>What I Learned this Week: I don’t know HOW to save

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Yes. What I learned this week is that I don’t know how to live like a poor person on a limited budget. When I first married my husband, we were tight financially and paying off debt. Then, we bought a house, got new furniture, and really were doing well for ourselves. I got my masters, was getting paid more and so was he, and then, we had a child, and this economy hit.

I had a reduction of 15 work days this year, had no raise, enrolled in a more expensive daycare (but worth it), and my hubby’s work schedule was cut back to 4/5 days a week of work, for what was supposed to be a temporary situation, but has continued into 2010 as the norm.

Both of us just don’t know how to live in reverse, not spending money. We’ve basically been able to get ourselves what we’ve needed and wanted for awhile. Before that, we were young and put things on credit (a major no-no, but we didn’t know better and had to pay it off). We are having to think differently. How do you do that? Any suggestions?

I’m sure many others are feeling it too, and have been, but it just hit us hard this summer.

Some things to look forward to that will help:

*My son being potty trained (no more diapers!)
*My car paid off in Sept. of 2011
*Daycare cost going down by around $144/month in November
*I have become a good coupon shopper, adding CVS and Walgreens into the mix, slowly but surely. I’ve even rearranged my pantry to make more space for stocking up when there are good sales.

We’re just having to cut our budget bare bones right now. My hubby suggested, “No gift budget.” What? What about kids’ birthdays? What about Christmas and family we have to buy for?

A question I ask myself. Can I live on a zero clothing budget until November? Silly little things like that that I’m just going to have to do. My hubby even mentioned I should turn off the water in the shower when I’m soaping up. No…not my warm shower! We’re even contemplating not renewing our membership to Costco. We’re skipping this month’s shopping there to actually try to save money. Do you find you spend a lot there?

How do some of the rest of you change your way of thinking in situations like this? Some days I’m good. Really good, and think of how to save….then my old habits creep in and I go buy my son a few new toys because I think he needs the enrichment and creativity they have to offer. Hey, at least it wasn’t for me, right? 🙂 No…I need to change that way of thinking too.

What did you learn this week? For more, go to Julie’s post.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “>What I Learned this Week: I don’t know HOW to save

  1. >When I stopped working to take care of my mom, we had a big reduction in income. Ordering out became less frequent. (I don't know if you do that at all). I became less afraid to use my crock pot (they are perfectly safe to use when not at home, since they require less electricity than a 100 watt bulb, but I didn't have time to look that up when I was working). Using a crock pot takes a lot less physical energy than cooking on the stove. No, I'm not a crock pot sales person. :-)I don't know what kind of educational toys you buy your son, but sometimes just being able to entertain oneself with what is available is an education. My uncle used to march us around the table while holding a wooden spoon and singing songs when I was a toddler. What did I learn from that? That Uncle Wally was a lot of fun! :-)Good luck with your efforts to cut back.

  2. >When I became a stay-at-home-mommy, we too had to make some budget changes. It's not an easy thing. Never easy, but it is do-able. Good luck findout out the things that work best for you and your hubby. Thanks for linking up this week. =)

  3. >Read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. It should be at your local library. Seriously. Both you and hubby should be on board with total communication. Since it sounds like you are, then you should do very well with this program. Dave Ramsey is also on the radio. Check out http://www.daveramsey.com for more info. HTH!!BTW: this is my first time here, jumping around the bloggy world. I clicked here from comments from other posts on other blogs.

  4. >it's hard to relearn how to live on a limited budget because we become convinced we NEED the 'extras' and the things which are really luxuries – at least that's what happened to me……. try to figure out what the necessities REALLY are and stick to those. one trick i've used in the past is paying cash for everything. so for instance, i'd make a budget for a birthday present then get just that amount of money to take with me to the store. that way, i can only choose something within that limit and not grab, 'just a few' more goodies along the way. hang in there. keep talking to your hubs, you'll be able to figure out what works best for you.

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