Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Budget and determination

I got lazy. I let money slip though our hands. I mentioned in a past post how we had to pay for three kids to go into orthodontics this year, two wisdom teeth removals and an aednoid removel. We also were slapped with college costs. My daughter earned a Presidential scholorship and it stated that if tuition and fees went up they would increase her scholorship. Well, dumb me, assumed it was paying all her tuition, but we would pay for the books. Nope, they paid over half but we still had $1400 in tuition and $550 in books for this semester. I never expected books to be THAT high so it was all totally not planned. In the mean time, we were cruisin to Mexico and continuing to make purchases for our home and living as normal people WITH MONEY. There was a little freak out when we realized we had to pay that much in tuition and saw how much of a hit it took on our finances.

I love Dave Ramsey. We have never had credit card debt, but know what it is like to be always scrambling to have money for your month. In making the move to Alabama we were split in that we finally could give up second and third jobs to make it, but we at the same time gave up the additional income of the second and third jobs. So, while we increased my husband's base pay so that we could make it without addional income, we gave up about $800 extra money a month that we had left after paying our bills. We went back to having enough income for our bills, but not anything extra. The whole time we were working extra we were listening to Dave and trying to follow his teachings.

When we were first married and really struggling we were accustomed to not buying anything. We didn't even have money for garage sales. I would sit all day waiting on my husband to call from work so I could tell him something because we lived over the county line and it cost $.25 for me to call him. $.25 cents! That was dedication and determination to make it. The pay off- I could stay home with my babies! We continued to be frugal in our spending: buying from garage sales and thrift stores and clearance racks. I continued to learn home economy and ways to cook and clean and shop and craft to reduce expenses and live a better life on less money. Another thing that I learned was to be content with what we had. To take what we had and make the best of it. Shine it up. Repair it. Paint it. I tried to make our life feel like we weren't doing without.

Somehow, when we were working extra jobs we slowly began to feel intitled to buying what we needed or wanted when the occasion came. We ate out a lot because we were tired from all the hard work. We saw something we wanted and we bought it. Now, we need to stop doing that and learn to save the things that we want for birthday and Christmas presents. We felt like we had the money and weren't in debt so we could do it. We saved a good emergency fund. We didn't neglect to find good deals. We just relaxed our gazelle intensity too much. I now need to pull in the reigns and try to really watch our expenses closer. We have been spending trying to get the house remodeled. We want it all right now. Some things will have to wait until we can find good deals or save more to complete. I have blogged about how electricity, water, food and gas are all more expensive so it is time to tighten the belt and not waste anymore money. Time to learn even more tricks to making money stretch.

These are some things that I want to do to stretch our money:

1. Build a solar oven- save electricity while cooking, but also not heat up the house.

2. Make homemade pizza crusts- I have been using the Walmart pizza packets that are $.33 each.

3. Try making homemade flour tortillas and hamburger buns.

4. Make my own laundry detergent.

5. Buy clothes at garage sales and thrift stores when $1.00 or less to sell at the Kids mart twice a year. I hope to make enough from this to buy my younger three children's clothes.

6. Make 4 rain barrels to collect rain for gardens.

7. Grow vegetables year round in my garden.


Cassie said...

It's always a good idea to look back every month and see how you did. That way if you see you've been spending too much you can stop it right away instead of not watching your money and unknowingly wind up in debt.

Southerner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Southerner said...

cassie- the bad part is that I do look and I sort my catagories and just haven't cared:( I knew we had money so kept saying that we were almost through with the house, or get this orthodontic bill out of the way and just didn't use self control.The good thing is that we aren't in debt. We just spent emergency fund money on non emergency things.

I had to delete the other comment because it added words to the end when I was trying to post.

Schultz Family said...

My family loves Dave, too! We have 4 kids....6,4,2 and 2. (and the 2 year olds are not twins)! My husband actually just got Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace for kids, to start them out early saving and tithing. God is so good and will always provide, but we sure are "hunkerin" down too! Praise God for debt free living! Thanks for your great blog! I enjoy reading it always!

Tracye said...

I make my own laundry detergent. It actually gets our clothes softer than the store-bought soap.

I also found a recipe for flour tortillas, and they are delicious!

Let me know if you're interested in either recipe... I'll be happy to share!

Michelle said...

I think things are getting tough everywhere and everyone is cutting back...esp. with the election and the not knowing what will happen...

Dave Ramsey is husband and I took the class through his was very informative and entertaining...

Good luck with everything and post those recipes as you find them...on my side bar is a link to Foodieview...if you haven't tried it look it just type in anything you are looking for and it gives you several recipes...I love it!

sarah said...

I enjoyed reading that, made me realise that we too have all those extra costs to come with the kids getting older.

interesting reading your early marriage story, ours is almost exactly the same, we were both very young and gambled on a big house and high mortgage which meant we had little spare cash. I wanted to stay home full time so I did the same, became frugal, cooked everything from scratch, I didn't thrift then, I didn't know about it but simply just didn't buy anything... funny really now I would never buy anything new that I think I might find in a thrift store - just yesterday the whole reason for me going to the thrift was to buy a teapot, ours broke and a cafetiere, that smashed in the dishwasher, I got a Sadler teapot and the cafetiere for 5 dollars, as I poured my coffee this morning, I looked at both the pots and smiled to myself about how much I had saved, even in the cheap stores I think those two would have been at least 4 times the price

we still have that house, so now we are getting the rewards from frugality...

we are pulling in the reins too - checkout Recipezaar (did I link you that before, I'm not sure???) there is an excellent budget forum on there, gals with some really good advice


Valarie said...

Go to my friend Lacy's blog

She has some good ideas on living simple.