Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never lived a frugal life. I grew up in wasteful privlege and never learned the skills. I am a SAHM and my partner makes a pretty good income and does contract work to supplement. We are very good about paying our bills on time and have never been in financial trouble, but we live paycheck to paycheck (though with back-ups that others don't have, like retirement savings, etc.). But, we have credit card debt, we don't have savings, we don't have college funds for our kids, etc. We WASTE money on stupid, silly things. We don't go out and make huge purchases - we have old furniture, old electronics, etc. We spend our money at Target or too much at the grocery store, or on little (perspective) stuff for our kids, and on eating out. Looking through our bank statement you'll see lots of purchases for $7-$15 on lunches, $20-25 purchases for take-out or eating out, etc. Nothing outrageous but it adds up quickly, without us taking much notice.
I've been doing a much better job of grocery shopping so that we eat at home more (except for lunches - we need help with that). We are going to remove the credit card and debit card from our wallets and just carry checks for "just in case." I think this will help us a lot, but will be a very difficult transition for us.
So, my questions. Do you take cash out every pay day, every week, every month? If so, what is this cash for (groceries, lunch out, meals out, doctor's visits, etc.)? How do you keep track of the cash and how do you keep it safe? Do you find you spend the cash quickly?
How do you pay for groceries? With cash or with a debit card/check? How do you pay for putting gas in your car(s)? What if there is an unexpected expense (doctor's visit, broken coffee pot, etc.)
How do you avoid taking out too much cash or too little? How do you know how much you'll need?
Basically, I need some life lessons that I missed in my childhood. And, please remember that this is going to be a real challenge for us and I don't want us to fail so want to do this in steps.
Thanks mamas. I appreciate the support (oh, and for that, can you direct me to some other threads that might help keep me accountable?)