When Frugality Becomes Necessity

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When Mr. Money lost his job last year, we went into survival mode.  Obviously, finances were incredibly tight as we figured out what our income was going to be and how we were going to work things out.  Mr. Money has been studying software development for over a year now, and actually was accepted to a coding boot camp last year.  He attended his first session in January and graduated from the Front End Web Development program at the end March. He’s now studying the C#/.net framework and is attending classes to further his knowledge on the subject and hopefully help him get a job in the near future.  I’m hoping by the end of the year/beginning of next year he will have a junior software developer job.

While Mr. Money is working on this new career advancement, I’ve been in frugal mama mode with our budget. We’ve been bare bones for awhile (basically since he lost his job last summer), but thankfully since we’ve always lived pretty minimally/frugally, this is not a shock to our lifestyle.  We have stopped contributing to retirement and college for the meantime, and I’m confident that once he secures a new job we will be able to resume contributions.  Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to help save us as much money as possible.

Stay Home

We have been spending a lot of time at home. When we don’t go out, we don’t spend money because we don’t have to pay for gas to get places, and we also  aren’t tempted to spend money at stores  or places on things that we don’t need.  Staying home provides gratitude and contentment for what we have. Once really fun thing we’ve been doing is hosting many play dates with friends!  I love inviting my friends over and spending time with them in our backyard.  We’ve made it into a kids’ oasis!  We also do have friends that live  about a quarter of a mile away and we’ve spent many days over at their houses too!

Meal Plan

A meal plan helps us tremendously because not only do we have a game plan for what’s for dinner, but we also know what groceries we need to buy when we go to the store.  I generally meal plan around what’s in our freezer, fridge, and pantry.  I stock up on meats and things when they are on sale, and Costco has amazing prices on their organic frozen vegetables! I like frozen vegetables because then I don’t have to worry about them going bad, plus their nutrient content is usually excellent.

Cook at Home

Cooking at home goes hand in hand with meal planning.  When we go out to eat, it costs us a minimum of $25 for a casual restaurant.  We don’t visit sit down restaurants generally because it’s harder with kids, and it costs more when you have to leave a 20% tip.  Eating at home is so much cheaper!

Frugal Activities

We don’t just stay at home and never have fun.  We partake in so many frugal activities with our family and friends. We often have potlucks with our friends where we all contribute a portion of the meal- one person does meat, the other a vegetable, and the other a side or dessert.  It works out well because then one family isn’t responsible for the whole meal.  We also attend church every Sunday (it’s only 5 minutes away and we love the fellowship!) and we go for walks around our neighborhood.  Many days we will pack a lunch and have a picnic at our local park. We’ve been taking trips to our libraries- one is really close to our house and one is about a fifteen minute drive but is a lot larger and has more activities.  The summer reading program will be starting soon, and Penny is really looking forward to that!

Side Hustles

Thankfully I have been bringing in income for years through my various side hustles.  I’m thankful that I started my blog when I did, and that it does provide income that is so needed for our family.  I also try to pet sit and baby sit whenever someone asks me to.  I prefer pet sitting as it’s much less stress, but Penny really enjoys when I baby sit and I don’t ever turn those jobs down either!

I’m so thankful that we have lived frugally/minimally for years so it’s not like this is a shock.  I am looking forward to the day where things aren’t so tight and we are able to go on vacation.  Every day I am thankful for what we do have and the blessings that continue to come our way!

Is frugality a necessity for you? Are you working on paying down debt, or saving money?

 

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5 thoughts on “When Frugality Becomes Necessity

  1. Steveark says:

    I’m sort of surprised that in a period of full employment with jobs begging everywhere that he would choose a lengthy time to upgrade skills instead of getting a job. Or that you would not go into a full-time job while he skills up? I guess I’m missing the strategic plan? I’m not judging, I never faced a job loss so I’m not sure how I’d react. I just felt I couldn’t see the full plan?

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    He is in a full time job; it just doesn’t pay as well as what we are used to. If I was to return to work outside the home I would have to put a child in daycare and the costs would make it where I wouldn’t be earning that much. He is taking classes at night, which allows him to work during the day. The plan is once he’s done with his classes and able to get a full time developer job that he will. Does that help clarify? 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. Hannah Hansen says:

    My spouse lost his job in 2017 and it also wasn’t too much of a shock to the system because we were frugal then. It pays to be frugal in more ways than one. Love reading your ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Thanks, Hannah! I’m thankful we’ve been frugal but I’m also looking forward to the day that things aren’t so tight 🙂 Soon!

    [Reply]

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