Monday, January 11, 2010

Something big to think about...

Lately, Hubby and I have been looking at finances {as I know many people have in this tough economic time}, but for possibly a little bit of a different reason. We have been together for quite some time now, married for over a year, and we've been looking to the future. Where do we want to be? What do we want to be doing? When do we want to start a family?

And we've really began throwing around and thinking about what could be one of the biggest decisions for us, whether or not I stay at home when we start our little family (other than our adorable little kitty, of course!). It is something that has been in the back of our mind for about a year now, really something that kind of came up during the beginning of our marriage. It has just jumped a little more forward into the front of our minds. We both don't feel quite ready to have kids just yet, but it became apparent to us that we really need to start thinking and preparing if this is something we really want, and to see if it is even possible for us financially.

We already keep a budget and revamp it every month for whatever events we may have coming up in the near future, but we really needed to sit down and take a serious look at that budget. It became obvious that with the way the economy and our jobs are right now we aren't able to live on one income (Hubby's pay is all based on commission-a personal trainer-and is in a profession where people don't want to pay for those services like they used to, and my company has put forth mandatory time off-80-90% depending on how busy each group is-and since I don't have any PTO left, it is all time without pay).

So we've been doing some re-evaluating, looking to see what we can really live without for a while to save money, pay off debt, and prepare for what may come. Since we got married, we've done a few things to try and help things along, we've:
  • Gotten rid of our landline and just use cell phones
  • Blocked text messaging from our cell phones {we never used it enough to make it worth it anyways}
  • Began collecting and bringing aluminum cans in for money
  • Been sell books on Amazon
  • I have become a mystery shopper
  • We use cash-back services and point rewards systems to get gift cards and cash back
  • I have become a coupon and sales-shopping machine
  • We have just cancelled our cable
With all of this that has been put in place, we still feel like our goal is so far away. I’ve been reading blogs and articles I’ve found online that stay-at-home-moms have posted for other tips and ideas, but we feel like we’ve slightly come to a wall.

So I throw this out to you all:  

Are there any tips that you would have for a young couple preparing to live on one income one a family is started?   

Is there something in particular you wish you had known, or done, when you were getting ready for the big change?

Anything would be extremely helpful and I appreciate all of you out there in blogland that have already posted information for all of us “SAHM” hopefuls!

Thank you all in advance!!

A day home sick means...

A day of clipping and organizing coupons and trying to get organized.  I finally sat down with all of the Sunday ads & coupons and made our plan of attack for the week.  There are so many great sites and blogs out there that give coupon and sale match-ups, I don't feel like I would do the match-up's justice, so be sure to check out the blogs in my bloglist to check them out!

Here's to a great week of savings!


Friday, January 8, 2010

2009 Wrap-Up

With welcoming a new year brings looking back at the past year and acknowledging accomplishments and seeing what changes need to be made.  So here we go...
  • Took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course and got a good handle on where our finances were, where we want them to be, and what we need to do to get there.
  • Set a budget and worked our best to stick to it!
  • Paid off all credit card debt and now pay the balance off each month to bring it back to $0.  Also-closed many credit cards that we didn't need any longer (all "store" credit cards).
  • Began funding our Emergency Fund, and contribute a bit to it each month.
  • Eventually saved up enough money to go on our much-awaited week-long honeymoon!
  • Opened a Roth IRA for Hubby.
  • Worked on couponing and searching out the lowest priced items that are bought regularly.
  • Paid extra towards student loans and our mortgage each month to live a debt free sooner!
  • I became a direct sales consultant to bring in a bit of extra income.
I am sure there are many more things that we had done along the way; these are just what stick out in my mind right at the moment. 

And of course, our goals for 2010:
  • Become a One Income Family (living on one income, and saving the other for future)
  • Live BELOW our means
  • Give 75% handmade gifts
  • 100% cash Christmas shopping for Christmas 2010 (for gifts that are not handmade)
  • Develop a good price book method
  • Purchase online thru only cash-back websites
  • Use a coupon everytime we gas a car  
Here is to a much better and more prosperous 2010!

Mega Swag Bucks Day!

Remember, every Friday is Mega Swag Bucks day! Swagbucks guarantees that over 10,000 Swagbucks will be awarded in MEGA bills (10, 20, 50, and 100) today! So whenever you are ready to do some searching online, make sure to go thru Swag Bucks, you never know what you might get!  (I've already earned 3 Swag Bucks today!)

Happy Searching!