“I Can’t Save Enough Money”

Lately I’ve kind of been a Debbie Downer when it comes to money. I feel like we aren’t saving enough and we have all these things that we should be saving for.  Almost two years ago I quit my job to become a stay at home mom.  I don’t regret that decision one bit and I’ve enjoyed my new job of being a wife and mom tremendously.  I love my husband and daughter more that I ever thought possible.  That doesn’t mean that things are always perfect though, and I struggle with the lack of a second income (especially now that Mr. Money had a pay cut) as well as having to be on a strict budget.  Truth be told, I don’t like living on a budget; I like to go out to eat when I want and make trips to Target to bask in the fabulousness that is Target and not worry.  However, if choosing not to do those things and being aware of where our money goes is what I have to do right now, then I will.  Things could always be much worse.

I have been really overwhelmed with feeling like we’re not saving money lately.  There are many things we need to have money for: a new roof, windows, Penny’s education, our retirement, and paying down our mortgage faster than on schedule.  I need to come up with a plan so that I can set it and forget it.

I think one of my big problems is I read about these people that are completely debt free (some including their mortgage!) and I feel like we should be doing better.  I hear about people that are my age and have over $100,000 in their retirement/investment portfolios. I feel like we’re behind in so many ways and that we’ll never be able to catch up.  Sometimes I think social media and the internet are both a blessing and a curse.

I guess I do need to give us some credit: we have made it two years with me being a stay at home mom and we haven’t depleted our savings account 😉  That is a good thing!  I need to relax about money and enjoy the time that I spend with my family.  I am grateful for everything we have and I am very glad that I did spend many years working and saving money to be able to do this.

What do you do to not worry about money? 

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Things You Hate to do to Save Money

We’ve really been conscious as to where our money’s been going lately, and I’ve been taking many steps to ensure that there is little to no unnecessary spending. There are so many tips and tricks to save money, some of them easier than others; some are downright a pain-in-the-butt. Lots of things I don’t like doing just because they aggravate me or are more work but when you want to conserve as much money as possible, you do them. Here are some of the things I don’t like to do to save money.

-Wash and reuse plastic freezer bags. I feel like it is hard to get these clean, but really it’s not as bad as I make it to be. They drying is the longest part- often when the outside dries I flip them inside out to get the inside to dry. One really good thing about reusing the plastic sandwich bags is that we’re keeping them out of the landfill. We do use glass reusable storage containers, but for some things, plastic freezer bags are the way to go.

-Hang dry laundry. What bugs me about hang drying laundry is that it takes a lot longer than throwing your clothes into the dryer. Also, the clothes come out stiffer than if they were dried in the dryer with wool dryer balls. If it helps save money on the electric bill then it’s worth it. Also, the clothes will hopefully last longer and unnoticed stains are much easier to get out than if the clothes have been dried in the dryer.

-Minimize/consolidate trips. Before, I was taking a trip to Target at least once a week. Now I’m trying to stay home as much as possible to reduce the amount of gas we use and minimize our unnecessary spending. I try to hit up as many stores as possible when I’m out so that my time isn’t wasted and I don’t have to go back out again. I miss (at least) window shopping for fun. It’s also a pain to have to take the baby in and out of the car a bunch of times when I go to many stores.

No poo. Sometimes I get tired of having to mix the baking soda and water, then apply the apple cider vinegar rinse, etc.  I would also love to just wash with a good smelling shampoo and have the scent last.  The nice thing is, with no poo I’m not exposing myself to a bunch of chemicals and I’m also saving a ton over buying all natural shampoo.

-Going without cable.  *Sigh* I love having cable, just because I know mindless tv is right there at my fingertips, but is it really good for us?  No.  Going with Netflix is a much better option to help save money.

First world problems, right?! Overall, these aren’t horrible, they’re just not what I’m used to.  I am hoping that with time they’ll just become second nature and I’ll be used to it!

What things do you do to save money that you don’t like?

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Calculating my Net Worth

money-print-c10055084.jpegI decided today that I was going to calculate my net worth because I had never done so. I was surprisingly astonished when I received a net worth of $37,337! This took into consideration myself and my husband’s information, but I was really expecting to be in the red!

To explain our financial situation a little deeper, I am still in my early 20s and my husband is in his early 30s. We both make a decent income for the area of the country we live in. In fact, we earn almost twice more than the median average household income for our state. We own our own house, have a first and second mortgage, both have Roth IRAs, I have a 401K, and we’ve got a nice chunk of savings kept in a high yield savings account at ING. We both work full time as managers in our respective fields, I work in finance, and he works in the food industry.

I was pretty shocked to see the number come up that was displayed. We’ve had a little bit of a financial crisis lately, with a tree falling on our house, tearing a hole in our roof, and totaling one of our vehicles. We’re going to have that extra expense of the deductible on our home owner’s insurance and we’re going to have to buy a new vehicle in a year or so. Luckily a family member sold us her car for something we could afford so we don’t have a car payment right now.

Throughout my life I have lived frugally. It all stemmed from the lessons my mother has taught me. I remember working my first job training horses, where my Grandpa would give me $50 or so when he sold the horse because I helped out. I always saved that money, and was glad I did. We don’t buy fancy cars or spend money on expensive clothes or electronics. We live well below our means, and to tell you the truth, I love it. I love being as close to debt free as I can. Hopefully in 10 years or so we will be completely debt free. I think one of the keys to long term wealth is not generating more debt than you can handle. For instance, don’t go out and buy a new plasma TV if yours works fine. You don’t have to have the nicest things to “keep up with the Joneses”.

I am going to try to “bank on myself”, where next time I need a loan, say for a car, I’ve got that money saved up so I don’t have to get a loan. I’m going to set up a pre authorized transfer of at least $350 a month (same as a car payment) so that I can pay cash for the vehicle of my choice when the time comes, or at least have a good amount to put down on a vehicle so my loan amount isn’t outrageous.

This was a really interesting exercise and I strongly encourage you to do it as well. You may be as surprised as me to find out your real net worth!

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