May 29, 2010

Lessons in Garage Sale Shopping

Posted in Frugality tagged , , at 4:06 pm by Jennifer

I have heard that in order to get a good deal on baby clothing, that it is good to get them at garage sales.  So, garage sale shopping I did!  I really don’t want to pay full price for any of Lily’s clothes.  So, if I can get a good deal, I’m gonna try!

So, for $5.5o, I got 10 outfits:

Snazzy, I know!  I just drove around, looking for garage sales.  If they had anything as I drove by, I stopped, took Lily out, and looked through their pile of clothes.  I did more driving than looking, but for two hours worth of shopping, I can’t say that I fared badly at all!

Unfortunately, though, I drove around the part of town that didn’t have a whole lot of garage sales.  Next time, I need to find areas that have a greater garage sale to population density..

May 25, 2010

How We are Saving for a House on One Income

Posted in Frugality tagged , at 2:00 pm by Jennifer

First, I must say, Mike and I are huge Dave Ramsey fans!  We took Financial Peace University three years ago, and it changed our lives.  We drank the kool-aid and now, we are completely debt free!  We officially became debt free in February of 2009, when we paid the second mortgage off on our house in Arkansas.  We already had the emergency savings, so we were good!  We saved up for a car and bought my dad’s orange Cobalt.  Then, we decided to move to OKC and had to sell our house – to a $20K loss!

So, here we are, on one income, saving all over again for another house.  Here are some tips to things that we are doing or are trying to do:

1. We have a budget.  We’re not perfect at it, but it helps keeps us in line on our spending.

2. We use cash envelopes.  This is so important!

3. There has to be a lot of, “Do I really need that?”  “I can’t get a haircut right now because we don’t have the money until next week.” “We can’t go out to eat because we spent too much on groceries this week.” “No vacation this year because I really want a house.” “We should start eye therapy after we buy a house.”  These are actual comments that we have come from our mouths in the last few months.  I’m laughing just thinking about them.

4. We are saving slowly.  On one income, it takes time to build up savings.  But little by little, our cash pile is starting to build up.  One of these days, we will be able to buy a house.  We just have to wait patiently for that time.

5. I don’t often pay full price for clothing or baby stuff.  In fact, I am trying to hit up garage sales, but that is kind of hard with a little one.  Lily doesn’t have the fanciest nursery, but it is still very cute!

6. We have used stuff.  Our couch sags a little where I nurse Lily, and it has a few holes in it.  If we want a new one, we will get it from Craigslist.  Our cars are older, but they run really well!

7.  Contentment goes a long way.  I have to pray sometimes to just be content in a rental house and to cool down when I really start to get the “I want a house” fever.  Its hard, but I know from our experience in Arkansas that it is just a house!  Not worth whining about.