*Simple Living* mamas/families. . . Need advice/tips!!! - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 7 Old 09-15-2008, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Simple Living Mamas and Families!!!!!!!! Okay I just read the book "Living Simply with Children" and I absolutly loved it!!!! I just wish I had enough oommpphh to get me out of the Work/Spend/Work habbit. I think we are doing really well saving lately though I am a SAHM I don't work, my DH does, we recenly went to one car, got rid of the $170 a month cable bill (trying to get DH to get rid of teevee altogether, we are Waldorf in the home for the most part). I buy cute clothes from thrifties for my son and baby, I am making most of our meals from scratch and quit going out (coffee shop is my only vice, and now cutting it down to 2 visits a week, compared to 4 or 5) Making my own cleaners, laundry soap, shampoo even makeup. The problem is that our house (we love love love it too death! But it's very very expensive, we bought it for $259k 2 years ago with no down payment so our mortage is almost $2,000!!) My husband makes just under $70k and with the mortage, 1 income, student loans and college debt we are sucked dry every month!!!!!

Just curious what other mamas have done to "simplify"? Becase in reading that book I realize that the most important things to me are my family and doing things with them! I'd love to have my dh retire early and spend time with us while we still have kids in the house! We are planing a move now for CO in 2-4 years and possible homesteading but until then what else can we do?

I have the book toymaking with children which I love and plan on making toys for xmas along with tons of little woolies, gnomes and CD I make and try to sell on ETSY (I have yet to make a sale!!!!) Just need some tips on simplifying more!!


TIA!!!!

Samantha:: love.gif {Waldorf Doll Maker} broc1.gif{Organic Farmer}knit.gif{crafter} computergeek2.gif {blogger}  and crunchy mama to 4 boys under 5! run.gif

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#2 of 7 Old 09-15-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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We are also in the position of living pretty simply (not as much as you, but way moreso than mainstream peeps) but we have a 2000$ a month mortgage. And honestly, I don't think it will ever be any lower. We live in a city and we want to live in a good neighborhood, and that is just how it is.

So we struggle with cutting our 100$ Y membership because it is just a drop in the bucket compared to the mortgage.

My motivation is mostly to have a simple, uncluttered space. That is how I try to approach not spending money.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#3 of 7 Old 09-15-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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I here ya with the student debt sista!!!! It kills us! 575/month. Not that bad based on our income (90K combined...45 each) but I DREAM of being home.

Our mort. is cheap, 1K/month, and we usually have 1K a month to put into savings...not this month though because I have to pay an installment on my masters degree...yes I will have my masters debt free and paying my undergrad FOREVER!!!!

I can't wait to see everyone's ideas and what the poster is already doing is amazing!
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#4 of 7 Old 09-15-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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If you have any sort of debts other than the school and house, pay them off! put an extra $50 a month to something until that's paid off. When you get a COL raise in January, put that extra 3% or so directly towards debt. Just think of your car payment and what you could do with that money every month!

As far as simplifying.

Go to low speed internet my cable connection is $20 a month for "lite" version compared to $45 for "high speed" and unless you watch a lot of youtube or download TV shows/movies from iTunes, you'll never notice the difference.

Drop your landline, and live off of your cell phones, just make sure you have enough minutes to cover you every months, and make sure you program your local PD into your contacts, 911 doesnt' always take you to your local PD.

Get movies from your library instead of Blockbuster.

Invest in memberships to the zoo, science museum, and a state park pass. For less than $150 a year we have something to do every weekend of the year. If the weather is horrible we go to the science museum. If it's iffy, the zoo, because we have lots of indoor exhibits to duck into. Absolutely gorgeous - parks. (I live in WNY too, we go the Niagara Falls with a state park pass)

Pack picnic lunches when going to the above activities, but do NOT run out and buy special food for the trips. It won't save you any money if you go buy a 6 pack of soda, bag of chips and deli sandwiches to take with you. Bake muffins, take fresh fruit and pack your own Tuna/ Egg Salad/ or PB&J. Buy reuseable bottles to take some coolaid, juice or milk from home. After lunch, rinse them out and fill at your nearest water fountain for the next "I'm thirsty" whine.

Pack your own snacks for when you're running errands if you're prone to stopping at the drive through donut place when hunger pangs strike. And make sure everyone has their water bottle before you walk out the door!

For Christmas, we cut the gifts down to 3 per child for our kids (plus stocking stuffers) and we request that family only gives one so as not to out-do mommy and daddy (or Santa if you go that route) We use the thought that Jesus only got 3 gifts, why should we receive more?

Make a list of your wants, and don't buy them until they have been on your list for at least 30 days, that gives you time to decide if it's really a need or a genuine want.

Make a list of things you will need soon, and watch clearance racks and sales for household items like pots and pans, linnens, etc. These things rarely go bust on you suddenly, so you can take your time to search for a deal.

Explore your local history. Take the kids on an extracurricular field trip.

We recently spent a whole weekend going out to an apple orchard, picking 2 busshels of apples, then we stopped at a berry farm, and picked 3 lbs of blueberries before we were rained out. The second day we spent washing and freezing blueberries and canning apple pie filling (still have 1 1/2 bushels to can)

Plant a garden with your kids. Quality time + free food!

Teach your kids how to sew using old clothes to make a scrap quilt. Again Quality time + a few small purchases (flannel can be used as a light batting for summer) = a warm bed in the winter.
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#5 of 7 Old 09-22-2008, 12:42 AM
 
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That's funny- I just finished this book, too!

Most of the things I'm doing have been mentioned. Cooking from scratch, never eating out, borrowing from library.. Also see if your library has passes to local museums, etc. that may be cheaper then getting memberships.. As far as not buying, I'm much more aware now of the impact that what I buy has on the whole world. I also recommend watching the video "The Story of Stuff" if you haven't already (you can google it). I buy practically nothing now unless we *really* need it and I always try to buy used, to reduce both my out-of-pocket cost and the total cost on the environment and society..
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#6 of 7 Old 09-22-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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I would say too, get into swapping. You can swap services, childcare, food, handmade goods, ect. with folks locally and online.

I also sell my kids clothes every year at kids consignment sales and make some dough for the next size/season.

Look for fun free things to do, libraries have neat events, parks and rec., museums have free days, even some churches/spiritual groups have free movie nights or other events. Sometimes local free circulars w/ calenders have neat free things to do.

Saamy Student mama to  superhero.gifand hearts.gifand babyf.gif

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#7 of 7 Old 09-22-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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