Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Somethings Happening Here

"Frugality without creativity is deprivation."
~Amy Dacyczyn

This weekend the hub and I had another "talk". A money talk. Such fun. Though we've been frugal we aren't meeting our financial goals. We've been slipping up; going out to eat, buying coffee shop coffee and seeing a movie here and there. This behavior is good for the economy but not the pocket book. We have loans (I'm almost embarrassed to tell you what my education cost). Our house likely isn't worth what we owe on it. And to top it off we have desires. There are things we want that we can not afford and will never be able to afford if we don't stop piddling our money away.

Me, I want to make frugality a game. A challenge. To see how far we can go and still have a life. The hub sees it as punishment. "Why oh why are we working so hard and yet have no money. None!" It's not as if we aren't making money. We are but our income is indeed less than years past. And our money is spoken for. Dude we have three children. Of course we have no moola! Finally we agreed to give the adults a weekly allowance (yes - I said adults). The remainder of the weekend was so quiet you could hear crickets chirping.

Then Monday morning, on the prompting of a co-worker, I decided to have a garage sale. Saturday only 8 to 2. This led to an impromptu clean up of the garage. I hung our canoe all by myself!! While cleaning I found a three-ring binder that my son will need for school, as well as, an entire bottle of dish soap and a bottle brush. These are all items we needed and would have purchased in the near future. Now, even if we don't sell a single item, we are still ahead.

And things snowballed from there. The kids began sorting through their stuff. My daughter found a pair of earrings she didn't know she had. And the hub got into the game as well. Last night he cleared out his side of the closet. Not only did he unearth clothing he didn't know existed but he also discovered a renewed urge to exercise and fit back into some of his favorites.

We are spring cleaning in the fall and guess what? It's fun. There. See? Frugality can be fun!

The next big place we're hoping to save money is with our food budget. Have you ever figured out just how much you spend at the grocery store? I did. Let me just tell you I was shocked. But more about that later in the week.

For now I must take the girls to their swim lessons. After all it is the very last week of summer. I hope each and every one of you finds a treasure in your house today even if it's just a bottle of soap!

Happy Wednesday!


Mrs. E said...

I love the quote--and such a good one for all of us to remember. I was at a museum this summer and saw the sign: "Use it up. Make it do. Or do without." That was a mantra in the USA around the depression. I think it is one we could stand to embrace today. I like your enthusiam. Good luck on this project and remember- you aren't alone. A lot of us are doing the exact same thing!

Mrs. E said...

PS. I'm stealing your quote! Hope that is ok. It may show up on my quote/photo blog.

the Lady said...

Sounds like you and your husband are struggling with things common to most Americans - desire vs. need. Two different financial priorities. It's hard! Congratulations for striving on anyway.

How fun for your man to discover old clothes he'd like to fit into! That recently happened to my boyfriend (thank god.) He's lost 30 pounds and has plans to lose more. He finally realized (with a little gentle confirmation from me) how silly it is to keep buying more clothes to fit a bigger self, when he didn't want to be fat in the first place, and he'd rather be able to fit into old clothes he really liked and had spent good money on.

Once again, Dave Ramsey! Hopefully your husband can realize that eating beans and rice now means that you can actually afford the steak in the future. I hope you both can achieve gazelle-like intensity together!

My prayers for you.

Gayle said...

How cool that your garage sale organizing turned into something much more! I know just what you mean about how much we spend at the food store. It is shocking.