Becoming Debt Free in 2009

March 3, 2009

Tightwad Gazette Fans

Filed under: Frugal — ambercouric @ 9:34 pm
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Here is a new interview with Amy Dacyczyn author of The Tightwad Gazette series.

Although, I don’t follow a lot of her tips she did inspire me to think about how I spend money.

Also, thanks to Meredith at Like Merchant Ships for sharing the link.

March 2, 2009

I can’t afford to

Filed under: Frugal,Kids — ambercouric @ 11:57 am
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Over the weekend Kennedy and his friends were making plans for a group assignment.  The assignment required that the students “observe” a group of people and do a written report on the interaction of the people being observed. 

It is important to remember that several of Kennedy’s friends have parents who have lost their jobs or have been given a layoff date.  While trying to decide the “location”  a couple of kids decided on a pricey restaurant.  I will say that Kennedy is ultra sensitive to people having financial problems and this maybe due to the fact that we volunteer at the food kitchen so often.  Anyway, Kennedy quickly said “I can’t afford to” go to the restaurant.  The kids all decided to go to the library and then Barnes & Nobles to observe people getting books.

I was a little concerned that he would think that he couldn’t afford to go out and eat so I began to ask questions.  He said that he didn’t want the friends who really couldn’t afford to go to feel bad so he just said it  for them.  Secondly, he said he really couldn’t afford to because he wants a new computer and you have to give up somethings to get something you want.

I wish I had been so smart when I was 14.

February 11, 2009

Big Announcement!!!

Filed under: Budget,Food,Frugal,Shopping — ambercouric @ 10:17 am
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I can’t really make the announcement until tomorrow but I just wanted everyone to get prepared for it.

Now a question for all of you.  How do you balance saving money (shopping at the cheapest places) vs supporting your community (shopping at locally owned usually more expensive places)?

I try to shop locally.  But lately I have considered doing mail order for prescriptions and contacts.  I could shop at a chain pet store and a cheaper grocery store and the list goes on.   So how do you balance the whole shop locally thing?  In all, I’m talking about saving $150 – $200 a month without shopping Wal-Mart.  If I shopped Wal-Mart that number would increase another couple hundred dollars.  I will say I’m not willing to shop at Wal-Mart.  In this economy a couple hundred dollars is a lot of money and I would like to find a balance.

Do you shop the cheapest stores?  Shop mostly local? Or a combination of the two?

February 10, 2009

I’m becoming frugal

Filed under: Budget,Frugal,Journey to Debt Freedom,Shopping — ambercouric @ 9:58 am

I’m one of those people that when I need / want something I usually go get it.  One blessing for us is that I don’t like to shop.  Also, I am not one of the people who needs to keep up with the Joneses.  I made a decision yesterday that looking back on it – I’m quite surprised and excited by it.

So what did I do that was so special?  I sewed a big hole in my son’s comforter.  The stitching had come loose and I went and bought a spool of thread (no, I didn’t have one – I’ve never sewed anything) and hand sewed the entire side.  I must say that Kennedy was impressed with my sewing.  I took home economics in 7th grade and that was the only time I have ever had a needle and thread in my hand.

For me the major shift here was in my thinking.  Six months ago I would have gone out and purchased a new comforter even though I would have used cash I would have been spending money.  This is one of the first times  I can really say that my actions are becoming in line with my goals as far as money goes.

Oh yeah, I saved at least $100.

December 8, 2008

Leftovers, Rainchecks, CVS

Filed under: Food,Frugal,Shopping — ambercouric @ 9:34 am
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Leftovers

As  I have said before, I’m not much of a leftover eater.  Neither are my boys.  My husband doesn’t  mind leftovers so what he doesn’t eat usually gets trashed.  Well, after looking in the fridge Friday, I decided I wasn’t going to cook until the leftovers were all gone.  So I have had a cook free weekend.  And after tonight there will be no more leftovers in the fridge.

Rainchecks

I am probably the only person who had never asked for a raincheck at the grocery store.  If they are out of something I want then I just think I’ll get back in before the sale is over.  Usually I don’t remember when I’m back in the store.  Saturday, I asked for a raincheck for Birdseye Viola Pasta.  They were buy one get one free and these are easy to make when it is just the boys.  When the cashier asked how many I wanted I said 10.  I think it shocked her but I thought why not get extra.  This raincheck will save me $25 when they have it in stock.  I think I am going to try to take advantage of rainchecks more often.

CVS

At the beginning of this year I did the CVS Extra Care thing.  I was able to get a lot of stuff for free or nearly free.  I stopped in the summer because I had enough stuff.  When I was buying, I tried to stock up for a year.  I realized over the weekend a couple of the items that I stocked up on are running out.  So I will starting up with CVS again.  One thing I will not do this time is buy tons of candy even if it is free or nearly free.  The boys only need so many bags of M&M’s.  I’ll limit the toothpaste – I still have a ton left and have donated several bags.  So I am going to start shopping CVS again but will limit to what is needed.  Once I reach my year stockpile – I’ll probably stop again for several months.

November 16, 2008

Cheap, Frugal, What?

Filed under: Debt,Frugal,Random — ambercouric @ 10:32 am
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First let me start by saying beginning this blog a month ago was one of the best things I’ve done in a long time.  I am learning so much from reading all the other blogs, all of the comments on this blog, and just doing general research.

Last night while I was talking to my son about money he asked, “What are you cheap, frugal, what?”  I laughed and then I couldn’t really answer him.  So I thought about it as I was going to be and as I got up this morning. 

Cheap – I don’t think I fit this.  I associate cheap with stingy (please tell me if I’m wrong).  I like to give both time and money.  I would much rather do for others than to do for myself.  I don’t break rules to save a dollar.  I don’t “poor mouth” all the time.  I’m not poor and I don’t pretend to be – I’m not rich and I don’t pretend to be. 

Frugal – Frugal to me is someone who is willing to work hard to do the little things that add up.  I consider Amy D. of Tightwad Gazette very frugal.  I won’t buy generic bread and tell my children they have to eat it.  They don’t like it so I spend $2.00 a loaf on bread. THIS IS WHY I CAN’T GET MY GROCERY BUDGET DOWN.  There are things that I’m not willing to give up for a few dollars.  Now, if I couldn’t pay my bills then I would be willing to give up things like Sara Lee bread.  So, I can’t call myself frugal.  I would like to be more frugal with a few things but I don’t know that I would ever be Tightwad Gazette frugal. 

So What?  Is there a name for me?  I don’t like to shop.  I can tell you every single item that I charged on my credit card all were major purchases that happened within a couple of months.  I have one child who refuses to wear name brand clothes and another who likes a certain brand that I buy but only when it is on sale.  I have enough money to cover my bills, have a saving, a retirement fund, have paid off 50% of my house.  I don’t need a lot to of anything.  No designer purses for me.  I prefer to get something on sale rather than pay full price.  I can’t stand the thought of having bills especially a car payment which to me is the worst.  Credit cards come in a close second. 

I think I go on the  philosophy of Your Money or Your Life.  I often look at what something would cost me in terms of work hours.  Or how long my husband would have to work to have enough to pay for certain things.  I don’t mind paying for experiences like trips to Washington to be at the Inauguration.  I do mind spending $50 to go to the local fair and ride rides.  Thank goodness my kids are past that point.  I don’t want a lot of things.  Right now on my want list is new smoke alarms, new dog bed, and new pillows.  When I see what I want on sale then I’ll buy them. 

Maybe, I’m just a simple frugal wannabe who desperately wants to be debt free without giving up the indulgences (cable, thearte, small trips, pizza night) to get there.  Do you have a better name?  Reading that last sentence I would say SPOILED.

I just thought of something, 2009 should be a fun year trying to turn my spoiled self into frugal self.  Oh imagine the internal battles I’m gonna have.  Anyone what to place a bet now?

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