Monday, March 1, 2010

The "B" Word

Ever since I switched to working part time with my job this fall, I've started to notice a difference around here. Jason cares about when we go out to eat, he watches the bank account more than ESPN and he started sending me Dave Ramsey videos like this one.

Then, Jan 1st, he we decided to Dave Rams-ify our life. That means that "emergency fund", "college planning" and "no car payments" {still a goal; not yet reality} became more common words in our house than run-to-Target, take out Chinese and Big Sexxy anything hair product.

We even use the "B" word- BUDGET.

Oh my.

Don't get me wrong, I am thankful to be good stewards of our money. {Did you know that the Bible has more to say about money than anything else besides love?} And I'm extremely appreciative for a husband who cares about our future {hopefully a future together if I'm clipping coupons and all thankyouverymuch}. But does it mean this mean that I have to forego essentials like a Chic-fil-A #1 combo?

You probably know that I love bargains; always have. But I also like a few nice things. Danggit.
And this exercise of strict budgeting has made me realize that the makeup I wear is expensive, the many trips to Sam's might leave a half carton of soured sour cream {what is sour sour cream called?} and I don't HAVE to have every Clinique bonus with cute carrying bag right this minute.

I've even taken a couponing class, people. I realized that couponing is an art similar to karate- with as much time, dedication and sheer brut force needed. Would you be interested in a quick tutorial in what I learned? I was overwhelmed, but in a good way- like after watching Lost {which I don't because I've got to shop the Publix sales and watch American Idol on Tuesdays}. I'd say I'm still in the green belt category; those black belters kind of scare me.

Here's where I'm a little concerned: tomorrow is the big shopping day at our Spring Consignment Sale. The one I love; the one I've blogged about for years. And this year, I have a budget. A limit on the number of cheap, reduced rate, bargain items I can purchase.

Surely, Dave Ramsey would approve of this sale, right? RIGHT? But I guess realizing the difference between paying bills vs. cute name brand kids' clothing out the whazoo is essential.

Speaking of the whazoo, you've seen this, right?
We're hoping this will be our problem someday:

What are your money saving tips to cut corners?
Do you use coupons? And would you like an overview of what I learned?

And what are your splurges? I need to hear that I'm not the only one who loves some good hair product.


Lyn said...

Once Grant turned 3 months old, I started learning about couponing. 2+ years later, I am hooked and hardly ever pay for certain items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, salad dressing, pasta, frozen vegetables, tomato paste etc. (I routinely get paid to buy some items). I think $4 a jumbo pack is too much to pay for diapers and get them regularly for free.

I spent about 6 hours a day learning the language, the math, the ins and outs etc. when I started.

I don't shop without a list, I don't buy items not on the list, and I love it.

It's not something that you can learn overnight and it's kind of like running. You run your own race and get the return based on your time and energy that you put into it.

I'd love to hear about your class. I took one classs, but it was a flop. I learned mostly from reading, trying, reading, succeeding, reading, failing oh and a couple of great couponer mentors that took me under their wings.

We have an emergency fund, but we don't have a college plan. I've heard really good things about Ramsey.

Megan Southwell said...

Yeah, we have the "B" word in our house too. I shop for our produce at the local "farmers" market. I can get fresh veggies for less there (as long as I stay clear of the egg custard, baked goods, etc). Also I do coupons. I look at a few different blogs that post ways to get items for free with certain coupons.

Susannah said...

I need help, so blog on girl!!

txgorrells said...

The "B" word is in our house too and just really got serious with the whole Dave Ramsey thing. I'm excited about the end result but living on a strict budget is so hard!! I second the hair products, I just can't go without my Chi products... I am also trying to figure out the whole couponing thing, I've scored some good deals but I have a lot to learn!

amydc said...

I would love a coupon tutorial!

LizzieV. said...

I'm getting better about coupons, by saving every gosh darn one in a file just in case something goes on big sale & I decide that now would be a good time to try it. With those Publix BOGOs, I'm getting good at getting a lot for less. Now to working on getting less; too bad Costco doesn't take coupons! And right now, I think I've forgotten how to splurge, since we have to use a large part of our budget to help the little guy with his ADHD & stuff. Chocolate & diet colas are about it (ain't I pitiful?) I think I'll keep checking the comments for ideas on how to me-splurge for cheap! (And for trusted couponing sites; you find out all the good stuff.)

Stephanie B said...

We've been on "budget" since I decided to start my own practice 1764 miles (I know this because I had to put it into TurboTax last night at 11:18pm) from where we used to live, and we became a one income family for the first time EVER. (How's that for pressure on the hubs?!) Hopefully not a one income family for too much longer, but I digress.... I've always clipped coupons, but I'm far from hard core about it. I do the price compare thing with the store flyers, and I really wish Target would do double coupons. And that Costco would take coupons other than their own. My only splurges are diet Cherry Cokes from Sonic (Happy hour anyone?) and Angel's style tea from Angel's Island. Both are $2. But my sis and I figured out how to make a 99% match for the Angel's style tea at home, so I suppose that just leaves me with one splurge. More couponing tips would be great!

Ashley said...

YES, please tell us what you learned! ha, I need all the help I can get and my husband would thank you very much too! :) I know I overspend at the store, almost everytime I go.

Lyn said...

My single favorite coupon tip is to get the newspaper coupons every week (I only buy if there are going to be coupons and there are schedules on line) and keep EVERY coupon until it expires. Routinely, you can turn a profit using coupons and donate the items if you don't want/use it the money maker.

Brandi Bartee said...

We would love to hear what you've learned. Bailey and I also started the Crown Financial series with our church in January. It is very similar to Dave and truly has opened our eyes. I'm right there with you on the #1 combo!

katie said...

I thought the Clinique 'give away' was kinda like a buy one get one free deal. Atleast thats what I tell my husband. I have GOT to have that free gift! lol

Terry said...

OK first lets just slow down and take a deep breath. you can still have your make up (i do and this is how) my husband got off on this dave kick and yes the no car note is still a dream for us too. but it is comeing.. we didnt go all out but we are down to the house and one car..why we just paid off the camper last week. we just started being more concious were our money went and were we wanted it to go. it was hard to drive past micky d's the first few times but 20lbs later i didnt mind LOL. and with all the money you save from couponing and cut backs you let your makeup be your personal treat! mine is and the goodwill shopping trips.... that is already in the budget. i mean it kids gotta have clothes and so do yall. just watch out on the coupons because i went nuts and thought i needed every bottle of free shampoo i could get my hands on and after realizing i had over 60 botles in 3 months....well lets just say i dont clip shampoo coupons anymore and wont for a while. ......have fun and its not all bad.....

Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Do share. I coupon if they float in my wallet, but I don't go out of my way. If we live near Aldi, it is my bff. I do make a simple spreadsheet of food prices at diff stores so I know where is cheapest and the price to beat if I see it go on sale. Wait, that sounded really creepy and geeky:) I also heart handmedowns for kids and yardsales. I can't wait for the day when we pay off our 2nd car and student loans. Maybe we can have a celebretory carnival for that:) Good luck shopping at the sale!

Elizabeth said...

Do share. I coupon if they float in my wallet, but I don't go out of my way. If we live near Aldi, it is my bff. I do make a simple spreadsheet of food prices at diff stores so I know where is cheapest and the price to beat if I see it go on sale. Wait, that sounded really creepy and geeky:) I also heart handmedowns for kids and yardsales. I can't wait for the day when we pay off our 2nd car and student loans. Maybe we can have a celebretory carnival for that:) Good luck shopping at the sale!

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

When I quit working and stayed home it was overwhelming to clip coupons and budget the groceries and try to add in fun things with the kids. It gets easier. I do clip coupons but do about 90% of my shopping at Aldi, which is a discount grocery store. If you have one near you I highly recommend it. My local one has great produce and there is very little I can't get there and even on the super cheap. I usually spend about $100 every 2 weeks there and it feeds our family for those two weeks, plus the few items I get at Wal-mart that I can't get at Aldi.

Paula Jean said...

I'd love to hear about the couponing. I don't do that, but if I have some tips, it might seem like a better plan.

I'm 3/4 of the way through the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I'm excited about it... b/c I have a plan now to get to a place of financial stability. That will be a glorious day!

thedettras said...

Girl.... now why didn't you just hop on over to my blog and check out God and Grandma?? I have shared many many ideas on saving money and "getting by." My hubby and I have seen the light shed by Dave Ramesy. However, many many of my bargain hunting tips came from my dearly beloved Great Depression era Grandmother. She was the riches poor person I ever knew..... it all starts with contentment. Feeling satisfied with what God has already provided....and guess what.... I no longer fret over the things I had to give up.... being home and doing God's will is more important to me....Proud of ya Hillary... keep up the "B" is a blessing in disguise...promise!!

Roo and Wren's Mama said...

Yes, please share! I need to get on the coupon wagon, but it seems so overwhelming. And every time I buy a Sunday paper - thinking that I'll start the coupon thing this week - of course there are no good coupon inserts in the paper that Sunday. What is up with that?? :)

Rebekah said...

I've never been a coupon girl because honestly I forget them everytime I go to the store. But I do shop at Publix because I love the buy one get one frees. I save more money at Publix than at Walmart because of Publix's buy one get one frees. My biggest splurge is flip flops :) I own too many and always buy more.

Tara said...

I'm terrible at staying on budget. In college this meant leaving my wallet in the car if I went with my roommate to Target! I've always loved a good deal and the best way I save money is on my daughter's clothes. I'm constantly buying for the next year at end of the season sales. Consignment hasn't been successful for me...but I can't wait to start making bucks deluxe on the clothes my daughter has outgrown!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

This weekend we bought groceries, and before we went to Walmart, we went to Aldi. It's less convenient to shop at two stores, but we definitely saved money.

April said...

do share Hillary! Love to hear what you learned!

e.t. said...

Will and I are using the "B" word daily. It's *almost* irritating; but only when I can't go shopping. I have to remind my self that there are so many more important things than the milk glass punch bowl set, or the Trinity Women Market Place (btw, working while that is ALLLLL going on).
We discuss Dave Ramsey every day.
We have one credit card down, two student loans, one car note, and a brand spankin' new mortgage! (We know that Dave would disapprove of the mortgage with the other bill still being there, but we're dumb).
Keep on with the keeping on

Jennifer S. said...

we are DR people too! Started many years ago and are back on the wagon (sorta) again. Envelopes baby! I used to do the grocery game and it was by far the easiest and best way to do it but starting in 2010 I am trying and not being so vigilant. just hitting the good stuff that I need and not trying to build up a 20 year stockpile....2 maybe but not 20. They stuff was taking over the garage and I think I was a step away from having a problem...when you have withdrawals from not getting all the freebies it is bad. Tell me more about what you are up to! I love free/cheap shampoon and toothpaste...even a newbie can rake those in with little effort. DH says I'm far from frugal b/c I offset all my coupon savings with my talbots bill but gotta start somewhere. They have bargains too!

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