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Just wondering what everyone is doing to try and improve their financial situation. I have gone back to school to get some better qualifications, so hopefully some day (seems so far away), I can have an enjoyable, well paid career, instead of working dead end minimum wage jobs I hate. You?
 

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Having a garden, paying off debt, simplifying my life, conscious consuming, saving money, decluttering. I hope to be completely out of debt come 2011. Then save, save, save.<br>
I am hoping to take some classes at the community college this fall and some other classes from some local women.
 

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We're staying in our current apartment as long as possible, even though we're a bit cramped.<br><br>
We're trying very hard to save even on a tiny budget, so that when issues arise we have a buffer.<br><br>
My husband is taking classes right now. He's going for a bachelor in nursing. It will require him to quit work eventually and we'll have to live on loans and/or part time jobs. So we're working on paying off debts and when the time comes closer looking for jobs we can juggle.
 

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Babysitting even though in my pregnant state it's been a struggle to maintain my energy.<br><br>
Taking odd jobs here and there, photography gigs, subbing, small organizational jobs.<br><br>
DH is taking every odd job that is thrown his way in addition to working his full time gig.<br><br>
Doing our best to spend our money only on necessities, and not on stuff we don't need or eating out.
 

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I am in school to get my masters so I can be a policy analyst. Working between one and four part-time jobs at any given time. Currently trying to find another part-time job that pays more and is more interesting than what I have. Living in a house that is pretty small (500 sq feet - two kids and myself) but also pretty cheap for this area. Still keeping a frugal kitchen (just ate oatmeal purchased in bulk for breakfast). Still buying almost everything I need at yard sales. Just scored two practically new sleeping bags for $4 each and some really cool toys for my kids. No debt except car loan that will be retired as soon as the divorce is completed and a student loan which I am negiating to be paid as part of the divorce settlement. I also started a Roth IRA that has a regular montly pay-in.
 

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Tracking every penny, living cheap, making some tough choices about what we buy.<br><br>
I am also working towards a BS in nursing, though I have 2-3 years to see that finished so we are working with the income we have and making it go as far as possible.
 

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On my side of the ocean--saving (not spending) and staying organized.<br><br>
On dh's--he's going to school, and just went in 50% into a business. If all goes well, that will at least provide him living expenses and some to help his family with, which means the rest of his time over there won't drain our savings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">
 

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Nothing yet, but we need to do something! Will be watching this thread for ideas!
 

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We bought a small, (cute!) sensible house with sensible mortgage.<br><br>
Instead of both of us working as much as possible to make as much money as possible and end up feeling frazzled and spending money on things to make our life easier... DH works and I stay home.<br><br>
I spend my time doing things to *save* us money. I buy in bulk, cook from scratch, hang our clothes to dry etc etc. I'm planting a huge garden and hope to grow as much food as possible. Ultimately, I'd like to grow enough to last all year but I think it will take a couple years to get to that point.<br><br>
We're also doing renovations on this house and some things I'm able to do myself while DH is at work.<br><br>
I'm pretty much in love with my life right now and we hope to bring kids into our home over the next year.
 

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You mamas are inspiring me!<br>
I make my own face wash, deodorant, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. I'm trying to pay off my student loan, but I need to be more diligent about spending less and putting more money onto my loan each month.<br><br>
I've also started walking or biking to work at least 2x a week, to save a bit on gas.<br><br>
We grow a bit of food in our one sunny spot. I would love to eventually move to a place with more sun!
 

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To be honest, we're drowning right now. DH works full time at a good job, I hold several PT jobs and run two small businesses that contribute a little bit to the household budget, but due to crappy health insurance, we paid forty percent of our take-home salary last year to health care expenses and we're on track this year to do it again. DH's company only offers a high deductible plan with a lot of copays and they just don't cover much of what we need. Losing nearly half our income to medical bills just isn't sustainable.<br><br>
So DH is looking for a new job with better health insurance and I'm polishing up my resume and applying for a higher-paying job. I'll probably be shutting down my own businesses, as least for now. How I handle my workload is complicated by the recurrence of mystery syndrome X, which, among other things, causes muscle inflammation and makes it difficult for me to walk and use my arms and hands. Switching to a more sedentary job will help.<br><br>
We're homeschooling, so this will involve some juggling, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that the cards will line up for us. We already live very frugally, with a small mortgage (lower than most rents in this area), gardens, no cable service, the cheapest phone service, etc.
 

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Fortunately, I obtained my professional degree long before getting married and having kids.<br><br>
I just changed jobs and got a raise, plus the benefits are GREAT. As of today, we have finally rented out our condo. My husband knocked on doors (literally) almost 7 years ago and found a very low cost house for us. We have done much of the renovations ourselves and moved in last October.<br><br>
We're planting a garden this year. I cook from scratch. I join co-ops to lower our costs on children's toys and clothing and whatever else we can get through them that we want/need. We cloth diaper and I knit all my son's covers. My SIL and I swap clothes - our kids are almost the same age and the sexes were born opposite each other, so, it works great!<br><br>
Saving regularly and finally in a position to stop raiding it regularly. Saving for retirement and taking advantage of employer match. Earmarking employer equity awards for my childrens' college education.<br><br>
My husband stays at home and that saves on child care costs.<br><br>
We will be completely out of consumer debt within the next 12 mos. However, I would like to buy a new (to us) car, so, I need to shop smart for that.
 

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The main thing we are doing is paying off debt. Thankfully my husband has a very good job - he loves it, the benefits are awesome, and the pay is great. He works from home about 75% of the time and travels about 25% of the time so we also get a lot of family time.<br><br>
I'm also working on expanding my business. I also work from home and just graduated so I have free time on my hands - well I will after the summer is over. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Changed to a high deductible medical insurance and HSA to bring down costs - employer contributes to HSA. Maxing out my 401K contributions - employer matches to 8%.<br><br>
I've always cooked from scratch and almost always bring my lunch to work.
 

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Ok, we are still learning to do it, but here's what we are doing:<br><br>
cooking from scratch<br>
NO eating out<br>
Partial cash system<br>
Lunch from home<br>
buy used when things are needed<br>
got a smaller garbage can (this cut our bill in half!), got a bigger recycling can (for free!)<br>
finding free things to do with the kids<br>
buying cheaper beer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br>
just staying home in general
 

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Finishing my PhD soon so we can stop paying tuition.<br>
Supporting DH's travel and crazy work schedule by picking up most of the slack at home so he can continue to build his career and increase his earning potential.<br>
Blooming where we're planted and making due with less.<br>
Using the library instead of buying music, books and videos.<br>
Throwing out catalogs and focusing on what I have, not what I don't.
 

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We are each keeping a log of the money we spend every day in an effort to spend less and be more aware. My iced coffee habit has gotten out of control! I also bought a cooler so the kids & I can bring food with us when we're on errands, and I think that'll save alot.<br>
Other things we do:<br>
cook from scratch<br>
raise our own meat<br>
milk our cow and make butter every other day<br>
bake own bread<br>
make goat cheese<br>
raise a huge garden<br>
trade with other farmers<br>
bring cash to the grocery store (I'm going to start this week!)<br>
leave checkbook/debit @home, when the cash is gone your done!<br>
use clothe diapers<br>
use diva cup instead of tampons<br>
buy only second hand clothes, except shoes, socks, undies<br>
designate stay at home days<br>
go on dates that don't cost $<br>
shop online instead of in stores, saves gas & impulses<br>
learning to craft<br>
taking Lifeways training to open Waldorf inspired childcare/preschool on our farm in 2011
 

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We both work at pretty decent jobs. The most major good things we've done were to always base our basic living expenses on one salary - so we never got into a house that required both salaries, etc. That doesn't include childcare though.
 
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