We also bought a used car, which saved us a ton of money vs. buying a new one.
I definitely spend too much money at the grocery store!!
Thank you so much for your replies and encouragement. I think that you both have given me some good suggestions. I do agree that DH and I both need some "mad money". It's just been so hard to have any extra for mad money because DS has been sick with asthma type stuff so much and DD has been having testing done for a learning disability. For some reason, when I spend money on myself, I feel guilty. I don't mind so much if DH spends money on things for himself (he does it so rarely) or if I spend it on the kids, but I get this guilty feeling even when I am buying something I really need (like new clothes or shoes).
Kristin, I think it's a great idea to make an "I want" list and just to be able to put it on there and think about it is a good idea. Of course, I have been pining for a Fleurville diaper bag, but I really cannot justify $150 for one right now!LOL!
Piglet68, I think that you are so right that I need to focus on what the outcome will be instead of any "deprivation" I feel now. DH and I are going to be setting up a budget and trying to squeeze everything extra that we can onto the home equity line of credit and the credit card. We are hoping to pay off our car in the next 1-1.5 years.
Thank you so much for your encouragement! I really do appreciate it so much. I look forward to participating with all of you on getting out of debt!
Hey Mamas! Not much to report here except that i went to the bank and opened a new and separate savigns acct that is not linked to our checking acct. in anyway- atm or online- so we can put our montly chunk toward property taxes there and can't dip into it. We are gettign better at planning ahead for those big occasional bills.
I wanted to respond to a few previous posts:
Amy, I agree, I think having a family and especially just one income *is* expensive. sounds like you are doing great. Sounds like by digging a bit though you are coming up with some ideas to free up some more money- like the car. Other things that come to my mind are public transportation and bikes. I don't know where you live, but biking is awesome in the warm weather. Tough with a baby, but I guess I was thinking more about if your dh could bike to work? And exercise to boot!! Anyway, you are my idol with 5 kids regardless. I think its hard with one!!
Oh, and you have probably gotten this already from YMOYL, but i love that it isn't about budgeting. I fail budgeting entirely. The whole approach of YMOYL to trackign spending is what has made me realize that this is a different program with different goals that your typical money management gig. With budgeting I always felt frustrated and jsut wanted to get to the stage when I could start spending money again. With this approach, I feel like I am just more aware, and even excited about finding ways to save money. Its just the beginning, but i feel like I am more in a long-term life change, rather than a short term just-until-i-have-more-money phase.
Kerc- I agree with you about TG. I have been thinking about getting it, but from the tips i get from others, it sounds too piece-meally to me. I know that probably the idea is that a little bit here and there compounds into a lot. And maybe once we are more entrenched in frugal ways we will be able to embrace it a bit more. I have been thinking about Affluenza. Think I will hit the library today!
And re the clothes line/dryer. I personally just love clothes lines. I was so excited that our new house had one all set up from the house to all the way across the lawn. So i can hang clothes from the deck, and it actually glides smoothly ( i hate ones you have to yank on). i dont' know. I love the look of clothes on the line and the smell. and i think on hot days, they dry faster.
well, that's my .02. Wait! No! I'm not giving anyone .02 You can all have it for free...
Originally Posted by A&A
she wants them to shoot a picture of the whole family going past McDonalds......NOT spending money there.
Originally Posted by kerc
that is great! don't you think it is this consumer driven society that makes it so hard to do-without?
In dh's economics class they were talking about credit card debt and how the US has trillions in credit card debt. I keep thinking I don't want to be a part of that anymore.
Piglit thanks for reiterating about in the end you will have more money. It does seem to make it all worth while for us.
For example, if you remember your friend's birthday with a $5 present, she will be overjoyed that you remembered. But if you spent $10, she won't be doubly-overjoyed, she'll still just be overjoyed. So, the extra $5 wasn't worth it.
So ask yourself, "how low can I go?" to still get most of what you want, for less money.
I used to reward myself by buying some clothes, or something online, etc...now I've lowered my standards, lol. Last month my reward was hair dye (got it on sale for $6.99) and this month it was a haircut (a huge expense at $30!! - but I haven't had it cut since early February, and used to get it done every 6 weeks). Most of my rewards entail expensive grocery items nowadays. I have this passion for Peach Mango Salsa. It's made by a certain company and it is over $5 for a jar, which I can eat almost all of in one sitting. I also have a passion for veggie chips, over $4 per bag. I really cannot justify buying these things, so I save them for treats.
You wouldn't think you could find such small things rewarding, but I'm here to say it works! Turns out, as I've learned, that the warm fuzzy feelings you get when you allow yourself a treat, seem much more connected to the CONCEPT of "treat" rather than the dollar amount.
My daily success: on Sunday I took out $20 cash and have only just broken it today: I got some hot water from the coffee shop (forgot to bring my mug; but I have my own tea bags here at work) and a biscotti. Total was $1.25. That will be it for today's spending. I made a fabulous wild rice salad on Sunday that will last me three days of lunches. It's way better than anything I could buy in our cafeteria. And stretches my weekly cash budget by miles!
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
we have always been very frugal (since we bought our house, before that I guess we werent) we have always shopped thrift for everything, no cable, no cell phones, used cars..... etc etc etc
but we have a goal of selling our current home and moving to the 'country' that we have been working on for the last 6 months or so. we arent at the point to put our house up..it needs some work which my dh has been plugging away at (luckily its mostly painting and stuff, and he is a painter) the problem is with only his income, we wouldnt be able to even buy a house the same price as this one..we were approved for it when we both worked before we had dd. it is a double, so we would lose that rental income, so the mortgage would be twice as high for the same priced house, kwim?
we are both EXTREMELY anxoius to get a few acres and a dumpy house (even a trailer, who cares) and get away from the traffic, super stores, busy streets, go go go attitude..and get our dd and any future children to a place they can run around and be kids! tired of looking at little cement slabs.
we currently have alot of stuff to unload, so while cutting spending isnt really an option (we dont have TOO much of a problem with that...even with my thrift store trips a few times a week thats only 5-10 bucks, and thats all I shop, really)
we have alot of stuff from before we moved here, we lived with my inlaws and bought whatever we wanted with our 2 income and almost no expenses (they were 2 very very small incomes, though..still under $20-$25 grand a year total, so we arent talking big bucks, here :LOL)
and have some credit card debt from when we moved here, new roof, old comp...misc spending, I am not sure exactly how much, maybe $7-$8 grand. thats it. we have one well running car, and my dh has a crappy car that we have been sharing with my sister upstairs (they havent had a car for a few months) so he needs to get a used work van and then we can give them that car (which she needs, as she will be a single mom of 3 very soon ) so that will be $6 or so thousand more in debt.
my dh has a budget and everything (he is excellent at saving and tracking and all that...always has been) and he says the cc debt should be gone in 1-2 years....sooner if we unload most of our stuff, and if i can sell the stuff I make a few times a month or so. the van payment should be covered by the extra side job he can get by using it (he is a private contractor, but works along side his pop, and they meet up and car pool the work van his dad has)
so we have goals and a plan, and I am all set to join in and track successes and set backs! (if I can keep up..this thread really moves)
we are gunna go to my aunts to house/pet sit for a week at the end of June-she has 4 acres and a pond/boat/fishing fancy house with a jacuzzi tub, like a private resort!!! its gunna be a great, expenses paid vacation. she lives in a town next to my inlaws, so dh can go to work everyday. she is also paying us $20 bucks a day to watch things and feed/love her 3 pets. we really lucked out getting this gig!
have a great week everyone!
This takes planning. We're really low on some "staple" items, things my older DD (who's rather particular) eats regularly. She knows the plan, that we're "eating the house down" before our trip and that we're trying to control the grocery spending, and she actually has tried a couple of new things these past few days. I made banana bread out of some bananas that had gone nearly rotten, and she loved it. We're going to make our own sourdough bread on Wednesday night, after the starter is done. (I've never done this before.) So this is challenging, but fun at the same time.
Fortunately the weather has cooled down, so not running the A/C isn't killing us.
Feeling a little nervous about having paid off credit card with part of savings, but trying to feel confident that if we stay on track with this reduced spending, we can build the savings back up in the next few months. I'm going to look into setting up my direct deposit from work to siphon some of the money right into the savings account. As it is now, all of it goes to checking, and I always tell myself I'll transfer some to savings, but it somehow never happens.
Other things we've been doing to help reduce debt and plan for retirement:
*Paying extra $170 a month on mortgage principle (to make it a round number)
*Putting $200 a month into IRA
*DH puts $40 a week in our DDs' bank account. This has accumulated to be over $6,000 in the past few years.
So we're doing a few things right, and we make decent money. We've just really got to save!
I'm getting lots of motivation from this thread. The e-mail alerts alone are keeping me motivated. Thanks, everyone!
The good part of this is it keeps popping into my head "just go to half.com and buy a copy, you could get it for cheap...blah blah blah", but--- I push that out of my head, it is that nickle and diming $hit that got me where I am (in major debt). So- I REFUSE TO BUY THAT BOOK! I will get it out of the library when I can, but I WILL NOT BUY IT!
Dh and I tried to figure out where our debt went, like what did we spend all that money on- and you know what? We could only account for half of it- half- and considering the children's birth's were a good portion of that amount, it's not like we can sell anything to make the money back, YK? Selling kids is illegal and besides, I am pretty attached to them :LOL.
So- it's our 90 degree humid day here and Dh did great- fans in the windows over night- then closed the place up this morning (including keeping all the shades pulled), so it's pretty decent in here right now . We CAN do this!
back on track.....
things i am doing this week: I just spent $160 on groceries that should last the 3 of us till June 18th. also, I am having a local WAHM/diaper party here this Friday (which people will bring snacks for, also) and a baby shower for a friend here on Saturday...and the food for those are included.
i am making batches of molasses cookies, a few loaves of vegan pumpkin bread (very cheap, the apple butter and canned pumpkin are the most expensive ingredients, they are only a dollar or so per loaf...the rest is just stuff on hand, and no milk or eggs or butter cuts the price even more) Wild Oats had large, beautiful heads of Romaine for $1.29, so i got a few and will cut the leaves and make little roll up tuna or chicken salad thingies with toothpicks. I got chicken at Marcs (locally owned discount store) they had hormone free all natural chicken breasts for $2.29 a pound.
I also got a few loaves of brownberry multigrain bread at Marcs for about $1.15 each, I can cut the crusts off of those, make 2 little sandwhiches per single slice (cream cheese and cucumber, maybe) and toast the crusts to make bread crumbs to dip cheese ravioli's (I saute them in olive oil, yummy!) I can also make some pizza crusts, let them rise, prebake them, and them top and toast them at the shower!. so the shower wont cost very much at all!
for the shower favors i got some chocolate (hersheys bags of chips 2 for $3 at Marcs) to melt down, and organic raisins $2.29 a pound at Wild Oats...i am just gunna make little choc covered raisin globs, and wrap them up and tuck them in folded infant prefolds (that reminds me, i have to walk to the dollar store and get a few packs of dipe pins to pin them closed) very cheap, and totally consumable! no little plastic things that are thrown away!
for the gift, i made the mom a sling (of course) luckily I was able to intercept 3 guests whom i found out were going in on a $50 maya wrap!!!! wacky.
so while its fun to entertain, it wont break us! did i save enough to hire a cleaner, though ...I better get to work!
(btw, we always use re-usable napkins and plates, cups, etc, I have a chest of 'party supplies' I pull down and clean for parties)
thats whats going on this week in my personal 'plan'..not a set back as much as an opportunity!
I'm not sure if what I did today is a good thing or a bad thing, frugal-wise...but it was a joyful thing. I bought 7 butterfly bushes online (on sale!) to replace the ones that got killed by this past harsh winter. Some of the gonners were working on their fourth year, so they were doing okay, but three weeks of sub zero weather zapped 'em. I decided I would miss seeing all the butterflies in our yard, and the blossoms are gorgeous. Theoretically, we should enjoy them for years to come. They would add so much to our enjoyment of life and our yard. I think maybe that's what simple living is all about - gorgeous experiences, not closets full of landfill bound items.
On the plus side, $82 was deposited in my account yesterday for selling books on amazon.com so that goes into the "pay down the mortgage" fund. Dh had a nice job yesterday and "the check is in the mail." Short terms goals? Pay the rest toward dh's Roth IRA, make another double mortgage payment, fill up the oil tank for the house (ouch!) for next winter - not sure if I should wait and see if oil prices drop.
Originally Posted by Rosetta
I was curious-has anyone found a cheap telephone plan? I've seen this several companies adver. on TV and wondered it if they were just as good. Right now we have Verizon for local and don't have long distance (we use phone cards)
bravo piglet and witch's mom. Well done.
I had an ok week so far. I realized on monday that i needed to hit the supermarket. trying to stretch two weeks meant I had nothing for lunch and then eneded up spending like 4-5 bucks on a lunch. Piglet -- will you post wild rice salad recipe in good eating? sounds yummy.
Our CSA produce begins next week. I am psyched. I already paid for it 100 bucks from now till october.
Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven. PROUD to be a Catholic! :
Originally Posted by bamboogrrrl
Hey Jess - Bummer about your license! This might satisfy your jones for YMOYL before you can borrow it from your library. It's a synopsis of all the steps from their website: http://www.simpleliving.net/ymoyl/fom-about-summary.asp It's pretty in depth so you should groove on it.
I'm going to have to get the name of the rice mix. It's a mixture of various strains of brown rice (mahogany, brown, etc) and wild rice. I always find it in the health food section. The same company makes various mixtures of rice, they come in little bags. The one I use has a brown label. Anyways, I'll write it down tonight.
It's so easy: all I do is cook the rice. I toast some raisins and walnut slivers (pine nuts are good, too) in a little bit of butter and add that. I add corn (fresh from the cob is best) and I chopped up a red pepper and added that. I seasoned with salt and a bit of tarragon. Really, you can put whatever you want in it! Yum!
Well, DH and I were joking about having good $$ karma lately. He says it's b/c he's been giving money to some homeless people - you know, a buck here and there a few times, lol. But honestly, we must be doing something right.
My Dad had hired me to do a small consulting job for him (he's a lawyer and needed some expert advice). My "bill" was $250 (Cdn). When I checked my account he had put in $450! I have to call him today, but I know my Dad: he probably figured I was undercharging myself, lol. What a sweetie! So that takes care of a couple of bills for next month!
Forget the homeless people - it must be this great thread!
PS - way to go, Amy! It is soooo hard for me not to buy things if my shopping companion is buying up the store, lol!
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
|we actually have money leftover from the last paycheck!|
don't you love how the banana and carrot are grooving together?
From amazon.com: "Written with the same tongue-in-cheek cheekiness as his bestselling How to Ruin Your Life, this book is a humorous road map showing you how to make something useful of the money that comes in and out of your life. Follow the rules—in reverse gear—and you’re bound to be a lot better off than you are now. Follow the rules as they’re written—and you’re highly likely to wind up in bankruptcy court—as millions do every decade.
Here are some of the rules, just to whet your appetite: Collect as Many Credit Cards as You Can and Use Them Frequently; Compete with Your Friends to See Who Can Own the Most Expensive and High-Status Possessions; Know in Your Gut That Only Suckers Work Hard for Money and That Smarties Like You Only Have to Find an Angle; Remember That Retirement Is a L-ooo-nnn-g Way Off, and Don’t Even Think about It Right Now; Bear in Mind That Only "Little People" Pay Their Bills or Taxes; Don’t Bother to Own Your Own Home Because Home Ownership Is a Hassle...and many more."
It made me smile this morning when he talked about how many times a day we are tempted to buy stuff, but how few times a day we are inspired to save our pennies. Our thread makes the "save money for financial independence" message a little louder in my life... Woo hoo!
the ben stein thing!
I think you made a very wise step. It surely looks worse to be missing payments, and I think once you have gotten all of your debt paid this way, you will have to be looked at as someone who made it through, YK?
So, now do you just write one check to CCCS per month? Can you make extra payments? That would be a great way to motivate, to make some small "extra" payment each month.
This thread is giving me so much encouragement. Think you will all still be here in 2 years when I hope to be through this?
Thanks so much for the YMOYL link. Boy- it is overwhelming, but I like the ideas very much. Esp. having more time to volunteer, that is a big goal of mine and DH's. He loves building and so wants to get in with Habitat for Humanity, but right now is working so much, he doesn't have the time .
One other thing I have realized is that I need to keep my life priorities in shape. It is very important for me to be a SAHM and for dh to be here as much as possible, evenings and weekends. I also want to be "present" for my children when I am here. I am currently babysitting a 5 year old after school and will have him for the summer. I know I could do real day care, I have many other people who have said that they would like me to care for their children. However, I know my limit. I know that my children will only be this small once, and I know that my priority is to be here. Surely we could be out of debt much sooner if dh or I worked more (he talked of getting a p/t job on top of his f/t one), but I want us *here* as much as we can be, and I need to not sacrifice my time with my family to get out of debt quicker. If dh gets the job he's hoping for, I will go and substitute (I am a former teacher) a day a week to help out, but I don't want to leave the kids more than that, so I won't!
I will get out of debt, without sacrificing *my* ideal family situation.
disclaimer- no offense intended to WOHMs here, I respect and love you all , it is just not something that works well for *ME* .
you all are doing so well! i feel like i'm flailing a bit. I did call to get the application to sign up for the craft fairs that I am going to sell things at this fall. Hopefully that will bring in some extra cash.
and so that i wasn't talking out of my a&^, i went and go the Tightwad Gazette from the library and I really like it! A&A you are really right about the philosophy being more helpful than the actual tips, although it does get me thinking creatively about a lot of the things i can come up with on my own. Things like washing out plastic baggies and reusing aluminum foil i have always done, more from a saving waste/environmental standpoint than anything else. I can see how as DH and began to make more money, we just accepted buying more things because we could. When we made less money, we did put things on the cc, but there was a lot that we just did without, or waited on. Time to get back in the saddle with that.
Jess, have you done the calculations about you working? I have read in both YMOYL and TG that the benefits of the second parent working tend to be much,much less than people think when they factor in taxes, commute money, wear and tear on car, etc.. I won't count lunch out and special clothes, because as someone who is trying to be frugal, i know you wouldn't do either of those things! But reading about how a second job can actually cost more has made me feel more resolve about being home and trying to find ways to make money that won't be taxed etc.. ina raditional way (selling things, etc...) Just a thought. But if you do the calculations and it makes sense for you, that extra bit of income can make a huge difference!!
Ok, so the other day i bought a small notebook and some velcro with sticky back so we can mount the notebook in the car so we remember as soon as we buy something to write it down. We were just stuffing receipts in an envelope, but that wasn't mindful enough. Dh and I are not good at following through with things like that. Does anyone have a tracking system that works for them?
Thanks everyone. You truly are inspiring. I think I need to get my butt in gear a bit more.
Craft fairs- talk to me about that. (please ). Right now I sell (handmade) things on ebay and often make gifts for family members etc. I think I could make enough stuff for a booth at a craft fair, but I wonder how much it costs to have a booth, etc.? The stuff we make is Irish themed and the city we live in has 2 "Irish" stores, we need to approach them to ask if they would sell any of our stuff (I have noticed that they do sell some homemade things). We also make "Firefighter" themed items, and there is actually a FF supply store in our hometown, dh knows the guy who runs it, and he has said that he would like to sell our stuff, I think we need to get in gear on that.
The little boy I babysit has a half day of school today- so I am picking him up 3 hours early, I wonder if I will get paid extra for that? I am so horrible with these things, I am not good at asking for more (even if it is really what is deserved, yk?). I sell myself short IRL and with friends. I am good at selling on ebay and such, b/c the price is there, and they buy it if they want it. But like, I just started Usborne books, I have a hard time selling to family and friends, I am uncomfortable with making money off of people I care about. Anywho- I am rambling- the parents of the boy I sit for are super nice, I assume (I know ) that they'll pay me extra, so I likely won't ask (then just complain to dh if they don't ). Not hard to see why I am in debt, huh?
Thanks for the words of encouragement! I will be making a once a month pymt to CCCS to the tune of about 500 smackeroos.... though much less than the payments would have been! And YES I LOVE clark howard... i actually met him at a Braves game one time. He is so nice!
I will be on here a lot this summer since I am a teacher and out for the season! I'm so glad that I have "met" you all!
Be blessed y'all,
The good news is that he's already had a couple of good interviews... But things are very tight cuz we were going to use his next paycheck to get caught up and then start saving a progressively larger amount of each check until none of it was part of the household budget -- 50% to savings and 50% to debt repayment. The goal was to have everything paid off except for the mortgage by Winter 2007 when dh was going to stop working and be the stay at home & homeschooling parent while I worked since I have the much more flexible job and he is much more domestic.
So the next few weeks are going to be insane while we skrimp and pinch pennies. I hope we aren't set too far back. Thankfully we have a full freezer and will be able to get by on less that $50 bi-weekly for groceries for a few weeks.
My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay
He will proabably have a job before the hearing - he has paperwork for a gaming license at one of the local casinos, that paperwork will probably be approved first. Plus he's had a couple of other "good" interviews.
I remember the last time I had been on unemployment (over 6 years ago) it was just a matter of filling out a couple forms and automatic approval cuz I didn't quit or get fired for nasty reasons, not anymore. Make you jump through hoops these days. In the mean time my son does not have insurance and that is another kettle of fish.
My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay
For insurance- does your state have anything to help? NY has Child Health Plus, we are not eligible so we are paying an insane amount right now to stay covered . But, maybe you could look into something like that?