Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jumping in head first…well, sort of

It’s more like jumping in head first, with a life preserver on.

We are bad with our money. REALLY bad. We have been doing really good over the past year at paying off our debt (about $10,000 so far) but only because we have sold things (the four wheeler) or put any extra money we get toward it (tax return, Christmas money, etc) We haven’t really set followed a budget like we should have. Even though we have paid off this debt, for some reason we still end up living paycheck to paycheck. We spend money as if we had our very own money tree growing nice and healthy in the backyard. If the money is in the bank, we feel as if it is meant to be spent on something.

We are putting a stop to that now though. Killing off the proverbial money tree. This weekend, we opened up another account, where all of my paychecks along with anything extra my husband gets from side jobs or the fire department will be deposited from now on. It’s a small credit union, where there aren’t 50,000 ATM’s on every corner of the street, so access to said account will be somewhat of a pain – we chose to forgo the check cards that come with it for even harder access.

The point of all of this is to throw ourselves into the water, without really worrying too much about drowning. We will see how we can manage to live off of my husband’s income alone, and find out how creative we can really get with our money. So far we barely make it with both of our incomes, even though the budget says we don’t really need mine. This is going to be a great test. The other benefit of us doing this, is that while my money sits there, untouched, it will continue to build and give us a nice cushion for when I quit working in July for a few months, and hopefully sit there until I need it for Nursing School next Spring.

So wish us luck! I am really hoping that we can manage this and not give in.

Oh and if you have any hints about how we can curb our spending and save some money, bring em’ on! I would love to hear your ideas.


  1. I love the idea! I really have to curb my spending, too. Our biggest "luxury" expense would have to be eating out... it really adds up!

    One thing that's really helped me is giving my kids an allowance. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it can work. My kids get to manage their own spending and I don't have to feel like the bad guy by saying "no" (or like the money tree always giving in).

    Good luck!

  2. First, congrats on the decision, and good choice on the "savings" account.

    Some ideas and suggestions.
    1. COUPONS! I started the process and then when SU took over the household stuff she just took them like a duck in water. She routinely saves 40-50% on the weekly grocery shopping using coupons. Also helps that a couple of stores in the area regularly do doubles and triples plus BOGOs etc. Plus she stocks up on whatever is the deal at the time (ie buy 2 get 3 free on chicken breasts...she'll buy like 15 packages and put them in the freezer. won't need chicken breast for a couple of months, by then the next super chicken breast deal will be in progress)

    2. Cancel the cable/DirecTv. If you still really need something then a 1 or 2 disc Netflix subscription or allow yourself to buy $20 in DVDs each month.

    3. Warehouse club if you aren't a member already.

    Just some starter thoughts.

  3. Here is a good hint: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS put away every month in your 401K (or whatever retirement plan you have) EVERY year. Do the best you can.
    A. It will accumulate over the years, and this is especially so if you are in your 20s
    B. It will force you to save for the future.
    C. If you ever go totally broke, sued or bankrupt (heaven forbid!)no one can touch this.
    At least where I live they can't.
    D. You end up paying less in income tax.
    If you do this every month - a small amount- it will train you and get you used to saving....and you won't miss it as much as one big chunk at the end of the year.
    That is something I wish someone would have told me when I was in my 20s....AND NEVER PULL IT OUT!! I made that big mistake not once but TWICE. Now i am in my mid 50s kicking myself for being so stupid.
    Oh well.
    And by the way....there is something called "MagicJack" that is really good if you have phone bills - $39 buys you a phone line into you computer with your regular phone, much better than skype, and it has voicemail, caller ID, conference calling etc....then $20 per year after. I will be saving $40 per month using this, and still keeping a plain no frills land line.