s/o Oprah thread--frugality for the high income crowd - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 141 Old 10-11-2008, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dachshund mom View Post
I know we get into this joint vs separate accounts discussion all the time here. How does it work if one partner becomes a SAH parent like I'm about to do? Do I no longer get any discretionary spending money or get put on an allowance? Does the partner making more get more fun money? Sorry you have that huge medical bill this month honey, I'll be at the movies. I do more housework because of his long hours, so does DH give me a monthly bonus if I get all my chores done? It's the logistics that confuse me and on the surface look like a constant source of conflict.
Well, for us it isn't. First, we don't have kids, so there is no conflict about their expenses or about being a SAHP. Second, we contribute to the joint account as our personal incomes allow, so it's not as if we're splitting things 50/50 even though we aren't making 50/50. Third, our system is not set in stone. If one of us needs to put less into the joint account one month, the other puts in more, etc. If we're out for coffee together, one of us may pay from our personal funds if joint funds are low, etc.

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Back to original topic. $300+ a month on food, gas and toys for dogs? You've maybe got some of your own that you pay vet bills on, but that still seems high. I've got three who are well fed, groomed, and one on meds and it's a fraction of that. It might help to look at buying food in bulk (feed store? or buy through the rescue group?) and doing your own grooming if you don't already. Don't forget to deduct all the fostering expenses on your taxes. An option is to go to wellness clinics for shots - they don't charge the $40/dog exam fee (just to look in ears and at teeth) and the money helps support low cost spay neuter programs. I understand not wanting to give up fostering - it is very rewarding.
Like I said earlier, this month's dog costs were high. For one thing, we paid $120 for a medicine for our elderly dog, but it was a 90 day supply. We do definitely spend a lot on food for dogs/cats...I wish there was a way around that, but there really isn't. Vet care for fosters we don't pay, and we don't have anyone groomed professionally. We rarely even buy toys (they get thrifted stuffed animals) or treats (I make my own).
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#62 of 141 Old 10-11-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dachshund mom View Post
I know we get into this joint vs separate accounts discussion all the time here. How does it work if one partner becomes a SAH parent like I'm about to do? Do I no longer get any discretionary spending money or get put on an allowance? Does the partner making more get more fun money? Sorry you have that huge medical bill this month honey, I'll be at the movies. I do more housework because of his long hours, so does DH give me a monthly bonus if I get all my chores done? It's the logistics that confuse me and on the surface look like a constant source of conflict.
That's why it's a highly personal choice. What you do won't work for many and what we do won't work for many. For us, it does not look or feel like one person giving the other an allowance (even though there is a huge income difference- my husband only works pt and makes less per hour than I do) and pretty much anything that is a need (like a medical bill) gets paid out of the household account. It's never been a source of conflict. We each end up with the same amount of discretionary funds and personal savings and each contribute to the joint household checking and savings and investment accounts. We he was not working at all (ft student) we would just transfer the same amount as I kept in my account for me to his account for him. Just because one of us earned it, did not make it any less ours to budget and allocate and spend. What was a source of conflict was having only a joint account for awhile. It was trial and error to find a workable solution for us.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
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#63 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 01:28 AM
 
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I agree with whomever posted about having a plan and goals. It's very easy to spend what you make and then some. It's also very easy to get caught up in what we *think* a certain income will buy us in terms of lifestyle.

Our household income is currently 10 times what it was when we first had children. If you'd told me we'd have the amount coming in now 7 years ago, I'd have laughed at you and wondered what on earth we'd think of to spend it on.

But believe me, it gets spent.

I will say that we have a MUCH better financial plan now than we ever have, but it's really only because I knew us. I knew that if we DIDN'T have a very explicit plan written down that we followed religiously, we'd get used to spending out the freaking wazoo and not saving any more than we were when our monthly income was WAY less than it is now.
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#64 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 01:51 AM
 
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This is a s/o from the thread about Oprah's "World's Most Frugal Family" show. I'd like to talk about the need for increased frugality and how to achieve it among those who are not low income. In particular, I am interested in those of us who have become accustomed to living a consumerist American middle-class+ life and are now trying to correct ourselves.

I haven't read all the responses (I will though!) I just had a few thoughts while reading this general, and very good, question in the op.

Just from my experience...

DH and I *combined* make slightly over 6 figures. We live in a low cost of living area of of the country. We consider ourselves middle class. When we first married, I think DH took a look at our salaries and thought-- hey we are rich! And we bought a brand new car about 2 mos into our marriage. I think one of the things that helped ups transform back into our uber -frugal selves, was to realize that we are *not* rich... we can't afford buy brand new cars, go out to eat a lot, buy expensive groceries all the time, buy new wardrobes every season, or even get buy the expensive make up at the clinique counter at the mall.

That's what rich people do, and we aren't rich. I really believe that there are a lot of people walking around (especially in my neighborhood) that don't even realize that they are poor. I really think that the first step to not becoming one of those people, is figuring out exactly what you can afford, and internalizing that.

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#65 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 02:15 AM
 
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Ok, I'm partnered too - love that term. We're so not into the whole government marriage certificate thing.

We also have separate and joint accounts.

The only difference in my situation and yours is that the income is reversed, i.e. my partner makes more than I do.

I was in some serious debt a while back. Actually, I just made my final payment on my last medical bill a few months ago. Now, I'm 100% debt free. This took YEARS of insane frugality to get like this. My medical bills were enormous (I had no insurance when I got into an accident). My credit card bill was not horrible compared to my medical bills ... but it was still $5,600 on it.

There is only ONE way to get out of debt. Truly. It's self control, discipline, and will power. That's it.

I hear you saying a lot that you're not willing to give up this or that. But, you're not giving it up. You'd be taking a break temporarily, until you got out of debt completely. And THEN you could go back to what you enjoyed - but, it would be better because you'd have no debt, and a plan in terms of staying that way.

Truly, there is NOTHING like the feeling of being debt free and of getting out of it by yourself. It's an amazing feeling.

I did Schutzhund with my dog a few years ago. It was a REALLY expensive lifestyle. I did not want to give it up as I LOVED it. But, when I sat down, really sat down, I realized that I was either going to have to temporarily give it up or never get out of debt.

So, I know it's difficult. Believe me, I KNOW, lol. But, you need to see the bigger picture. With the amount you make, you could be debt free - completely - in 2 years. All you have to do is just buckle down, be REALLY strict with yourself ... and then come back to those things which you enjoy after you have paid off your debt. Truly - it's worth it.

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#66 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 02:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
...
Like I said earlier, this month's dog costs were high. For one thing, we paid $120 for a medicine for our elderly dog, but it was a 90 day supply. We do definitely spend a lot on food for dogs/cats...I wish there was a way around that, but there really isn't....
I'm trying to work out some financial problem areas myself, but.. here's a couple of helpful hints for critter expenses; at one time, (pre-kids) I had 10 (yes, TEN!) adult Anatolian Shepherds OK, on dog food - primo stuff is worth it, but how about getting together with some friends that feed the same brand, one of you applying to be a dealer, & all of you getting it for wholesale, instead of retail? That's what a friend & I did (Solid Gold, in this case -we both used a bag per dog per month average, she had 7 dogs herself...)
And vets - if you're working with a vet you're on good terms with, can he/she write you a prescription for whatever it is, so that you can buy it on-line? Omaha Vaccine frequently has way better prices for a lot of stuff, & there's others out there.

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#67 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 03:38 AM
 
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I'd make it goal #1 to pay off that credit card debt within the next few months. You can do it at your income level. Just set a date and pay, pay, pay on it.

I agree with the posters that said it seems to be a shopping issue- even if it is thrift you don't need it. Either stay out of thrift stores entirely or give yourself $20 cash for the month and once it is gone, it's gone. Same for craft stores.

Also, you need a realistic budget. One that allocates money for periodic things even when you don't need them that month. Like the $120 dog meds for 90 days. That is $40 a month. Which is fine. But every month, you should be not spending the $40 you will need to use for the next 90 day supply. Other examples for us are car insurance, life insurance, quarterly sewer connection fees on our house, school tuition, school books, car maintenance costs. If it helps to set up a different account for periodic stuff, do that. Or just leave it in the bottom of your account. But no spending it. It will help you enormously.

FWIW, we are the same age and make just a bit more than you. My husband is also in school. Be joyous that you:

-Are figuring this out young
-Are figuring it out before you have kids
-Are figuring it out before you are buried in $25,000 in worthless credit card debt.

We are debt free (besides mortgage) and spend frugally. But it was a learning process that in some ways is still underway. You have accomplished more than you know just by being willing to examine the problems before they cause you any major life problems.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
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#68 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 03:41 AM
 
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SO totally, you are spending nearly 700.00 a MONTH on food! Damn, that's just nuts honey. How much is that wasted? How often do you take home leftover and toss them? I would start by either eating out less or (my personal choice) buying less food for the home.

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#69 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 07:24 AM
 
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We earn above average income, and have lived frugally and simply by choice. We have close to zero debt (just a student loan, with a low balance and our home, basically).

We have savings.

We generally stay within a budget.

The reason we are virtually debt free and have savings is due to 10 plus years of living frugally and sticking to a budget. Here's what we did:

It's a simple formula. Know what you earn. Make out a budget. Stick to the budget. Don't buy anything out of the budget.

In practical terms, here's what we did:

No magazine subscriptions
Ate out only occasionally
No cable television
No subscriptions or anything extra
Didn't go to movies or to other places - found free recreation
Found the best deals and rates on all services and bills
Shopped for clothing, including work clothing, at thrift stores. After a while, stopped shopping at even thrift stores
No vacations
Used mass transit

Another thing I did is that I worked extra hours, and I worked hard to get promotions and new positions that earned more money. But with the increased income, I kept my budget the same. All the extra money went into savings.

I'm always kind of shocked that pedicures come up so frequently in these frugality discussions. I've had one in my life. I didn't like it that much. I like having savings and a roof over my head better.

I think it really just takes a commitment to sticking to a budget. After a while, it gets easier.

Also, we did all this while financially helping out others with living expenses. So, I think it can be done.
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#70 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 07:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
There is only ONE way to get out of debt. Truly. It's self control, discipline, and will power. That's it.

Truly, there is NOTHING like the feeling of being debt free and of getting out of it by yourself. It's an amazing feeling.


I totally agree.

I'm quite proud of the fact that I put myself through college, have it nearly paid off, helped many others financial, got my own financial house in order, and have been virtually debt free with savings for years.

Now, of course, this isn't the most fun way to live, but it is the more freeing and secure, I think.

For instance, most of my friends have nicer clothes. They have nicer furniture. They have had nicer trips.

But the more I talk to them, the more I realize they don't really own these things. They are paying for them on credit. Most of my friends are in serious debt.

Like you said, there is nothing like the feeling of doing something well for yourself and by yourself.
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#71 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 07:33 AM
 
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That's what rich people do, and we aren't rich. I really believe that there are a lot of people walking around (especially in my neighborhood) that don't even realize that they are poor. I really think that the first step to not becoming one of those people, is figuring out exactly what you can afford, and internalizing that.
:

Excellent point. ITA.
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#72 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I just want to make a couple of things re: my situation clear: The extreme frugality lifestyle some of you are talking about, where nothing extra is ever purchased and the #1 and really only goal is to be completely out of debt is not something I am interested in. I understand that for a lot of you it is the holy grail, and that's fine, but it is very, very important to me to not be miserly and to enjoy my time. While I definitely agree that there are things we can and need to cut back on, cutting out everything that is not 100% necessary completely is not something I'd do even if I thought I had the willpower for it.

Another thing I want to add about my situation, just so everyone understands, is that this having money and being able to buy things that are wanted/needed is new for me. I grew up poor. Not starving, but only not starving because of subsistence farming and hunting. New clothes didn't happen. There was no TV or clothes dryer. We flushed our toiled with a bucked for years because we couldn't afford to get the plumbing fixed. I'm familiar with poor.

Also, as horrifying as my spending is to some of you, I do want to put out there that I am making progress. I've paid $6,000 on my CC since January. So it's not like I am adding to the problem.
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#73 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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I understand that for a lot of you it is the holy grail, and that's fine, but it is very, very important to me to not be miserly and to enjoy my time. While I definitely agree that there are things we can and need to cut back on, cutting out everything that is not 100% necessary completely is not something I'd do even if I thought I had the willpower for it.
just wanted to send a hug.

i don't want to be miserly too, i completely understand your perspective. my own pep talk to myself was: you're on your way to being debt free! this WON'T last forever and i keep reminding myself everyday. at the same time i also thankgod that bar any major tragedy, i have the great priviledge of being able to not have it last forever. many others are not so lucky. i guess that's what has motivated me. we now have a chance to make things right financially, why not take advantage of it? we don't know what tomorrow holds right?
that said, i'm also a little confused about your situation. can i ask why you started the thread if you feel you don't want to give up any part of your current lifestyle? what is your goal in putting your finances out there and waiting for feedback? i am not being snarky, i promise. i ask genuinely and kindly.
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#74 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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that said, i'm also a little confused about your situation. can i ask why you started the thread if you feel you don't want to give up any part of your current lifestyle? what is your goal in putting your finances out there and waiting for feedback? i am not being snarky, i promise. i ask genuinely and kindly.
I don't think I ever said I was not willing to give up any part of my current lifestyle. What I said was that there are some things that I'd have to be in a situation far more dire to give up (most obviously rescuing dogs), and that giving up everything is not something that appeals to me. Many of the comments and suggestions on this thread have been very good ones, and ones I think I can make work. There were just several posts in a row that were like "you have to cut out ALL unnecessary spending until ALL of your debts are paid off!" and I don't really think that outlook will work for me.

My original goal wasn't even to talk specifically about me so much, though. The thread about that Oprah show got me thinking about how there are definitely folks who are not low income who are still honestly trying to be more frugal, and what that struggle looks like is sometimes not represented here, so I wanted a place where we could talk about that.
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#75 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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ah ok.. thanks for responding and i hope you weren't offended.
have you read your money or your life? it's a very light hearted read (she believes in no blame) and i think it may be what you are after. it's about basically figuring out how many of your precious life hours are spent making X amount of money and whether how much you spend in each category in terms of finances and life hours on goods is bringing you satisfaction etc. it makes you realise what you truely value or love to spend on. for me, it's books, a beautiful holiday season and good food. i figured out that spending $100 on new clothes didn't give me even half the satisfaction as spending $100 on holiday stuff did. i think you'll really enjoy it.
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#76 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:08 AM
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OP, I hear ya. There are things we could do to get out of debt a month or two early but that are simply not worth it to us. We kept eating out twice a month in our budget. We have some wiggle in the groceries for the expensive bottle of olive oil. I think you are doing good to have paid off $6000 already and more importantly to stop adding to the debt. The trick is to cut what is not important to you and to see if there's a way to lower the costs of important issues (eg the dogs, important but maybe see if can buy food in bulk, meds on the internet).

I think the point of the thread is that everyone can do better and some people are going to go gazelle and others are going to go slow but what matters is not to be adding to the debt and to get support for where you are in the process.
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#77 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:09 AM
 
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OK, I just want to make a couple of things re: my situation clear: The extreme frugality lifestyle some of you are talking about, where nothing extra is ever purchased and the #1 and really only goal is to be completely out of debt is not something I am interested in. I understand that for a lot of you it is the holy grail, and that's fine, but it is very, very important to me to not be miserly and to enjoy my time. While I definitely agree that there are things we can and need to cut back on, cutting out everything that is not 100% necessary completely is not something I'd do even if I thought I had the willpower for it.

Another thing I want to add about my situation, just so everyone understands, is that this having money and being able to buy things that are wanted/needed is new for me. I grew up poor. Not starving, but only not starving because of subsistence farming and hunting. New clothes didn't happen. There was no TV or clothes dryer. We flushed our toiled with a bucked for years because we couldn't afford to get the plumbing fixed. I'm familiar with poor.

Also, as horrifying as my spending is to some of you, I do want to put out there that I am making progress. I've paid $6,000 on my CC since January. So it's not like I am adding to the problem.



I can understand. I don't mean to live in extreme frugality forever, unless you want.

We did the extreme frugality at certain points: when saving for a house, when saving for a baby, when saving up an emergency fund, and when paying down debt/keeping out of debt.

Now, that we've built those things, we can live a little more loosely.

I go to the extreme frugality when I have a financial goal I wanto meet. Then, once met, I go back to a little more comfortable lifestyle.

I also grew up very poor, and never had anything nice or new. My parents never made over $12,000 per year and they didn't provide for us. So, in a lot of ways, I do think I want to experience life now because there is so much I've never done. But I also want to meet financial goals. I go back and forth, and adapt as needed.
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#78 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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Hmmmm.... I posted earlier with a couple of suggestion of things we do, being in a similar financial boat.....solidly middle class living in a society that tells us we are supposed to live above our means.

What it really comes down to for my family is that stuff does not make us happy. We never got ourselves into any sort of consumer debt, just student loans and mortgage, most of which that is now paid off, but we did spend a few years in our mid-twenties making a lot of money and spending somewhat recklessly. Dh grew up pretty poor and I grew up in a working class family. We felt we "deserved" to spend a little. We both worked our way through school and had really good jobs. Dinners out at least weekly often more, new cars, new clothes, the latest electronics and computers, fancier vacations. There never came a point where we were in "trouble" and had to scrimp. We just realized that we were not putting enough in the bank and these things were not making us happy.

We still actively spend in areas that truly give us joy. Our pets, musical pursuits, camping, cooking really nice food, good wine/beer, knitting, etc.... These could all go (except the pets) in a second if they had to. No problem. I do not not think you should deprive yourself of everything joyous if you do not have to. But it *is* good to take a look at your budget and think about what truly gives you joy and scale back on the things that don't.

For instance, I used to really like buying (moderately) nice, well fitting, high quality clothing for myself and dh. It felt good to buy and it felt good to wear. I translated this to be something of value in my life. But then the clothes would get stained, go out of style, quit fitting, or just end up getting donated because I had too many. The joy did not last nearly as long as the cost suggested it should. When I truly realized that, which did take a LONG time, I stopped buying it. Stopped completely. This was five years ago. I still have enough clothing to last me another 10 years even if I buy nothing. It stopped being important to me.

Same with vacations. Having both grown up in families were vacations were non-existent....we both only visited family and that was rare.....I was really excited to grow up and go places. And go places we did! We did everything. Lavish resorts down to camping across the country. Looking back, those vacations all have the same great value in memories. However the camping trips cost 1/10 the price of the lavish trips. Why spend 9 times more for something that will not bring us any more joy than camping? We take a big wine tour vacation every year. After a day of tasting fancy wines and nice cheese, we go back to our camp, build a fire, and eat our tonka pies in bliss.

Moderation. You are in a place where you can still do that.
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#79 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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If my post offended, I'm sorry

We are not low income either, and I don't even expect our income to decrease at all during the economic hardship that is happening around us. That said, I do still like to live frugally, or should I say "simply", it just gives me a thrill I guess. I get a thrill by paying virtually nothing for clothes by finding them free on freecycle and craigslist, I get a thrill by buying used toys and books and coffee makers. I get a BIG thrill by finding a groovy vintage table/lamp at goodwill for 3.00!!! It just rocks my world that I very well could spend hundreds of dollars on clothing, toys funiture and appliances every year, but I just don't. I'm SO CHEAP (oh yeah, we're saying "simple" ) that I often don't even go to the thrift stores unless they are having a sale!
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#80 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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you know, cutting out all unecessary spending is hard for me too, especially when i walk into a book store and now that all the holiday stuff is coming out (my two weaknesses). i was staring at some christmas stuff when we were at the supermarket tonight and i heard the girls squealing and getting excited over all the candy canes, stocking, etc and part of me REALLY wanted to just grab that freakin' candy cane and take it to the register. but you know what i thought of instead? i thought no, i'm going to put it back for now and next year i'm gonna get holiday stuff from october dammit. i will be able to do it because i'll have no debt and that extra X amount of dollars spent on christmas stuff in october won't mean squat to me then. but right now, it does. i spent the next 5 minutes just daydreaming about christmas 2009 and i felt better after that.

yes not very frugal for the coming year, but it won't be of great concern to me then AND it got me out of there with no candy canes today which was the goal.

thankgod i prepared the girls presents, activities and small stuff ahead of time and they are going to have a beautiful holiday season for 2008 and i hardly need to put any money in anymore (probably another $70? for 2-3 large boxes of our favourite handmade chocolates and other seasonal goodies). i didn't know we were going to go full ball on no spending but somehow i thought it best to be prepared early for christmas this year.
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#81 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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SO totally, you are spending nearly 700.00 a MONTH on food! Damn, that's just nuts honey. How much is that wasted? How often do you take home leftover and toss them? I would start by either eating out less or (my personal choice) buying less food for the home.


I am quite frugal and do not find $700 a month to be nuts at all. Especially when eating organic/local/fair trade. Maybe it is regional, but I buy zero convenience foods, I cook everything, even bread, from scratch, eat seasonally, and still find myself in the same price range monthly for food. Yes, I *could* feed my family for $200 a month in this area, but we would be eating a lot less nutritiously.
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#82 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:38 AM
 
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actually i decided to just shut my mouth for the night. lol.
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#83 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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Hmmmm.... I posted earlier with a couple of suggestion of things we do, being in a similar financial boat.....solidly middle class living in a society that tells us we are supposed to live above our means.

Moderation. You are in a place where you can still do that.
:

Like I posted earlier, we have always lived within our means, sometimes living more moderately, and sometimes living very frugally.

The extreme frugality times were where we were trying to meet a financial goal. For instance, we used extreme frugality when saving up 6 months of emergency funds, also to save to become parents, and also to save for a downpayment on a house. We have also tackled debt (student loans) and paid off other things early.

Then, when we met those goals, we could relax a little and live a bit less frugally, but still within our means.
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#84 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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Also, you are married, there should be no personal account and joint account. If nothing else, someone has to be there to hold you accountable for your spending. Maybe when you are spending DH's salary, you will rein in the shopping.
I imagine AO addressed this, but she's not married. That said, I see NOTHING wrong with married people maintaining their own accounts. I've seen WAY too many of my friends get shafted because everything was joint.
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#85 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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Another thing I want to add about my situation, just so everyone understands, is that this having money and being able to buy things that are wanted/needed is new for me. I grew up poor. Not starving, but only not starving because of subsistence farming and hunting. New clothes didn't happen. There was no TV or clothes dryer. We flushed our toiled with a bucked for years because we couldn't afford to get the plumbing fixed. I'm familiar with poor.
I hear you (as you know). What about leaving ALL of your credit and debit cards at home for a while? I've (finally) figured out that if I don't have any credit cards with me, there are a lot fewer "must haves" that I run across every day.
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#86 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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I hear you (as you know). What about leaving ALL of your credit and debit cards at home for a while? I've (finally) figured out that if I don't have any credit cards with me, there are a lot fewer "must haves" that I run across every day.
Along those same lines, I've often employed a 24 hour or 48 hour waiting period, to think over purchases and consider them within my budget.

I don't like to make spur of the moment purchases.
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OP: the thing is, according to the numbers you posted, you have a deficit each month. until you are truly living within your means, most likely you ARE adding to the cc debt. it just doesn't add up any other way, unless someone is gifting you that extra money, i just don't see where else it is coming from.

ariana, mama to beautiful redheaded girls (oct 07) and (nov 10)

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#88 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP: the thing is, according to the numbers you posted, you have a deficit each month. until you are truly living within your means, most likely you ARE adding to the cc debt. it just doesn't add up any other way, unless someone is gifting you that extra money, i just don't see where else it is coming from.
Well, the discrepancy is that the overage includes making a credit card payment that is way bigger than the overage (if that makes sense). I was over by $500ish, but I paid $1,100 on credit cards, or whatever. So I'm not adding to the debt. I had over $11,000 in January and have just under $5,000 now. Definitely not adding.
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#89 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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OP: the thing is, according to the numbers you posted, you have a deficit each month. until you are truly living within your means, most likely you ARE adding to the cc debt. it just doesn't add up any other way, unless someone is gifting you that extra money, i just don't see where else it is coming from.


yeah, I have to agree with this. To meet any financial goal, I've always had to first start with cutting things I wanted so that I could live within my means. Income = spending.

Then, to meet other financial goals on top of that, I either worked more to earn more, or cut back expenses to spend less. Sometimes, and most often, I did both.

Once you get your debt paid off and savings built up, then you can spend a bit more and still manage to be within budget. Your credit card payment alone would pay for a lot of nice things, once it's paid off. You can use that money for other stuff you want.
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#90 of 141 Old 10-12-2008, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I think maybe I wasn't clear. The credit card payments I am making aren't minimums--they are my trying to pay down the debt. The minimum payment for my CCs is less than $200.
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