Thursday, October 23, 2008

Changing Times

So, in the midst of all this talk about the economy and how much it stinks, what have you done in your family to save money?

If you watch Oprah, then you know that it really should be called The Oprah and Suze Orman show this season because Suze has been on about every.other.day.

The thing is we've all had it so good for so long, we've forgotten how things used to be. Oh, I sound old now, don't I?

My kids have waaaay more than I had as a child. Part of this is because my mom was a stay at home mom and I work, but part is because society is so different now than it used to be. People were more content, I think.

Lance and I found ourselves on the cutting-edge on the economic downturn earlier this year as my employer stopped paying for my health-care coverage and Lance took a pay cut. Between these two things, our monthly income was cut by about $500. For us, we're still able to afford the things our family needs and many of our wants, but still $500 is alot especially when you then add in the cost increases in gas, food, and everything else. I honestly don't know how those who are paid minimum wage make it.

So, all that to say, Lance and I have never been crazy spenders on anything, but...we are cutting back where we can.

Some things we've given up or changed:

1)No more solar nails (this actually went away when we adopted L)
2)Different hairstylist - about 1/3 less
3) Store brands. I used to be a name brand snob at the grocery store, but really, truly, on most things you can't tell the difference. On the few things that do make a difference, I will buy name brand, but only when it's on sale.
4) Clearance and sale shopping only. I've always been a bargain hunter, but now I absolutely refuse to pay full price for anything!
5) Eat out much less
6) Try to buy only necessities
7) Use coupons

We have scaled back our Christmas the last few years and we will cut back a little more this year along with birthdays.

Suze Orman actually had a great thought on her show the other day...Money is not what really matters, people are and instead of telling your kids they can't have things they used to, why not introduce them to the great things your family can do together and start new traditions? Camp in the backyard, go to the thrift store together, play games as a family. Some of the best memories are of the simple things and they are the least stressful as well.

Have you made changes in your home this year? If so, what have you done to cut back?

Any great ideas for easy ways to save money?

4 comments:

Jenn Greeley said...

I have always been a store brand shopper...of course unless the store doesn't make something that you can only get in name brand. Your right you can hardly tell a difference. I've tried coupons, but I won't buy something unless its something I actually use regularly.

Bri said...

Coupons are great, shopping the ads are great, and shopping at the stores that price match!

We made friends with our neighbors so we don't go anywhere anymore- we just hang out at each others' houses.

Its the simple things.

Emily said...

I totally agree on the "people first, then money" agenda, and I think we've discussed that before. As far as Christmas goes, it's the GIVING that is important. I'm always thankful for the items that I receive, but it wouldn't be the same if we didn't give and give from our hearts, not give within some established rate so that we all end up getting atleast what we spend. I have a real problem with that line of thinking.

As far as saving money, we're are doing much better at not eating out as much...it's hard, but I honestly don't enjoy eating out much anymore because we did it too much! I'd much rather have something homemade to eat...especially for lunch.

Becky said...

We are on a strict, written, follow it budget! We use the cash system that Dave Ramsey advocates. X amount of dollars go into these envelopes each month: Entertainment/Eating Out; Kid's Allowanes; Rx/Medications; Groceries; our spending money.
When those envelopes are empty, we are done for that month until next pay day!
This has done wonders! Makes me work harder on the grocery budget, meal planning, sale shopping and matching coupons. We don't eat out or carry out(our downfall before!) like we used to. B/c we only have X amount for that a month, we choose carefully when we eat out, where we go, date night, etc.
Speaking of date nights, we swap with friends for childcare!
I have a huge stockpile of things that I have built up. And, you'd be surprised by all the name brand things I have b/c of sales and coupons. I always bought store brands thinking they were cheaper and have found that not always to be true!
I couldn't say the last time I've bought: soap, bodywash, shampoos/conditioners, laundry deter., dish soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, paper towels, deodorent, make-up, flushable wipes, any cleaning products!! And, I won't for some time still!! That has saved us tons!

Praise God the gas prices have been falling! for now!!
I rarely have to gas up my new car and that has saved us tons too!
And, Lord bless grandparents who buy clothes and shoes! My mom loves to!!
Well, that's my journal blog entry on your blog for today!! :o) I should have just been a guest poster!! :o)