Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Frugal Missus Lives Off The Land

I was doing some blurfing (blog surfing. Did I make that word up?) today and came across a "Live Off the Land" Challenge on Money Saving Mom's Blog. Basically, I am going to use up the odds and ends in my pantry and freezers. I mean, I spend all this money on food each month, but it feels like I'm bursting with odds and ends of grub-type things. So, Money Saving Mom, I accept your challenge.

My Goals:

1) Spend no more than $30/week from Jan. 10 - Feb. 10 at the grocery store. (Our budgeting goes by our pay periods, not the traditional months)

2) Only buy dairy (milk, specifically) and produce.

3) Blog about what I've spent at the store. (You folks have to keep my honest!)

4) All "extra" money (hopefully $280!!) will be sent to the SnowBall on Feb. 10.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Frugal Family Meets Mr. Murphy

Well folks, after settling in as a Frugal Family of Four, I am happy to say we are still very much on budget and on track with our debt payoff! We've paid off a couple thousand to a credit card with our "leftover" money these past four months that we thought we'd only ever be able to send minimum payments! I've said it before and I'll say it again...

WRITE A BUDGET.

Every dime should have a name! I can't tell you how much MORE money we have just by changing how we spend it. If you have any desire to get on track with a written budget (you can't write it in your head, guys. It has to be on paper. No cheating), post a message here and I'll do my best to do "lessons" in how to go about it.

Now, you might ask, what's with the title of this post?

Well, The Frugal Family has met that little devil, Murphy, and his stupid law...

If Something Bad Will Happen, It WILL.

Furthermore, I happen to think it'll happen at the worst possible moment. Indeed, Murphy landed in our house TWO DAYS before Christmas. Our 2005 Acura had a plethora of malfunctions in recent weeks and we finally took it in to a highly recommended mechanic (if you live locally, I'd be happy to pass on his info. Just ask).

4 New Tires
New Battery
Alignment
+ Balancing and mounting of tires
________________________

$692.80

Two days before Christmas.

But, Frugal Mister and I did not bat a lash, for we had a Baby Emergency Fund of $1000 to fall back on! We wrote a check for $692.80. Done. The best part is that our car repair isn't going to cost us $692.80 + 13% interest. It's not going to take us 5 years to pay off. It's not going to haunt us. It's D-O-N-E.

As for it being 2 days before Christmas? Big Deal! We've bought ALL of our gifts with cash this year so even an almost $700 car repair bill can't break our Christmas Spirit!

Now, what happens to our Debt Snowball now that our Baby Fund of $1000 is no longer funded? We will take a short hiatus from throwing all of our "extra" money at the snowball until our Emergency Fund is full again. We don't anticipate it taking long, but you can be damn sure it's high on the priority list for us, just in case Murphy decides to test us again.

As of now, we've paid off a total of $2004.37 in debt on just one of our credit cards AND had 3 visits from Murphy (Our Washing Machine broke, the toilets and showers all got backed up so we had to have an emergency plumber come to the house, and the car repair). I can't even BEGIN to tell you how proud I am to say we have not used credit cards AT ALL for any of it.

Take THAT, Murphy!