 boys - 12, 9 & 5
I need to qualify - it is not like we have a bunch of money now. But, after doing the work for years - we are debt free and live somewhere we like. But with college starting for our oldest in only 51/2 years...I know we are probably in some sort of financial denial :(
So how do people motivate themselves to save for future expenses?
What we try to do (and aren't always successful at) is, when we have a little more breathing room, we save half of the "excess" and allow ourselves some le-way with the remainder to do things we've been wanting to do for a while. I personally don't believe in saving every extra penny, but I do try to save some. I want to live while I can and make the most out of my life, and the life I give my children. I do try to be responsible, and usually wind up stocking up on things we need for the house when we have extra $, but sometimes it is nice to go out for ice cream, or to a movie. :)
We went from broke students for years to not broke and it has been a transition.
Some things I still can not bring my self to buy/do the normal way, because I know how little it cost to do them the frugal way (used vs new little kids clothes, reusing ziplocks...)
Where I have chosen to spend more is where it makes a difference to our life in a meaningful way. Preschool/childcare, piano for DH, more organics.
At the same time, we are maxing our retirement savings, have a solid emergency fund, and are aggressive with the student loans.
As for College. What will that mean for you financially. What student aid can you expect? What scholarships would be reasonable? What do you have saved up? Check out FAFSA to start with.
Mama to Monkey (Jan '09), Bee (May '11), and Cat (August, '13)
Thanks for the feedback. We have treated ourselves to a few things that I am comfortable with (we took a few trips and after 10 years without it, we got cable) We have really enjoyed these things - my oldest is the age where he and his friends really enjoy watching ESPN together and it is nice to have something to get the 13 year old boys to hangout HERE :)
The problem is that for years we saved up to move to a "forever house" in a good school district and now that we are here I am thrilled, but I feel like we might have gotten too comfortable. I see us wasting money each month and I think we are also experiencing a shift in expenses as the kids get older (activity fees, bigger appetites, orthodontia, contact lens, and adult sized/priced clothes - can't get over how much more it costs to buy mens shoes & boots - eek!). I did join the No Spend Thread and I am thinking that might be a good start to getting refocused.
As for college - we have only saved a little and I am not counting on scholarships so I think we will be pretty impacted. I need a plan - I will check out that website. Thank you!
|Finances , Frugality|