Friday, June 4, 2010

Frugal Friday: Searching for the Sunny Side

Truth be told our finances are tight. Tighter than I'd care to admit. It's hard to fathom that two people, both with full-time jobs and a less than extravagant lifestyle, could be in such a position. And yet here we are. Granted we live in one of the towns hardest hit by this recession. We should count our lucky stars we are still standing. Many people are not. And yet.

It is hard to discuss finances with Mr. Peculiar. He shuts down. He gets angry. I get sad. I'm the cheerleader of the family. It's alright, it's okay, we can pay these bills, we'll find a way! But some days it's hard to put one foot in front of the other. It's hard to explain to the children that we can not afford luxuries like sleep away summer camp. It's hard to stomach working so hard only to find ourselves hanging on by the tiniest of threads. It's hard to hear people talk about "printing money" and "rolling in dough". It's hard to believe this type of abundance is possible.

If only my husband was happy I'd be okay with our finances right where they are. I can tolerate Tight as long as it befriends Joy. Of course I have desires but I don't need fancy. Frankly I'm content to wear the same grungy clothes day after day. But he's not happy. It's not that he wants bigger better and more. No. He simply wants less worry. He's stressed and depressed. And therefore I am the same. I want to be a team; a team of optimists working towards a common goal. But how to get there?

For lack of a better plan here are the things I'm doing:
  • Turned off the sprinklers (it's rainy like crazy here and for now we don't need them).
  • Turned off the heat (our house has been maintaining nicely on it's own).
  • Turned off the pilot light for our fireplace (our neighbors did this and it saved them $15.00 a month on their gas bill).
  • I'm hanging my laundry (indoors due to the weather).
  • I'm going to clean up a few pieces of superfluous furniture and put them on Craigslist.
  • I'm going to list some household items on Ebay.
  • I have an Etsy shop (please visit and pass on the link!)
  • I am moonlighting as a Veterinary Expert for Just Answer (see the link on the left sidebar)*
  • We are eating at home and using left overs as much as possible.
  • Returning all found bottles and cans.
  • Using coupons whenever practical (we only use coupons for those items we would normally buy).
  • Buying in bulk (Cost Co).
  • Preparing food from scratch.
  • And, finally, giving my hope to the wind and becoming a feather. May we all fly on the jet stream of universal abundance.
How has this recession hit you? How are you saving money and/or bringing in additional income?

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*Just Answer is a website that allows you to have your questions answered by experts for a nominal fee. You ask the question and you set the fee.


Dawn said...

Love your attitude! It sounds like you are doing all the right things...thanks for giving me some new ideas! Hang in there :)

Mrs. E said...

I no longer buy books or magazines. I don't rent videos. I go to the library. There are lots of good free things to check out. Their videos are farily up to date.

I avoid stores whenever possible. I shop only from a grocery list and I am making things from scratch-as my mother would say.

I am learning to love sitting outside and enjoying the birds, going for a walk, or playing cards. Entertainment can be cheap. Throw in a glass of iced tea and I am good to go.

I count my blessings. Having had poor health-makes me appreciate how healthy I am now. I love my bed, a glass of cool water, and hugs from those I love.

Blessings to you, blog friend. I know this economy is hard. I'm thinking of you and your hubby. Learning to embrace where we are in life is hard--especially when you're young. It gets so much easier at my age.

Theresa said...

I can relate on many levels. My husband gets easily angered over financial matters even though I try to get him to give his imput. We have chosen to have me work less(as in only 4 days a month), so that we work around his shift work. He makes more than I ever will so it makes financial sense. It is a choice. We have debt that is more being maintained than paid down, and you know what, I am okay with it. It is not the be all and end all to be debt free. I know that it will be paid off, in time. We are in Canada, where the economy was/is not nearly as bad as the U.S.

You sound like you are doing all the right things, and in time, they will pay off. I am enjoying reading your blog.

Penniless Parenting said...

That is a really tough position to be going through! It is really hard when all the money is drying up and you're up to your neck in bills. You sound like you're doing great and amenable to change- I'm sure that by doing what you're doing you'll be fine in no time!

kathleen said...

I'm learning to embrace the mantra 'I already have everything I need', and I truly believe that as long as we have our health, clean air, wholesome food, and a loving circle - we truly do have all that we need.
The Best Things in Life are free!
Wishing you everything of the best and I hope that you soon reach a place of financial freedom.

Cre8Tiva said...

love the sunflower photo...great suggestions of saving $$$ in thihs economy...i may follow a few myself...just visiting from Flying Lessons...hope to connect more in the future...

Rebecca E. Parsons/Cre8Tiva

Cre8Tive Compass Magazine
Cre8Tiva's Blog
Artistically Speaking Talk Show
FAMM Live Radio

*Michelle* said...

We both have pretty secure jobs (experienced teacher & nurse), but the downturn in home values has really gutted our expectations. We moved in with $7,000 equity & now we're looking at owing $40,000 more than the house is worth. So much for all the improvements we were hoping to make. I'll be living with missing drawers and run down cabinetry for as far as the eye can see. I don't complain much, as so many have been hit so hard, but I do worry about the future-- not ours, personally, but ours collectively. This country has lost its commitment to maintaining a thriving middle class, it seems. And that scares me.

Jen said...

I can definitely relate. I think all that you are doing is great. I hope your husband can see the sunny side a little more, the way that you do. But it's hard. And it's hard not to feel the stress when your loved one is stressed. Like I said, I can relate.

Dana Barbieri said...

You are being very positive which is good to see. I can relate to all you are going through. Keep up all you are doing.