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A Family of 4: Journey to Frugal Living

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Are you struggling to make the swap to frugal living? I know that for us it’s a struggle. We’re comfortable at our spending level and really need to cut back.

Some might say we’re crazy and others completely understand where we’re coming from. We first started talking about really buckling down when we noticed how often we’d be left with only a little at the end of the month.

This talk started a little because of this blog actually. I was so determined to shove this puppy all the way up to 100k pageviews per month in a short amount of time that I was literally doing anything I could, and that meant spending money.

I had to slow my roll.

And, frugal living started looking more and more appealing to me, but it was also super hard to even consider. Mostly because I’m not used to it at all!

I’m used to being able to buy things when I need or even want. All that was about to end though.

It was time to start frugal living!

We had bought Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University kit about two years ago but never did anything with it. I mean, we’ve watched one or two of the videos, but that was the extent.

Then, the other night my husband and I were talking about how we wanted to start massively saving our money so that we could build our savings account. Dave’s FPU came up again and we talked about trying to implement that again.

Sometimes you need a push to get going.

I wasn’t too excited about cutting back on certain things (hello sushi night out) and I know our kids are going to be feeling “deprived” soon when their hibachi runs are canceled for a little while.

However, I do think that we need to cut back some. It’s ok to have a once in a while sort of trip out, but once or twice a week was a little excessive. Especially considering the fact that we seem to always have a pretty high bill when we eat out.

Frugal living doesn’t have to be hard (or does it).

My first blog is slipping in a downward spiral right now and so money was getting tighter. But, it was really only getting tight because we spent a good bit of what we earned haphazardly each month.

A lot of times it was on buying things for the kids, clothes for them, excessive food from the grocery store (mostly expensive food) or some gadgets we don’t need in a camper.

So, I’ve been trying to figure out ways that we can go about saving money and living on less, not because we absolutely need to but… well, we still kind of need to.

My husband and I have never really been ones to want a whole lot of things anyway, and most times I’m the one that gets trapped into the idea that I need things (my Achilles heel are courses and online training because I love to learn).

That’s coming to an end for now unless my business makes the money to pay for it. That’s the idea at least. We’ll see how it goes as far as putting it into practice.

Having kids changed me…. not all for the good.

Part (or a lot) of where our money gets spent is going out to eat. This started because I would be so tired that I wouldn’t want to cook, but eventually, it got to where I just didn’t like cooking at all.

It was very problematic and started eating our budget because we end up eating out 2-3 times a week and not even batting an eye.

This alone is enough for us to consider a more frugal living lifestyle!

We’re Shifting To Frugal Living In Steps

What does that mean exactly? Well, frugal living isn’t something we’ve exactly been accustomed to doing or even trying to do, so we imagine it will be a bit hard at first.

Therefore, we’re going in steps versus just diving right in and getting to where we’re overwhelmed.

First: Identification

We’re going to identify our leaky pipe areas. The areas where we’re basically letting our money just flow out of our account without a second thought. (hint: one of those is our eating out habits)

We’ll see what’s happening in our life and budget so we can make a plan to fix it to where we’re saving rather than spending.

Printing off our bank statements will be the very first thing we do. We’ll also have our highlighters in hand!

Second: Highlighting

We’re going to highlight all the areas where we are spending money that doesn’t have to be spent. For instance, eating out, unnecessary trips to the grocery store, buying things we don’t need, etc., etc.

This will give us an accurate representation of where our money is going and where we can tighten up our spending.

Related Post: How to Pay Off Debt When You’re Terrible With Money

Third: Tackle the easiest

Identifying what areas to tackle first are the next thing we’re going to do. Some things seem easier than others to start trimming down on so we’ll identify which areas would be the easiest.

I think slowing down on eating out is a top priority.

To help us know which task comes next on our spending trimming we’re going to create a list. As we make it through the list we’ll be marking it off. I might even make a pretty list to make it fun.

If I create one I’ll post it in my next update (or sooner).

Fourth: Accountability

This one is all about accountability, so I’ll be holding myself accountable right here on the blog. I hope to write at least once a month about how we’re doing.

I’ll be holding myself accountable for making more things from scratch and attempting to use up everything we have in the camper before buying more things. Check out this post on how you can save money each month and spend less at the store to feed your family.

Alone, the post above sparked my desire to spend less while shopping. It just shocked me that someone could spend so little and yet feed a family of 4!

Fifth: Repeat as necessary

Just keep repeating until we’re all fixed and saving more than ever! Our main goal and deepest desire is to buy land outright that we can build a house on. That means lots of money saved!

To help boost our little savings other than slashing our spending habits I’m also going to be shoving in money I make from working at home.

  1. I opened an Etsy shop where I’ll be selling leather goods (making things now to fill it)
  2. I’m going to create printables, because who doesn’t love those.
  3. I’ll be adding a new service to create Shopify stores for people
  4. And, I’m contemplating creating a course.
  5. Using Ebates to get cashback on purchases I already make (they have an app for in-store purchases now too).

We’ll see how these things go though for sure. They may or may not work so great, but I’ll keep you updated as we go!

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