When it came to our budget, there were things my husband and I had to be willing to live without. We were fine with a small apartment, no cable, and no personal internet (until his new job started paying for it). We were fine with cooking instead of eating out or ordering in and only going out for ice cream occasionally, but then we discussed coffee. I am not one to go out for coffee daily, but coffee dates with friends were really important to me. I had to find some way to pay for them outside of our monthly income. After much searching and experimentation, I am pleased to share with you how I get a free Starbucks drink at least once a month. [Read more…]
Do you ever walk through the grocery store or look at an ad, see something on sale, and have a moment of inspiration? That happened to me last week when I was combing the Bi-Lo add for sale items, I saw that eggplant was on sale for $1.00 each. Most people might not glance twice, but my brain thought, “eggplant parmesan.” I combed Pinterest for a good recipe (which included ingredients that I had on hand). This recipe is from Becky at thetwobiteclub.com, and it’s called “Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan.” [Read more…]
Ryan, my husband, enjoys his routine. He wakes up in the morning and completes all preparations for the day in the exact same order. I’ll spare you all of the lovely details. However, I will tell you that he always sits down to breakfast to enjoy oatmeal with peanut butter in it. He may occasionally have yogurt or cereal, but oatmeal is his “norm.” He likes it that way. [Read more…]
You spent some time with a friend. Perhaps it was a brief coffee date or just a quick chat when you bumped into each other at the grocery store. You remark about their current life events, ask a few questions about work and relationships to quickly catch up on their current “facts.” You laugh about something funny that happened back in the day. As you part ways, you offer the standard “let’s keep in touch!” After you leave, you think about the good old days when you spend time with that friend and made memories. You wish things could still be that way…wish you didn’t feel so disconnected…
Does this situation sound familiar? Do you find yourself saying things like, “Let’s get together more!” But, it never happens? [Read more…]
Along our journey to financial freedom, Ryan and I have made sacrifices by living in a small apartment and budgeting very carefully. One thing we aren’t willing to sacrifice is hosting dinner guests. The idea of saving money by not building relationships and blessing others by having them over for dinner seems selfish. If you’re in the same boat, I’d like to share a few ways to help you host dinner guests breaking the bank. [Read more…]
Today, I’m just going to share a little insight into how I really shop and how I end up spending about $210 a month on groceries. I’ll call this “A Day in the Life of My Grocery Budget.”
Big Announcement: We’re debt free!!!!! After 14 months of marriage and making payments for 8 of those months, we are officially debt free. That means we were able to pay off $23,500 in 8 months. Praise the Lord! Happy Dance!
Although we are so excited to be debt free, the idea that we are no longer united against our loans is almost kind of sad. We are deciding now to continue to stay united and focused on meeting financial goals to prepare us for our future. While many of you may be in the battle against debt still, a lot of you may be debt free already. You might be asking, “I’m debt free, now what?” What are the best steps to take after getting out of debt. Let me tell you what NOT to do. Do not decide that now you can immediately buy a car, a house, a pool, or any other large purchase you have been telling yourself you cannot make. Little steps, my friend. You’ve probably sacrificed a lot to get to this huge moment where you’re finally paying that last payment. Woohoo! [Read more…]
This post, and probably many after it, will respond to a question post on the ThriftyMrsB Facebook page from one of my friends, Angela. Her question: “Girl, I’d like to know how in the world you managed a $200/month grocery bill…” Angela is a newlywed going through the same struggle most of us do when we first get married or move out of our parents’ house. How do I grocery shop and not spend a TON of money? Let’s talk about saving money on groceries. [Read more…]
“Budgeting.” Just the word stresses some people out. We hear about budgeting and think that it means frustration, anxiety, micro-managing, and saying goodbye to our Starbucks grande caramel frappuccinos. Budgeting doesn’t have to be this way. If you haven’t read my Perspective & Budgeting post, please do. Once I had a budget, I felt more free to spend money on shopping, eating out, or entertainment because money was specifically set aside for that. It took away stress and replaced it with some guilt-free spending to keep up my motivation for saving and paying off debt.
What people don’t seem to understand is that there are so many budgeting systems out there to fit different preferences and personality types. I’m going to share five budgeting systems with you and you can decide for yourself what works for you. Although every system has it’s pros and cons, I’ll share what my husband and I use to make our budget easy to operate. [Read more…]