Living with less…

Over the last 5 months, I have learned to live on a very limited budget. My child support has been cut in half, due to the fact that my oldest child is…well old.

I never really thought about how much money I wasted on stuff I didn’t really need.

Or how much food I bought. In the last few months I have been aware of throwing WAY too much food away. Adjusting to cooking for two instead of three has been a challenge to me. I always cook way too much, and both Colton and I aren’t good with most leftovers, so it was just getting wasted.

I think I have that under control now.

When I go shopping, I will think about whether or not I really need it, or just want it. I realize now, that I bought ALOT of stuff out of want, not need. Not having extra money, I have really found myself starting to eat better, and be less compulsive when I shop.

Now I am not talking shoe or clothes shopping here, I can’t even remember the last time I did that. I am talking everyday stuff. Food, toiletries…stuff like that.

Thank god I don’t have a shopping for me problem, I would be in deep deep trouble. It has been a long time since I have been this tight for cash. I make it work, but I am juggling and rearranging my life to just squeak by. It’s do-able. I know this. People do it every day.

I don’t have credit cards that I abuse. I have one that I use if I need it, but it is not in my purse, so I am not tempted. If I don’t have the cash, I don’t buy it. That is the way it is for us right now. I am ok with that. Like I said at the beginning, I am amazed how much money I wasted on stuff that really wasn’t necessary. Think about it the next time you shop…it will surprise you.

I recycle better, I use things until they are totally gone, without wasting. I am finally cleaning out the 16 different kinds of shampoo and conditioner I have under the bathroom counter, and using up the 15 different kinds of lotion I have. Ok…and the 50 colors of nail polish I have, but that took me years to accumulate, really it did. The reality is that it isn’t gonna fit in the Motorhome when I finally sell this house, so I better use it up :)

Last week I bought groceries twice…I spent about $60 all together, I used to go shopping nearly every day after work, easily spending at least $40 every time. That adds up.

Issues?? Me?? No....

I am changing how we eat. We don’t eat meat every single night. I am changing our diets for the better. Or trying to. I am glad my garden is starting to grow, I love eating what I grow, veggies are so good right out of the garden. I am baking more and being way more creative in what I do in the kitchen.

Of course Colton complains there is nothing to eat. Only because there is no junk, and nothing that is instant gratification…too bad. Think about what you eat. Make something instead of just eating premade food. He has to get used to that, he doesn’t have much choice :)

So I have decided I am happy with less being more. I look forward to the day when I don’t have to pinch pennies like I am right now, but I am ok with living without spending and teaching my kids, that even when times are tough you can make it work.

Life has it’s ups and downs…and one thing is for sure, it never stays the same. You make due with what you are given. There is always a way to get by, even if it is not what you are used to.

I never stop learning, about life and myself. Things that I never even thought about a lot of days, I think about now.

I am grateful for the skill to make my life work, for the challenge of making ends meet, even when I think they are not going to.

For the lessons that come with the changes life brings. I am up for it. I know I can do it.

How do you save money in your everyday life? What could you change?

Here’s to all of us hard working girls, that always seem to pull off the impossible…

yay us!!

Have a great day all xoxo

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25 thoughts on “Living with less…

  1. Don’t I understand where you are coming from! All the expenses we have incurred this last 12 months, most of which we NEVER anticipated, has sunk a HUGE hole in our financial stability. Thankfully, it is almost over. Just the airfares and one more courier to find the money for, and the final lawyers bill.

    Penny pinching is never pleasant, but we do find a way to cope.

  2. Nail polishes and Lip sticks are fun. I would buy up everything too, except I don’t wear them all that frequently. My lipsticks are old, and the nail polishes are- and I just go get my toes done. I hate polish on my finger nails as that instantly peels off and looks nasty.

    I just don’t shop EVER. So, it’s really dangerous for me when i do go, because then I need everything! Oh yea, we need that and that, oh since I’m here…let’s just get that. I’ve actually saved money over the years of not being a regular girl who shops. So, my husband can’t really complain. However, now that I’m not working and no more EDD checks coming in…I’m in for even more of a tighter budget. Really? I’m already doing nothing. Can we just start reducing our utility bills and say, sorry…that’s it. So, there is no room for any girly stuff, besides where am I going to wear it to? We never go on dates and if we do, I forget that I own makeup. :)

    Sandi
    http://www.ahhsome.wordpress.com
    Lake Forest, California USA

    • No wonder we get along :) we are totally alike!!! I hate using nail polish on my fingers too, only ever do my toes. If I didn’t have bills, I could buy more girly stuff…we should do THAT sounds fun to me :)

  3. I found myself in a similar situation recently. I had to cut down a lot. But the benefit of it is that my children appreciate more what we have now. When we had everything they took it for granted.
    P.s. your collection of nail varnish is impressive! Many nail salons could be ashamed! :)

  4. Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. I just a minor child support increase, but it does not good because he never pays. I’m recently divorced and self employed so I had to move back home with my son. I’ve been trying to find another job to compensate so I can get back out on my own again, but with the job market so slim and not having worked for anyone else for 7 years, it’s tough. My dad volunteers at the food bank though so he brings home some of the extras that didn’t go for that particular day. He was also laid off pre-retirement age and opted for volunteering since he couldn’t find a job. Good luck to you!

  5. Hi RNP,
    We made a life changing decision to retire early on fresh air. I recycle and save everything. I even bought some curtains for 2euros in a charity shop and made new cushion covers for some outdoor loungers. Saved myself 60euros!
    However, I am bored of being broke especially now we have a grandchild and another on the way in Sept. We need money to travel to see them…and travel is expensive. It also hit home when the French grandparents, both of whom are still working, were buying expesnive gifts. We can’t compete, not that we want to but it still hurts. Beware, money does not buy happiness but it does buy peace of mind and security.
    PiP

  6. I did what you do around a year ago and living on less is a more rewarding life. Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Love this post. My hubby is in school so I support us both and really stretch our buck. I pack my lunch and bast every day and make dinner at least six days a week. It makes going out to eat special! Keep it up!

  8. We are having a tight month due to the ex wife…and so I’ve had to tighten our belts..but you know what? I have found the EXACT same thing YOU have found out..I bought WAY too much..stuff I did NOT need…including groceries! Seriously..I went through my freezer and found I had enough meat to have a meat dish every night for three weeks (not including days I’d have leftovers like when I cooked that big ass ham!)….seriously I have issues! So yes..I too have cut WAY back..and it has been a GREAT lesson. We will make it this month with a TINY bit to spare…and then we are ok again..but why should I go ahead and spend the money just because???? I agree with you! I am going to take our ‘extra’ and pay down debt. We want to be out of debt (other than our mortgage) within two years…and we can do it..talk about freedom!!! Then we can use our money to do more for the world around us…I’d rather do for the world than buy more crap we don’t need!
    Awesome post my friend!!! We all need to stop and take a look at how we spend our money…whether we have a little or a lot!

  9. I’m with you on this. I think back to when I was working, making $7.50 an hour plus tips, raising kids with no child support, and always had enough. How the hell did I do it? I never lacked for smokes, gas in my car, or groceries. The house was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We didn’t do without little luxuries like cable or a phone. I could afford for all of us to get out and enjoy a social life, albeit not extravagant. I admit, I didn’t have a car payment, but I still had bills. How did I do it? Hell, my husband makes three times that much easily, and he struggles. Think perhaps it’s just that he SUCKS THE BIG ONE when it comes to managing money? Yeah, that’s what I think too. Good for you that you’re taking care of yourself! Now if I could just get my head out of my ass….

  10. A great post, evenly for retirees who don’t have a lot of disposable income like me. The cooking gets me, It’s almost impossible to cook for one person. Have you tried it? Don’t. It’s not doable. I have decided to be more frugal with my money and what I buy. It’s the only way.

  11. WOW that is a lot of nail polish.
    I also fall into that trap os impulse buying. I have learned from a friend that making a menu that will cover the days until the next pay day works. After the menu is made then you list things you do not have and you only buy those items on your list.
    This has helped me a lot to keep from buying things I really do not need.
    I love the idea about the garden, fresh veggies will save a lot of money AND are a lot better than anything found in the store.
    Best of luck to you with cutting back. Something I consider a constant work in progress for me. :)

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