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Old 02-22-2002, 07:35 AM
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How frugality and I met ~

Although I had been lurking around the edges of frugality for 20-some odd years, I discovered I was just paying lipservice to the concept of being frugal. I really got serious about it four-plus years ago. I was a product manager for a major direct sales company and my husband was in education. Both of our jobs were well paying but we seemed to be spending every penny every month, and not making progress towards retirement. I did not absolutely love my job any more and after one too many "here, I want this taken care of right away!" from my boss, I called my dh on the spur of the moment and asked, "What would happen to us financially if I quit my job?"

His answer was so liberating: "Honey, if you aren't happy in what you are doing, turn in your 2-week notice now and we will figure out the answers together!"

My resignation was a real shocker when it hit my boss' desk some 12 minutes later. And two weeks later, gone were the tremendous number of business clothes, the weekly hair appts, eating out four nights a week because we were too tired to fix meals after a 14-hour-day at the office, and the cleaning team for the house.

After some serious thinking, it became obvious to both my husband and myself that we were existing way beyond our means for what would be a one-income household. We did take a couple of months to let the dust settle on us financially so we could see what we needed to do. And it was obvious! We put our 10-year old 4,000 sq. ft. house up for sale, and it sold the first day. We bought a 1,950 sq. ft. house across town and immediately began paring down the number of possessions we had. The amount of what we pared down was more than we kept.

Next came a master plan of action as to where we wanted to be in five years and doing what ~ a move back to my dh's family farm and a new 2.000 sq. ft. house built by us with cash saved during those 4 years. We wanted a simpler lifestyle with only the possessions we needed, and we have that and more.

It was so simple once we got started on being truly frugal. There are so many ways you can keep that dollar and still find a way to accomplish or manufacture or make or grow what you want.

It can be done ~ you just have to want it more than anything else! And I do ~ I will do anything I have to do to make sure I NEVER have to set foot back in the corporate world again!!

Sandie
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Old 02-22-2002, 07:55 AM
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I started living frugally when I first became a sahm. We lived in an apt and had 1 child. Since my paycheck was only paying daycare, it was easy to do without it. Then along came ds2 and a strong desire to have a house. We have our house, as well as the utilities, a longer commute for dh to go to work, and two boys that eat more than the adults lol! After almost losing our new home and having the utilities shut off (dh is NOT the best at paying things on time), I really had to jump on the frugal train! It has been fun, and it has been depressing, it has been easy to make some chenges and almost impossible to make others. But I am willing to make the sacrifices to stay in my home!

We have one credit card to pay off, and we're going to start putting that money towards our mortgage. I do most of my cooking from scratch, including making baby food when ds was small( it really is very simple!). We keep the heat down and sweaters on, and I have a veggie garden in the summer. I hang most of our clothes to dry. The only thing I don't do anymore is use cloth diapers for ds2. We found a cheap brand that does the job and now I don't want to throw up during diaper changes lol.

Even though I do feel a bit deprived sometimes, I enjoy the simplicity of life that comes with being frugal. Now that I've had practice, I can whip up a full meal at home in less time than it takes to hit a fast food place. Since I've cut down on the amount of clothes I own/buy, I don't have piles of laundry staring at me. And who doesn't enjoy being out in the sunshine playing in the dirt in a garden? Even though I'm still learning, I am having a good time with this--it makes me feel good knowing my family is better off with less "stuff"!
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Old 02-22-2002, 10:17 AM
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blushing Frugal Beginnings

Wow, that was an inspirational reading!

I've always tended towards frugality, but didn't really press in until, in our misguided youth, dh and I got in over our head to the IRS with our small business. The business went under, we moved to another state, had four kids and needed to live on a modest income and pay back the IRS...plus interest and penalties.

It took a while to learn how to live on little, but it did become very rewarding. Early on I felt the Lord telling me that rather than going out and getting a job, I need to make every penny dh earned count.

Because we got into IRS debt so early in our marriage, we didn't qualify for consumer debt! What a blessing that we were forced to live without credit cards!!! Now I'm so used to it that it doesn't matter at all. We have a couple of cards, but keep them paid off monthly.

Right now I'm kind of transitioning. Two of the four kids are grown, the IRS is paid off, and dh is making a bit more than he used to (nothing lavish, but more than we are used to). I find myself not being quite as careful. I probably need to figure out what my new financial "identity" is and will be as we become empty nesters in a few years. I'm open for ideas!
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Old 02-22-2002, 03:56 PM
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Wow you ladies really inspire me to work harder at being frugal! Thank you for sharing your stories with us!
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Old 02-22-2002, 04:46 PM
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oatmeal baby food

I know this is kind of off subject, but just reading through about you guys making baby food - wanted to throw in my two cents worth.
My 18 month daughter loved oatmeal (the baby food boxed kind) but wouldn't eat it when I made it (Quaker style) I finally figured out why - TEXTURE so now I just throw some oats in a mini processer, whir for 30 seconds or so. it comes out in finer pieces. Put a couple tablespoons in a bowl, put in some water, microwave for a minute - she loves it.
It's also good with fruit and I use a little french vanilla creamer. Tastes just like Quaker fruit & cream instant stuff that's so expensive.
Hope you don't mind the little detour from frugal stuff
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Old 02-22-2002, 04:52 PM
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When my boys were little I used to make their baby food also and now my sister does it for her little boy. It saved allot of money and they loved it.
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Old 02-23-2002, 05:36 PM
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What Helped You Become Frugal?

Just had my first baby, and became a SAHM. My major baby money savers (ATTN: DAWN, LOL) are breastfeeding and cloth diapering. I intend to make her food myself when we reach that stage, but I will hold off on solids for as long as possible.
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Last edited by analisa_roche; 02-23-2002 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 02-23-2002, 09:03 PM
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Getting frugal

We got frugal from a change of income due to my husband's terminal illness! I quit work to stay home and care for him full time. We were determined to learn and we did. Even with two thin teen daughters that can eat anything and not get fat. Btw, teen girls probably 'do' eat as much as teen boys.
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Old 02-24-2002, 03:53 AM
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I wanted to save our family money since I wanted to keep my job as a SAHM. In my opinion, that is part of the job decribtion. I started checking out books from the library and reading articles on-line. That is when I realized that my mother had already taught me over half of the stuff. That was just a way of life for me. My husband and I live better than some of our two-income friends. They borrow money from us! We just don't understand how they can spend all that money.
I am trying to pass it on to my kids. My children(grades K and 1) Don't think twice about what they do. I hope to have the foundation set by example and lifestyle, so when peer pressure sets in big time, they and I are ready to deal with it. I think that it is working. My husband gets caught at work doing things to save money. The guys look at him like he's nuts then he realizes that he just does it without thinking and laughs at himself as to how much I have influenced his spending habits. Now he just lets them know that, how many men have a wife that puts him and his family first, over a career. Our marriage is built on this and without frugality it would not be possible.

When I learned that word, frugal, I was so happy because now I wasn't cheap.

I don't make money for my family, I save money for my family.

I value the time and effort that my husband puts towards his job so it would be disrespectful to waste the money that he earns.

Thank you for listening to my words. I totally believe this.
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Old 02-24-2002, 08:33 AM
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mominga...I think your attitude is admirable. What you are doing for your family is wonderful.
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