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Monday, September 1, 2014

A Year of Scrimping.

We started a new budget this week. Oh the new budget..sigh. We decided to take over half of both our incomes and put it towards building a house for ourselves to be DEBT-FREE. Talk about hard...
We plan on doing this for a year and hope we can stick with it.

Our inspiration to make this drastic sacrifice was a couple things.


  • We NEVER knew where all the money was going. We were spending like crazy.
  • We needed to get on a budget (thanks to Dave Ramsey) 
  • We want to live debt free and enjoy life, who doesn't! 
  • We want to have a debt free environment for our kids raising them to do the same, and not make the same mistakes we did.
  • I grew up in as a kid with my parents in debt. I would be in elementary school worrying about if my parents could pay the bills. I do not want that to be my life as an adult or for my kids. 
  • We do not want to be in debt! We have struggled enough in the past 10 months
  • We bought a house way out of what we could afford $1632 a month, a truck that was more then one of our weekly incomes $568, $4,000 in credit card debt, and very high utilities over $700 a month. We were up to our eye balls in debt.  Our income was pretty much the same as our outgo. It was a terrible time. We were blessed to get out. I can't tell you how lucky we were. 
  • I have SO MANY REASONS I could right pages! But you get the idea.


This is how we plan on being able to save so much.

  • Cut down on your cable bill.
    • See if your neighbors will split the Internet service with you. That's what we did. We pay a part of their bill and cut our expenses for it in half. 
  • Sell your pants off, not literally, have yard sales, take up crafting,  lemonade stand anyone, do whatever it takes. Do anything to help bring in some extra income to put towards savings. 
  • We are no longer eating out or spending any money for that matter. What ever was left over in our budget is for emergencies, doctor visits, vitamins, toiletries or anything we might want to treat ourselves to. But that envelope only has $118 in it for the MONTH = nothing!
  • ALWAYS use your envelopes and STICK TO THE BUDGET! (Thanks to Dave Ramsey for this amazing knowledge).
  • If you leave your envelope at home sorry, turn around you can't use the card its only for bills. Those are done. 
  • Write down all of your budgets for each envelope and keep track of what you spend for food, gas, and the extra money. Also keep an envelope for savings and track how much you have so far it helps remind you of the reason your doing this. 
  • One of the most important- Meal Planning
    • I started us on a meal plan. Everything is strategically plan out and not wasted. I know what we are having every night for dinner breakfast and lunches. This allows no waste or overbuying of food (which we do to often). I have only $100 a week to feed the two of us. I have an envelope for each week. That's all I can pay for the groceries with. I have no overage. I make sure to keep a running list of prices while in the store. 
      • Tips for saving on food especially organic
  • Cook from scratch it really makes a difference. 
  • Break your expenses down weekly it helps show what you have each week. Monthly is hard because you don't have that money at the beginning of each month. Plus you are more likely to spend more and not have any left over by the fourth or fifth week. 
  • Be conscious of how often you leave your home in your vehicle. Make sure to consider if ti's really necessary to leave you don't want to waste gas which equals wasted money.
  • Breath.. You will make it through its not for long :)
  • We have no current debt (we paid it all off) hooray! Now to save for the house.. eek!
    • But this doesn't make this challenge impossible just a little longer. No Biggy!
      • Please look into Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University!- Its the gateway to being DEBT FREE. He is great and very informative.
  • We moved in to a cheap apartment. Which = cheaper utilities. 
    • DON'T feel discouraged if you don't have the above already done, you CAN still do this and save money and become debt free. 

Things to do and ideas to make this hard time better. 



  • Make staying at home fun. Game nights, movie nights, do potluck party dinners with friends.
  • Want a date night but don't have the money? No worries! Swap babysitting with another family. You and the hubs can go on a nice homemade picnic or a walk down to the beach, or even a night at home without the kids for awhile.
  • Make time for the little things like cooking and have quality time it helps make things more fun with not that much money. 
  • Take walks, bike rides, and get playing outside. 
  • Look towards the future! One year or even a couple months is nothing to scarifies compared to many many years of debt.

    Here is our budget I made this one night at 1 am. 
    Here is before in the old house and now after.







    So what are you thoughts? Are you going to take the challenge.  What other ideas do you have that are frugal friendly? I would love to hear from you.

    XO Tori



      I am not affiliated with Dave Ramsey at all. I am just a major fan. He has changed my life and I can't help but try and spread the word to help others like he has helped me. 

      Eating on a Budget



      I started us on a meal plan. Everything is strategically plan out and not wasted. I know what we are having every night for dinner breakfast and lunches. This allows no waste or overbuying of food (which we do to much of). I have only $100 a week to feed the two of us. I have an envelope for each week. That's all I can pay for the groceries with. I have no overage. I make sure to keep a running list of prices while in the store. 
      I posted more about our budget here. 

      Ideas to save money.



      1. Farmers markets- they are cheap and so tasty and support the local economy 
      2. CSA-Community Supported Agriculture. Farm fresh food paid for in advanced and you receive a box for a family of four weekly. $300 for a six month supply =equals $50 a month =$12.50 a week. This is for a great amount of organic food.
      3. Cook for whats in season. Change up your recipes for whats cheap and growing in bulk
      4. Start a garden!
      5. Can, can, can. Buy things in bulk from your local farmer and then can it. Use it all year long.
      6. If you have anything leftover use them as next days lunch 
      7. Take the leftovers and freeze it for a later meals or easy days you don't feel like cooking. I try to make more then we need for a dinner for the leftovers or another meal
      8. Expand your diet
      9. Add in new foods and take out the processed its cheaper that way
      10. Make everything from scratch, its fun, cheaper, and you know what your feeding your family.
      11. Eat VENISON. I know I know. But this is the healthiest option possible. Way better then a cow standing knee deep in poop. At least the deer are healthy and wild. It equals about $1 a pound (organic is usually 9.99 a pound). Its wild game thats what we should be eating 
      12. Get chickens if you can this one is a long shot but hey I thought it was worth putting in. 
      13. Have a good outlook on this new adventure. Think of it as fun.
      14. Play on pinterest and get ideas. It gives you a great excuse. 
      15. Plan meals with like foods so you can buy in bulk and use for multiple dishes. Like rice make one big batch and it saves you for having to make it the rest of the week. 
      16. Meat is expensive try to go light on it or go meatless a couple nights. Make veggies the main star of your meal.
      Here is our weekly food plan and my grocery list.




      What ideas do you have for meal planning? Do you have any other ideas on how to save on a budget?