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you all of a sudden are making more $, how do you keep from upping the quality of your lifestyle and still having no savings?
What is the deal with spending as much as we make?

In a sense I feel ok about it because we are finally fixing the house in case we want to sell it so most of the money if going into something that will return to us later but I am still baffled by how my frugal-mindset just went out the window when DH started making lots of money.

We've paid off tons of CC debt so I feel good about that and we live pretty simply (never buy a car more than 3,000.00, buy used clothes and furniture, etc.) yet I still feel like I am overindulging a bit buying more prepared foods and buying gallon containers of plants for 7.95 because I can't wait for them to grow from a quart size, etc.

What I find interesting is how much more creative I am when we are poor. I have to use my creative energy to come up with how to save electricity and cheap ways to wash clothes, and yummy cheap recipes. Now that we are making more money it's like everything is so boring and easy.

I know, from having visited here a lot when we were struggling, where my money could be going instead of to where it is so I don't need help there. I guess I need help with discipline. I need to go back to putting 10% of paycheck into savings every week and go on a spending freeze for a bit.

How do you do the discipline thing?
 

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Well, I don't know if this will give you the discipline you need. But when DH & I were saving for our house down payment, we direct deposited our paychecks, and 1/2 of mine went straight to savings. So, it was there if there was a big car repair or a vacation. But, we really made do on 3/4 of our take home pay. It's just a way to make that money a little harder to get to.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HydeParkB
Well, I don't know if this will give you the discipline you need. But when DH & I were saving for our house down payment, we direct deposited our paychecks, and 1/2 of mine went straight to savings. So, it was there if there was a big car repair or a vacation. But, we really made do on 3/4 of our take home pay. It's just a way to make that money a little harder to get to.
: I definitely agree that you have to make it an automatic thing. That way you don't access the money or think of putting the money in savings AFTER you're already spent it. If you have a budget, have it reflect the take home pay AFTER saving the 10% so that you don't even miss it.
 

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*This* is really where we need serious help.

When we got married & had DD we were in school (then DP was in school and I was SAH) and we were pretty down the economic ladder. Then DP got a graduated, got a job, we got a house, two cars... and our spending is OUT OF CONTROL. It makes me ill that we spend about 6X what we spent 5 years ago on food. Disgusting. We never ate *that* bad.

I would really like to change this but just don't know how. I see the money bleeding out, but it is so hard to want to "fix" anything when you are used to having the stuff and it's just sooooooo easy, kwim?

(I really hope this post/thread does not come across as insensitive/offensive. I realize I am very lucky that my financial concern is that we suddenly had a lot of money. But, it is my concern and one I would like to address)
 

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It is wierd, how you may think you're being frugal but when you think back a few years, to when you washed your clothes in your bathtub to save $, well you're not so frugal anymore are you? I guess what we do is keep our spending money to a certain amount so that I just don't have $7.95 to spend on a plant because the money is already in the savings account. It's interesting how limiting your spending money and putting the rest of the money out of sight really helps me determine what is a "need" vs. a want. That's the only way I'll keep from spending it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Benji'sMom
It is wierd, how you may think you're being frugal but when you think back a few years, to when you washed your clothes in your bathtub to save $, well you're not so frugal anymore are you? I guess what we do is keep our spending money to a certain amount so that I just don't have $7.95 to spend on a plant because the money is already in the savings account. It's interesting how limiting your spending money and putting the rest of the money out of sight really helps me determine what is a "need" vs. a want. That's the only way I'll keep from spending it.
So, how did you determine how much $$$ to designate towards your needs? I think that is probably a lot of our problem.
 

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My DH makes good money and I am fortunate to be able to stay at home. The sad part was that we were not saving any money for the future or banking money for out DS's private school. Something had to change. My husband felt trapped in his job and we had nothing to look forward to for the fututre, although our here and now was going great!

Well about 5 months ago we went to a cash system, only using the check book for bills (my hubby won't use the automatic billing system). We set ourselves a cash amount to stay in and we are doing really well. We actually could live off of less, but I am dealing with preterm labor issues and am needing more help around the house, yard and tend to eat out more. So when we can we will lower the amount again and go for it.
I am using it as a little game for myself. I love games, and I love to win! The winning feeling will be the money we have saved and the choices we can make. It is all about choices for us and if we pin ourselves into corner with living at our means, we won't have any.
Hope this made sence!
Kathleen in San Diego
 

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It funny, one thing I noticed when we both had jobs- we spent more. Even a few years onto our marriage when I started making more money- we spent even more!

Now we spend money, but we figure if I was also bringing home a paycheck, we would spend more money and not even think about it.

So pretend you are in the situation you were in before $$ for a month. Only spend what you were able ro spend then (aside from mortgage etc). See what you end uf doing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Throkmorton
Just coming to lurk. Our spending is completely out of control.
Ours has been known to happen to get out of control. Focus on whats out of control and go from there. Last month (May) we remodeled our bathroom. Since DH did it, it was a third of the cost of having it done. But still, it was $800 plus. Then I need a car repair of $500. Then we had a few more incidentals come up. Guess what- we cannot spend as much this month & next. I refuse to go into debt so we will cut back on many things. Our only debt is our mortgage and I want to keep it like that. That is what is keeping our spending in check- no debt other than manageable debt.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Amys1st
So pretend you are in the situation you were in before $$ for a month. Only spend what you were able ro spend then (aside from mortgage etc). See what you end uf doing.
The problem is that before DPs job we were so seriously poor we could not live now. I mean our mortgage is significantly more than we had to live on a month (for everything) back then. Its been 5 years, we have another child, live in a more expensive area, have two cars instead of one, a house instead of a tiny apartment, etc... Our life has changed so much.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TiredX2
The problem is that before DPs job we were so seriously poor we could not live now. I mean our mortgage is significantly more than we had to live on a month (for everything) back then. Its been 5 years, we have another child, live in a more expensive area, have two cars instead of one, a house instead of a tiny apartment, etc... Our life has changed so much.
I think your missing my basic point- I understand about your mortgage, cars etc. I even said in my post not counting fixed expenses- mortgage etc. We also have 2 cars and need two cars (both paid off). We also live in an expensive area (dosen't everyone? :LOL )
What I said was- what did you do to get from month to month or day to day?
Did you eat take out? Go out? What was your groceries back then and how did you guys manage to eat? There are many ways to cut spending especially now that you don't have to. Your grocery bill (aside from allergies etc) is the most controllable expense you have. Revisit that and see what you can do to control that. Then work your way down- cell, cable/internet, utilities, mortgage refinance. Its all very able to change.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TiredX2
The problem is that before DPs job we were so seriously poor we could not live now. I mean our mortgage is significantly more than we had to live on a month (for everything) back then. Its been 5 years, we have another child, live in a more expensive area, have two cars instead of one, a house instead of a tiny apartment, etc... Our life has changed so much.
Our situation is the opposite right now, DH was in computers making great money and we were spending A LOT before DS. After DS, I became a SAHM and we knew we had to cut our spending so we budgeted. Well in March, DH was laid off (we had known it was going to happen and prepared for it) and he decided he didn't want to sit behind a computer screen anymore. He's now driving for UPS. He doesn't make nearly as much as he did in computers, but he's happy.

My tip to you, look at your monthly expenses. BUDGET!!! I know that word is scary, but get a book on money management (we really like Larry Burkett, but some might not care for the Christian perspective he has
). Read the book, and set up a REASONABLE budget. Not a restrictive one, be realistic. Then each pay period, put the money set for savings into a savings account, RIGHT AWAY. Don't touch it


When setting up your budget, give yourselves some sanity money (that's what my step-dad used to call it). Y'know, that money for spending that keeps you sane each month: eating out (a few times, not every night
), clothing expenditures, entertainment, etc. If you need help determining how much to allot, many financial counselors suggest writing down EVERY penny you spend for a full month. At the end of the month, sit down and base your budget on your tracking. Decide where you think you can cut down spending, determine (by your own standards), what's a need and what's a want.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Amys1st
I think your missing my basic point- I understand about your mortgage, cars etc. I even said in my post not counting fixed expenses- mortgage etc. We also have 2 cars and need two cars (both paid off). We also live in an expensive area (dosen't everyone? :LOL )
What I said was- what did you do to get from month to month or day to day?
Did you eat take out? Go out? What was your groceries back then and how did you guys manage to eat? There are many ways to cut spending especially now that you don't have to. Your grocery bill (aside from allergies etc) is the most controllable expense you have. Revisit that and see what you can do to control that. Then work your way down- cell, cable/internet, utilities, mortgage refinance. Its all very able to change.
I cross-posted w/ Amy, but I definitely agree here
You need to look at the controllable spending first, not the bills that HAVE to be paid or you're put on the street.
 

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Well, my biggest problem is this: we got a car. Really. DH then smushed the fender of said car on a column in the parkade. So that was $300 down the drain to get that fixed.
Then we had a thunderstorm to end all thunderstorms. The surge protectors protected the computers, but both TVs are fried and we had to get the dryer repaired.
Also, DH started a new job, and everyone eats out every day. Recently, he put a stop to it, but not after spending $400 last month on lunches!

So we are slowly getting things under control. Very slowly. We can afford a few things that we could not before that i will continue, like soccer for DS, fresh vegetables etc. I think that just not borrowing any more money from the parents is what did it. My parents used to help support us, but we can manage on our own now.

So now, it is time to reign it in. We have a house to buy, and need to save up an additional little bit before we can get a decent interest rate (We are talking 4k)
 

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Wow..

Four years ago we were in serious debt.....credit cards ($35,000.00), two car payment, 2,000.00 mortgage..it was crazy......we would barely make it month to month. I was schooling the kids and didn't work..It was a crazy down hill spiral. We would get by using the credit cards (hence the 35,000.00)

We knew we had to do something..so, we put our $2,000.00 mortgage house on the market and I started looking for a new area to move into that would keep dh within 45 minutes of work. I had three other criterias... a house at least 75 years old, at least 1 acre of land and an area that had a few "like minded folks"..

After a six month search ( poor kids, I drove them all over middle Tennessee 2-3 times per week) I finally found the perfect place...we moved from suburban hell to a little town of 1300.We have alittle town square, an art gallery/guild and more than just a few "like minded folks( more so then in suburban hell)

We sold our house, took the equity and paid of every single credit card bill.Sold both cars and bought two for less than $2,000.00 each Bought a $114,000.00, 2400 sq foot , 100 year old home and ... we are still 35 minutes from the mall, ( important to house full of teenage girls)

We are now dept free..able to save and our quality of life is so very much better.

I know making a move like this is something manypeople would not be willing to do..butwe are so blessed inmanyways from making this choice..I wish we had done this YEARS ago......
 

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Granolamom- congrats on bettering yourself and realizing having the most things is not for the better especially if it requires debt!

I am hoping this is assisting the op somewhat.
 

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I am very interested to read this thread.
We have been poor for quite awhile and have learned a lot about living within our means during the last 5 years. We don't have credit cards. We learned about budgeting and living without things we don't really need. We didn't always like to do without though. There are days when I'd love to shove the clothes in a dryer and dh would love a riding lawn mower.
Dh is going to take a different job soon and his income will increase by quite a bit. I'm concerned that we will just spend more right away- kind of like going off a strict diet- and not be able to get ourselves back together. We know we can live on not much money... but we've already been daydreaming a little about what we'd like to do with this extra money.
I'd like to pay off our car and pay off a student loan. Then I would like to start saving money. I guess we are just going to have to make a new budget and maybe include an allowance for each of us to spend on extras so we don't go crazy beyond that.
 

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: Interesting thread!

We've been married for five years and dh has been in school the whole time. We have 3 kids, and I've never worked. We've managed to get by on 16-24K a year and no debt. Dh graduates next month, and his income is going to triple.....I'm wondering how to stop the urges also
: ....

We want to buy a house....we are buying one in an inexpensive area. I think that will help a lot. Even so, our house payment and utilities will be twice what they are now (cheap rent). But if I don't move out of this basement apartment, I'm going nutty


I don't think we're too interested in driving a nice car or anything big. But the little things can add up too....like getting faster internet, a cell phone.....eating out......I'm counting on my frugal husband to keep me in line
.

Granolamom, that was pretty cool you guys were willing to do all that to get out of debt.
 
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