Sunday, April 20, 2008

Did I say something was wrong?

I don't know about you but I get excited about things. If something is working for me I want to tell the whole world, just in case it might work for them and help them. Such is the case right now with living simply and frugality. The hubs and I have worked really hard at establishing a strict budget that leaves a large portion to go straight to savings and an equally large portion to be an extra payment to our mortgage. We realize that right now we are in a position that we might not always be, with two incomes coming into the house. Our prayer is that by being diligent with our income now we might be able to attain some of the goals we established for ourselves; possibly going to a one income family and also paying off our mortgage in record time. This is exciting to me those are two things that I really desire so I'm more than willing to make some sacrifices to achieve them. As with most things I try to make it into a game, what can I do to achieve my goals in a fun way. Most recently I've started couponing and working the deals at my local grocery stores and pharmacy's. We find ourselves with a couple extra (reusable) bags of personal care items, medicines and food every trip without even using up all of our modest food budget. These extra's are to pass along to other people that might need them, to send to a clinic in Haiti, to give to a womans shelter, to give to friends and family. I find great joy in having this surplus to give.
I save a great amount of money by making most of my food from scratch, which I love!!! The hubs and I are also trying our hands at gardening this year to try and bring some awesome organic produce to our plates. I look forward to using gardening as a part of our entertainment as well.
Well the thing that is frustrating is that the minute you say something about using coupons or saving money, people think that you are destitute. I've had people just look at me and kind of shrug their shoulders and say things will get better stick it out. Its hard to explain to them that things are wonderful at our house, we only have one debt (our mortgage) that we are working on paying off. We aren't under the burden of credit card debts or car payments, we don't fight over money because we have a system established on how we deal with it. Granted our cars aren't brand new and we usually don't go out and spend a great deal of money on things without planning and saving for them; but WE are fine with that. Reguardless we have a good life and I wouldn't change it for the world. I wish that more people would find the joy in this freedom and in being financially responsible.
I guess thats one of the reasons I blog is to find that community that "gets" it. That realizes that I'm not trying to make them feel bad for what they are or aren't doing, but just trying to show them what works for me. I love going around and reading everyone else's blog and seeing what they are doing and seeing if it works for us. Its a wonderful learning tool that I'm so happy that I've found.


Em said...

You keep at it girl! I've gotten lots of idea from you and MamaK and am inspired by your frugality. My aunt and uncle are very well to do, both making very healthy incomes (each probably has a 6 figure income or close to it). However, I've always been impressed by my aunt's frugalness. She buys some of her clothes at the thrift store, applies for all rebates possible, used all the coupons she can get her hands on, and shops the sales galore! Take comfort in knowing that you DO "get it" and will benefit greatly for it.

mama k said...

Yeah, (obviously) we live in a culture where frugality and conservation are not desired... unless you are in a finatial jam and you have to dig yourself out of major debt.
When things are going well you are expected to buy what you want when you want it. We are a consumer driven society.

I do have to say that it is much more "fun" when it's just a game to see how much you can save vs a concious choice to avoid debt. (So yeah, I don't get quite the thrill out of all that at the moment.) But it will be easier for you to transtion to a smaller income if you already have that mindset.
And very cool to be able to use your time doing something you enjoy to bless those less fortunate.

Megan said...

I'm destitute right along with ya! ;) Everyone should try it, because I'll take the frugal, thoughtful way of life over the blind consumerism we had before!

It IS fun, mama k - I agree with you there! Since we started trying to live more frugally, I found I'm enjoying keeping up on our budget and watching where things go.

It's so much more rewarding to see an excess in savings instead of another bright shiny expensive object to add to our clutter.

Andrea said...

Keep on doing what you're doing! The people who automatically think you've fallen on hard times, rather than think you are being financially resourceful, are the ones you want to avoid! They will only make you feel bad - and if you're feeling good and doing good things, you don't need their negative influence! Keep it up! I enjoy the ideas! Maybe one of these days I'll post some of my own!

*shell* said...

Keep ia it K...spending wisely and saving as much as possible will be something you'll never regret. Today's society definitely encourages a buy it now mentality, and I agree with you that you don't have to spend fortunes to be happy!

Razor Family Farms said...

We love coupons at this house!

I went to a conference not long ago that you would have loved. We were all given the task of writing down exactly how much money we were wearing. So we all thought for a bit and scribbled what we paid for our shirt, pants, bra, socks, shoes, etc. We were then asked to stand up and tell everyone how much money we had on our bodies -- never mind what was in our rooms to be worn the rest of the weekend. Some of the women were really shocked at their number. Five of us (myself included) were given little Feed Those in Need stickers for wearing the least costly outfits. Confession: it was my bra that tipped the scales. With most of the women: shoes were their downfall.