June 25, 2010
As I have been working around the house this week I have been doing a lot of pondering about money and specifically how to spend less and save more. I am being drawn back to the basics of living a more frugal lifestyle. I bought Amy D.'s first "Tightwad Gazette" book back in January 1993 when our youngest son was a newborn. I also have her two sequel books. A few years later I bought Jonni McCoy's book "Miserly Moms." I have started to re-read these books to bring me back to where I need to be with living on one income.
I have become complacent in the last few months and have been overspending. It's time to renew my conviction to live frugally. It's not just saving for an emergency fund that has brought me back to the reality of our life, but it's wanting to meet other goals that I have set for our family.
Next year our youngest son will graduate from high school. He has a profound interest in politics and government. He plans to major in government/history in college, so our plan is to go to Washington D.C. next June for our vacation.
My DH comes home for lunch each day. (He works only 4 blocks from our home.) Today we were sitting on our deck and we started to talk about the trip to D.C. and how we would be able to afford the trip. He had been thinking about it and had a plan already put together along with having money for an emergency fund. He made this statement "it is the day to day expenses that are hurting us." Hmm. That had been on my mind all this week and it felt good to hear it from him.
It is time to get back on track and back on budget. No more running to Wal-mart to pick something up and then walking around to see what else is on sale.
I have been following the "Trenches of Mommyhood" and the challenges that she has set forth for herself. I have also been following "Moderate Means" and how she is being challenged to see if they can afford to live on one income sometime in the future. I'm not alone in living below our means and trying to live within a budget. I follow these blogs, and a few others, as I don't have one other person in my life that is doing what I am doing. In fact, I have been the recipient of a few "cheap" jokes in the past year. I always feel as if in the end I am the one who is living her dream and the rest of them are not.
The challenge I am making for myself is to reduce our miscellaneous and grocery spending by a total of $150 a month. It will take some planning, but I know I can I do it. It will be the small things that will add up to the savings.
As we sat today sharing our lunch, my DH reminded me that one year from now our only debt will be my car and our mortgage. It will be like having a second income. So I will continue to make laundry soap, use rags instead of paper towels and hang clothes on the line to lower expenses. And one year from now I will be in a hotel in Washington D.C. celebrating our son's high school graduation and living my dream.