Ok- Don't flame me. My dh just got a really good job and we are not struggling for the first time. I was so poor with my first that frugal was completely a necessity, this time it has been some necessity and my own values. But I am afraid that making money is going to make me... different. Where do you find support for living frugally- which I think is one of the most revolutionary thing you can do in this country. Also- how do I get my dh on board when he keeps a running list in his head of new "stuff" we can get now?
I don't think it weird at all...and I won't flame you! You are blessed!!!
It will only make you different if you let it. As for keeping a list of things you can get now....get a piece of paper and write it down. We have a list of things that we want to buy and the order we will start saving money to get them. Keep a list in your wallet or in the glove box of your car.
As for trying not to spend too much, put yourself on a budget. Give yourself enough money every week to live comfortable and stick the left over in the bank! Save it and do something fun...like a cruise or buying land or something.
We are frugal by choice at our home. We do spend money to buy organic and aren't super frugal about my husbands clothes, but he does buy them at TJmaxx and similar stores.
We decided that just because you have money doesn't mean you should waste it. We were both brought up frugally and respect all of our parents lessons.
We save our money for the future and we also are able to give generously to charities. When something happens, like the tsunami, we can give without taking from another charity we like to support.
We have recently, because of all the things I have learned at MDC, started being much more conscience of our foods, recycling, (we always did this but have really ramped it up recently) and started cloth diapers. This isn't something our IRL friends understand, so I have found support here and have been actively searching for some new people to meet. It hasn't been easy to find them but they are out there.
When you have money it has to be because of the values and choices you want to make. I know it is because of these reasons when you don't have money, but it has to continue to be for those reasons when you do have money.
You can have a savings account.
Save for the kid's college.
Give to your favorite charity.
Become a local arts patron.
Do big household repairs without eating salad for months after.
Really. It's okay to make money. Just spend it wisely.
I'm always interested in seeing how my PILs handle their money (which they have a lot of). They DO keep a list, on paper, of things they want to buy. Things like new furniture for the living room or a new vehicle or an expensive vacation somewhere or whatever. I think something has to be on the list for a good while before they actually spend the money. It is a way of making sure they have seen all the options and are getting what they really want for the best value. Rather than running out and buying new furniture and then a month later seeing something they would have liked better. Recently they are thinking they want to buy an RV and travel around some. They subscribed to an RV Living magazine maybe a year ago and have just been exploring the idea in a gradual way. I am sure within a year or two they will get their RV, even though they could get it right this second if they wanted. But this way they are going into it knowing full well what all the accessories are that they're going to need, what is the best model for the money they want to spend, what are some hidden costs of ownership they may not be thinking of (I don't know, like taxes, storing it somewhere since there's probably not room on their property, etc.). They will have really thought it through so that it does not become (1) a bigger expense than they anticipated or (2) something that becomes a hassle to maintain (which can happen when you can buy anything you want--you have all this stuff that has to go somewhere).
Anyway, I find it very interesting how methodically they go about any sort of "major" purchase (over more than a couple hundred dollars) and that they really practice restraint when it comes to spending.
Okay, we don't just live frugally over here because of personal conviction, but we're also downright poor. Not broke, poor. $27,000 a year for a newly expanded family of four. We make it work because we don't buy things we don't need except upon rare occasions, such as birthdays and the random "just because" gift. Since we just had a new baby, we're getting a good $6,000 back for tax returns this year. SO, we get to finish paying off the car, finish paying the midwife (since, although she was not exactly affordable for us at first, she helped us a bit so we COULD afford her, and it was important to me to not have another hospital birth so we made it fit into our budget), pay off the credit card which, thankfully, isn't too much. Our big purchase? I FINALLY get the deep freezer I've been wanting for 4 years now- from a dent-and-ding shop. The rest of the money is going into savings for emergencies. So, we're not going to be changing what we claim on our taxes since we can live on what we bring home now, and will be living even MORE comfortably now that we won't have any car payments. We don't want the extra little bit of money in our paycheck because $20 a check disappears. Besides, we own our own house, which is where so much of our monthly income goes, but otherwise we have no bills. So, although we're technically poor, we're rich in every other way.
As far as getting hubby's head out of the clouds regarding his list of things you can get now, let him daydream but also ask him to be realistic. You should/could each take $100 of the new earnings for yourselves and spend it however you see fit. That way, if he wants a new pair of shoes and you want to donate to the tsunami fund, you both can do what you like and be satisfied. If it's things for the family, make sure it's realistic. If he wants a new speedboat but you don't live anywhere remotely near a lake or ocean, put it out of his mind! But if he wants a hiking backpack and you live near the mountains or hike all the time, that may be warranted. Know what I mean? Just some thoughts.
it makes perfect sense. you should check out www.simpleliving.net
for support. there are a lot of people living frugally who are earning quite a bit. i've been reading a great book, Living Simply with Children. it extolls the value of a simple lifestyle and the ways parents and children can enjoy simple pleasures rather than material indulgence. dh is a student now, so we're frugal out of necessity, but when he graduates, he'll be earning quite a bit. we plan to still live within $30,000 or so a year and save the rest so he can go part-time after a few years.