Living A Frugal Life http://www.livingafrugallife.com A Frugal Life is a Rich Life Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:46:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 How to Plan for Future Income + Free Printable http://www.livingafrugallife.com/how-to-plan-for-future-income/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/how-to-plan-for-future-income/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:46:00 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=29144   It’s easy to see those bills come in the mail and get a little panicky. I had that same feeling the first time our loans started coming up for payment.  Our deferment period was up and I knew that when we started to have more bills come in our future income had to increase […]

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income collage

 

It’s easy to see those bills come in the mail and get a little panicky. I had that same feeling the first time our loans started coming up for payment.  Our deferment period was up and I knew that when we started to have more bills come in our future income had to increase somehow. I continued to think about how I could help bring in a little income to bring some of our mountain sized debt down faster. Since we have little ones at home it’s really hard to ‘go out’ and get a job. The money I was going to bring in had to be flexible. That’s where this money planning sheet I’ve created comes in.

You can set a goal for the amount of money you need to make, paired with how to achieve that goal, how to get the goal accomplished, and a place to share your progress. This gives you one sheet to see what is working and helping you to acheive your goals and what is not working.  You can see what you need to spend more time on and what to stop doing.  Earning money on your own is a learning process just like starting a new job.  You will make mistakes and do things that will end up not making you much money.  But you will also have your future income that will work and does work and these are the things you should focus on.

The image of the Money Planning Worksheet is available below.  You can see how it could work for you and planning your future income.

money planning worksheet

I hope you find this printable helpful. I know that once I could identify a goal, execute it, and see some progress my money making abilities got a little better. Don’t forget to download the Money Planning Printable to use in your everyday frugal lifestyle.

 

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12 Easter Basket Ideas for Under $5 each! http://www.livingafrugallife.com/12-easter-basket-ideas-for-under-5-each/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/12-easter-basket-ideas-for-under-5-each/#respond Thu, 19 Mar 2015 19:12:10 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=29486 Easter is just around the corner and it is time to get some Easter Basket ideas!  While I love the holiday, I hate spending lots of money on stuff for the easter baskets that gets used up in 1 afternoon.  Because we live on such a fixed budget while we are trying to pay off […]

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12 Easter Basket Ideas for Under $5 each!

Easter is just around the corner and it is time to get some Easter Basket ideas!  While I love the holiday, I hate spending lots of money on stuff for the easter baskets that gets used up in 1 afternoon.  Because we live on such a fixed budget while we are trying to pay off our debt, I like to put things into our Easter baskets that can be used for a while and will keep their interest. This also helps to keep our small house from getting cluttered!

Here is my top 12 items you can use to fill the easter basket for $5 or less!

Madlibs Easter Eggstravaganza

Glitterville Easter Egg Decorations Assorted Gift Ideas Holiday Fun Colorful

LEGO Friends 41089 Little Foal

Melissa & Doug Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad

LEGO Creator 31015 Emerald Express

Crayola 48 Count Sidewalk Chalk (51-2048)

LEGO Creator Sea Plane

Disney Princess Sofia the First Girls Heart Charm Necklace and Bracelet Set – Assorted Styles (1 Set)

Melissa & Doug Design-Your-Own Bracelets

6 Easter Themed Stampers

Disney Princess Sofia the First Kids Digital LCD Watch

Melissa And Doug Jumbo Coloring Book

 

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How A Sunny Day Can Help You Save Money http://www.livingafrugallife.com/how-a-sunny-day-can-help-you-save-money/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/how-a-sunny-day-can-help-you-save-money/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:42:15 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=29478 I LOVE to save money.  It is something that is just part of my personality.  I feel physical pain spending money.  But This month as I sat down to do my budget I began to wonder what it will be like to have enough money to do whatever I want with it. For the last […]

How A Sunny Day Can Help You Save Money is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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I LOVE to save money.  It is something that is just part of my personality.  I feel physical pain spending money.  But This month as I sat down to do my budget I began to wonder what it will be like to have enough money to do whatever I want with it.

Goals give us the motivation to do what we want and need with our money.

For the last 10 years of my life I lived on almost nothing.  While I have loved the ability to accomplish that, we are making good money right now.  We make about $5,000 a month!!!!  When we are used to living on $1800 a month this seems like a fortune!!!  But we can’t be free with our money because we are in debt.  #bondage

Because I am the nerd when it comes to making a budget it has fallen on me to make the amount we have work.  I am not complaining.  I am totally ok with it, but I feel a lot of pressure to make $200 a month on groceries stretch, to budget as little as I can for the things we can control in our budget.  I feel a lot of pressure to make our loan payments as high as possible.  Mind you, this is mostly my idea to make huge sacrifices and pay huge amounts on loans so we can be done with them in 5 or less years.  This is my mind that makes that want to happen.  My husband would be content to travel and do other things with our money while stretching out the loans to 10 years.  But I just can’t do that while I have this cloud over my head.

So I wonder sometimes, why am I the one to put so much pressure on myself?  It is because I know how much happier I am without the cloud.  I know how much easier it was to focus on my marriage, to focus on my kids and just meeting needs.  So I CANNOT wait until the day when I don’t have that cloud anymore!  I can’t wait for the time when we can do what I want with my money.

I was talking with a friend of mine and I was telling her that I can’t wait until the time when I can put $600 in the grocery budget column just because I can!  When I can budget for a vacation with just my husband and I, when I can budget for a lunch with a friend, or eating out as a family again.  All of this just because we have the money we make and can do WHATEVER WE WANT WITH IT!!!!!  #freedom

Sometimes when you are saving money people often talk about how you should be saving for a rainy day.  I think it is SO important to be prepared.  That preparation takes SO much stress off of you and your finances.  It is important to focus in that for a short time each month.  That is why it is important to get your emergency fund and save for things that WILL happen in your future.  But I think the motivation to keep going comes from the focus on your sunny days.

That sunny day can be anything you are moving towards. Any goal you have.  If you want to save money for something, pay off debt, or to stop living paycheck to paycheck.  For me it is the goal to have the freedom to do what I want with my money.  That is what keeps me going.  That is the financial motivation that keeps me pressing forward and paying off as much as we can!  That is my sunny day!

What sunny days are you working toward? What is your motivation for saving and/or paying off debt?

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.  They know we all live for the sunny days and want to you help you live yours.

Subscribe to the Shine newsletter and receive inspiration and advice twice a month to help you live for a sunny day.  Subscribe here

Want to get your sunny day started now?  Visit the SunTrust resource center anytime for help achieving your financial goals.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

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13 Green Food Ideas for St Patrick’s Day http://www.livingafrugallife.com/13-green-food-ideas-for-st-patricks-day/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/13-green-food-ideas-for-st-patricks-day/#respond Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:05:19 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=28802 We have a tradition in our family that dinner time is green every St. Patricks day!  We love green food and the kids love that as well.  I have been on the hunt for some new green food recipes to spice up the meals this year.  And since we are trying to save money on […]

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We have a tradition in our family that dinner time is green every St. Patricks day!  We love green food and the kids love that as well.  I have been on the hunt for some new green food recipes to spice up the meals this year.  And since we are trying to save money on our grocery budget this year, we are really looking for similar ideas to get my ingredients.  I also love the idea of green food that is not normally green!  It ads to the novelty!

I love to have green dinner ideas, but there were too many good desserts this year to miss out on these lovelies.

Here are my top favorites.  If you have any other ideas please be sure to add them in the comments.  I would love to find more!

green food ideas

Green Food Ideas

rainbow poke cupcakes

These rainbow cupcakes are SO cute!  Would make a great after school treat!

Mint Chocolate Oreo Truffle

These Mint Oreo Truffles make a great addition to a party or a great dessert for a green dinner!

St. Pattys Day Minty Pudding Parfaits

These Oreo parfaits look so good!!!  Great for a dinner party!

St Patricks Pancakes

These spinach pancakes would make a great surprise to start the day!

St Patricks Day Punch

This St Patricks Day Punch would make a great addition to any meal!

mint chocolate grahams

These chocolate mint graham  bars would be a great lunchbox treat!

mock lime cheesecake

I love Cheesecake!  Who wouldn’t love lime cheesecake??

Green Breakfast

These green breakfast ideas are so cute and fun!

Easy Key Lime Pie

This key lime pie looks so yummy!!

St. Patricks Day Cookies

If you have a green lover these green cookies would be a huge hit!!

Leprechaun Shake

These Leprechaun shakes are so easy kids could make them!

grasshopper cheesecake bars

Grasshopper Cheesecake Bars are SO good!  They will make your party complete!

 

Check out these other green food ideas!

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2 Paths, 1 Choice: Doing What is Right no Matter What the Consequences http://www.livingafrugallife.com/2-paths-1-choice-doing-what-is-right-no-matter-what-the-consequences/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/2-paths-1-choice-doing-what-is-right-no-matter-what-the-consequences/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:18:04 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=29296 After we had our life completely turned upside down with the news that we had lost the opportunity for my husband to be in the highway patrol and deciding that we had a lot to figure out,  We decided to press forward and find which of the 2 paths was doing what is right. The […]

2 Paths, 1 Choice: Doing What is Right no Matter What the Consequences is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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sometimes when you have 2 good paths it is hard to know which is the right choice for you.  It is one of the scariest times in your life when you answer comes out to a different path then you thought.

After we had our life completely turned upside down with the news that we had lost the opportunity for my husband to be in the highway patrol and deciding that we had a lot to figure out,  We decided to press forward and find which of the 2 paths was doing what is right.

The next couple days we prayed and prayed.  We both didn’t really feel one way or another.  It was almost as if this was the Lord testing us to see what we would do.  But we kept praying, knowing that we would get the answer we needed. 

After a few days we stated to have little things happen that showed us the Lords will. We were not aware of them at the time.  Infact we thought a lot of them were pretty weird, random things happening.  The Lord was guiding us and we didn’t even know it!  Anyone else have that happen to them?  I think this is where we look back and think “it was so obvious!!!  How did we miss that??” 

The first thing happened was after my husband spoke in church.  For those of you who aren’t members of the LDS faith or familiar with how their church day goes, during the first meting there are speakers who get up and each speak on a different topic.  These people are chosen ahead of time from the congregation.  They are given time to search the Scriptures and pray and prepare so they will be able to teach what the spirit guides them to teach.

My husband was asked to speak that day.  His topic was in no way related to what we were praying about, nor did he prepare it with that in mind.  He did a great job and got across what he wanted to teach totally oblivious of what was going to happen.

After the meeting, he was approached by a couple who we had not talked much with.  The first thing they asked him was if he was going to be a lawyer?  He thought that was an odd question and hesitantly answered “Nope!  Not in the plans for me.” (obviously we were totally oblivious to our future!)

Later in the church day (our church is 3 hours long) he was told by another person that he should be a lawyer because he was such a good public speaker.  He came home and told me about this and we both agreed it was very strange. Again TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS!!!!  #indenial

The third thing that happened, which was the last one we needed to know the Lords will (because I am stubborn, but not THAT stubborn) came later that week at school.  One of his political science teachers asked him if he was going to law school.  At this point, Matthew was like, what in the world is going on???  He told him no, that he was not planning on it.  The teacher then told him that he had an internship at a legal office that he thought Matthew would have been perfect for but he needed to be going to law school to do it.

Matthew came home and told me about this and all I could say is “Matthew, this is the third time this has come up. Maybe we should consider it.”  Matthew quickly shut me down and said that He was not made to be a Lawyer.  

coming together

The next day was Saturday and we decided to go do our shopping for the week.  My wonderful husband has always lovingly kept me company while grocery shopping because I HATE it!  Well, we had to go by Trader Joes and as we walk in my husband looks over and there is that teacher.  It was a sign!!!!!  Matthew said hi to him and we kept walking.  He then told me that was the teacher who asked about the law stuff.  I stopped dead in my tracks, my mouth dropped open and I stared at him for a minute.  Then I said to him…. “what are you waiting for!!!  Go talk with him about the internship!!!!”

He looked at me for a second with a shocked look on his face.  I said “We have to do this!!!  This has come up too many times in the last week for us to not listen!”  He then understood.  He didn’t like it because he never wanted to doit, but he knew what was being told to him. So he went to find his teacher.  He was just leaving the store, so I checked out and came outside while Matthew walked over to his teacher to talk with him.  Matthew came over shortly after and told me how excited his teacher was about the opportunity for him.

There were so many conflicting feelings for us at that point.  We knew what we had been told, but there was no desire for this to be our path in life.  We did not understand how all of this would work out or how long we would be on this path.  It was kind of scary to be in this completely unknown place where we really didn’t want to be.

Over the next few weeks we continued to pray to know for sure that this was right for us.  I have never felt so strongly that this was our path and it scared me to death.  This was never in our plans, and how was it going to work out anyways.  So I decided to do what any good follower would do when told to do something… I decided to not think about it!

2 Paths, 1 Choice: Doing What is Right no Matter What the Consequences is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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11 DIY St. Patrick’s Day Decorations For Your Home http://www.livingafrugallife.com/diy-st-patricks-day-decorations-for-your-home/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/diy-st-patricks-day-decorations-for-your-home/#respond Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:55:59 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=28783   St Patricks Day is upon us!  I LOVE March mostly because of the way spring seems to always appear and save my sanity!  But I also love the green St. Patrick’s Day decorations and feeling of luck in the air.  Who wants to try your luck??? We don’t like to spend a lot of […]

11 DIY St. Patrick’s Day Decorations For Your Home is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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st patricks home decor ideas

St Patricks Day is upon us!  I LOVE March mostly because of the way spring seems to always appear and save my sanity!  But I also love the green St. Patrick’s Day decorations and feeling of luck in the air.  Who wants to try your luck???

We don’t like to spend a lot of money on decor for the different holiday’s because we are trying to put our money toward the loans we are paying off.  But it is important to have a house filled with decor to make you feel the joy of the holiday.  Who says only red heads can have fun on a holiday like this???

To get your house in the spirit, here are some easy decorations you can make!  Most are easy and quick which is always a plus!  ;)

Dollar Tree craft wreath

DIY Dollar Store St. Patricks Day Wreath

 

 

St Patricks Day Rainbow Wreath

Check out this super cute Rainbow Wreath  you can make with your kids.

Lucky to Have Friends Printable

Make this cute framed lucky friends printable.  Sophisticated and super cute!

St. Patricks Day Vignette

Love this classy but frugal wall decorating idea!  you could use it for many holiday’s with some very simple switches too!

Leprechaun Handprint Craft

Put this kids handprint craft in a frame for a super cute accent piece to any room!

shamrock banner

This cute printable banner is a perfect fireplace decoration!

Burlap shamrock table runner

This burlap table runner is a fabulous and frugal decoration for a family dinner!

Irish Blessing Printable Art

Here is another super cute printable phrase for you to frame

Shinning Shamrock Decor

You could make this Shinny Shamrock decor from all products you buy for under a dollar!

DIY St Patricks Day Banner

Here is another cute luck Banner that you can make without a printer!

st patricks day sign

I LOVE this DIY St Patricks Day Sign!  Simple and classy at the same time!

Be sure to check out these ideas for Green Food as well!

11 DIY St. Patrick’s Day Decorations For Your Home is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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How to Pay Your Bills On Time + Free Printable http://www.livingafrugallife.com/how-to-pay-your-bills-on-time-free-printable/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/how-to-pay-your-bills-on-time-free-printable/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 15:57:27 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=29137 Are you struggling to pay your bills on time? Maybe you keep forgetting when the due date is or you have poor money management skills. Either way, I’m not here to judge. Maybe you’ve been following my series based on paying bills. I’ve mentioned before how going from not having a lot of bills to […]

How to Pay Your Bills On Time + Free Printable is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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How to Pay Your Bills on time

Are you struggling to pay your bills on time? Maybe you keep forgetting when the due date is or you have poor money management skills. Either way, I’m not here to judge. Maybe you’ve been following my series based on paying bills.

I’ve mentioned before how going from not having a lot of bills to having quite a few bills can be quite the challenge. In my mind, I often struggle with when a bill is due. I have found that it’s easier to have a printable worksheet where I can write down exactly when the bill is due. Of course, there’s plenty of room, so I can make sure all of my bill due dates are in one spot. I can print a new sheet every month or I can do it in quarters because there is plenty of room available on the sheet.

I think the most freeing part of this Bill Due Date Worksheet is that my husband and I can stay on the same page. I want him to be involved in the finances, so this saves time and energy. We can both know exactly when each bill is due and how to plan for it. This financial planning process is quite freeing if I do say so myself.

Bill Due Date

Would you like help on paying your bills on time? Feel free to download this Bills Due Date Printable right here: Bills Due Date Free Printable.

Be sure to check out the other family budget printables!

You can also get more tips on a perfect family budget here!

How to Pay Your Bills On Time + Free Printable is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go http://www.livingafrugallife.com/ill-go-want-go/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/ill-go-want-go/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 22:15:43 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=29294 My husband and I had lived the life we thought we should, we had plans and hopes and had set up our life to be debt free for the rest of our life.  But the Lord had other plans for us. By the time we were this far in the process, my husband was working […]

I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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My husband and I had lived the life we thought we should, we had plans and hopes and had set up our life to be debt free for the rest of our life.  But the Lord had other plans for us.

finding what the Lord wants

By the time we were this far in the process, my husband was working a job and he had one more semester left of school. He was doing testing and interviews on the weekends for the Highway Patrol.  We didn’t see a whole lot of him.   But we were sure things would work out as we planned.  We had been obedient to the Lord and focused on what was important.

That assurance all came crashing down with one conversation.  My husband received a phone call and was notified that he had been taken out of the running for the CHP.  He had a polygraph test and there was a discrepancy in one of his answers (which he had answered honestly) and what was on his application.  The discrepancy was not that his answer had changed though.  It was that there was a difference of opinion on what the answer ment.  It took Matthew a while to tell me exactly what happened and a simple phone call to his job he currently had would have fixed everything and the process would have continued.  But the CHP refused to make that call.

How does that happen???  How does one difference of opinion mess up our whole future???  He was told that they loved him and wanted him to apply again and fix his application.  We were about 6 months and $300 into this process now.  They wanted him to apply AGAIN?  Start EVERYTHING over??? 

I am going to be honest with you, I was not a happy camper at this point.  I said to him (ok, maybe more then “said”…)  “No way!  We are not starting everything over and wasting more time on this.”  I was so mad.  How could they ruin our plans like that?  What were we supposed to do?  I had plans with how we would make our lives better and how we would have a “real” life. Dreams of the trips we would be making to see the world in the next 10 years.  Dreams of our debt free life.   These dreams were burst in a matter of minutes.

b day 2

After a few days we realized that we have a family.  We had little kids to think about that we needed to be going in a direction for them.  We knew that we had 2 choices, figure out something else to do or re-apply and start it all over.  Neither of these choices seemed really a great one.  So we decided the best thing for us to do was pray.  We began to pray that we would know what we should do.  If we should move on or if we should start again and spend more time and money on his highway patrol pursuits. 

I think there are times in all of our lives where we have choices like this.  Neither choice is bad, but neither is what we wanted.  This puts you in a very hard place.  You are always questioning every move and wondering if you are doing things wrong.

I think these are the times where you begin to really look at yourself on the inside and the outside.  To see where your priorities lie and how you will continue your life.  You make pivotal decisions that change your life forever.  These are the times we turn to The Lord for guidance and we are able to understand more of the plan he has for us. 

This was that time in our lives.  We were at a cross roads.  I didn’t really see it t that point, but I really think that was a moment for us to see if we were going to seek the Lords guidence or we were going to do what WE wanted.  My husband really wanted to join the highway patrol.  He had worked hard to get through school so I would let him do it.  I know that sounds crazy, but it was the only way I would feel comfortable with him doing it.  He had to have something to fall back on if this thing had a bad outcome. But that was not what the Lord had planned for us.  He had a higher purpose and we really had to let go of our own wants to be open to the spirit telling us what we needed to do.

We began to look for what the Lord had in store for us.  It took quite a bit of time and prayer to really be ok with things, but we began to find the path he had for us.  It was HARD to know what we should do because our own thoughts and opinions (read that as my opinions) kept getting in the way, but slowly the Lord opened our eyes and our minds to what he needed us to do.

I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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5 Tips to Successfully Be A 1 Car Family http://www.livingafrugallife.com/5-tips-successfully-1-car-family/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/5-tips-successfully-1-car-family/#comments Sat, 07 Feb 2015 01:01:38 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=29318 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #DropShopAndOil #CollectiveBias This is our baby.  Our 1 and only car.  Since the time we were married we have only had 1 car.  We choose to do that to save money.  We live in central CA.  In a […]

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #DropShopAndOil #CollectiveBias

This is our baby.  Our 1 and only car.  Since the time we were married we have only had 1 car.  We choose to do that to save money.  We live in central CA.  In a place that doesn’t have lots of public transit, and the transit we do have doesn’t really give us much help.  So we had to really consciously make the choice to make this work.

How to be a one car family

Before we were married, we both served missions for our church.  Shortly after coming home, we started dating.  Matthew bought a car and I did not.  I used a family car until we were married.  So instead of going into debt for a car, we decided to manage with 1 car.  That managing with one car meant we made sacrifices.  It also meant we had to know each others schedules and talk about them all the time.  I think this helped us to bond and get through a lot of hard times because we had really open communication.

We had to be smart with our planning of work and school.  We were in 4 different places each day, outside of the house.  We had to juggle who got the car and who got the bike.  We also had to sometimes drop someone off at one place before going to another place.  We spent a lot of time driving and picking up and switching out cars and such.  But it worked.  We had no kids so we had a very simple schedule.

When we had out oldest son, our life changed a bit.  I had finished my degree before he was born so I was going to be staying home with him.  Matthew changed jobs so we would have insurance and so he could have a better school schedule.  So we were kind of at a cross road, what do we do about the car?  Do we still keep one?  If he was at school or work and something happened, what would we do?  If I wanted to go to the store, what would we do?  A baby has a lot of doctors appointments, how would we get there if he was at school?

So we sat down and had a talk, we both agreed that this could easily work if he just had his bike during the day.  He would ride to school and I would have the car during the day, then he would take it to work at night and if I needed a ride I would get one from a friend or my mom.  So we took the chance and tried it.

We found it was so easy to do.  Did we have to sacrifice?  yes!  But it was worth every one of those sacrifices!

Over the next 8 years we have lived with just 1 car.  My husband finished his schooling, went on to working for a year before law school and we continued with just 1 car in Southern California while he was in school.  I would recommend this to anyone in a heart beat!  It was so worth it to keep us out of debt!

While we have lived with 1 car, through 4 kids and all, we have learned a few things that helped us to make this a totally doable scenario.

5 Tips to Living With 1 Car

1. Planning is the key.  Like I said before, keep communication open.  Let your spouse know your schedule and know theirs.  This can be done with a shared calendar or a family wall calendar.  But whatever way you coordinate it, this is the key to making it work.

2.  Sacrifice has to happen so expect it!  You will have to give up outings, you will have to give up time with your friends and you will have to give up trips at times that you would love to go on.  I know of multiple times I had friends doing girls nights out and I couldn’t go for multiple reasons, one of which was the lack of the car.  You just have to expect that it will happen and you have to be ready for it.

We also walk everywhere we possibly can.  We walk to and from school with the kids.  We walk to the store at times. If it is too far to walk we will sometimes ride our bike.  It is a sacrifice. Sure, it takes longer to do these things, but sometimes it is really good for your soul to slow down and have a break.

3. Ask for rides.  This is the hardest thing for most people, but sometimes you just need a ride somewhere.  This also became increasingly hard as we had more kids because we take up almost an entire minivan by ourselves, but you find those who are able and willing to help you out and you use those people when needed.  For the most part if you are planning your schedule right this doesn’t happen very often.

My friend who grew up her whole childhood without a car because they never could afford it, used to tell me that you are SO grateful to those who help you and you can serve them back in a different way for their sacrifice.  If it is a concern for you to have others help you, find ways to serve them back!

4. Get good insurance coverage on this vehicle.  This is super important.  If something happens to your car you need to have access to a rental car or have enough money to replace your car.  You need it to cover your needs.

We like to save money on this by shopping around to different insurance companies.  We always make sure we have minimum coverage for our needs but some companies will offer better deals then others on those needs.  So it doesn’t mean that you have to have bad coverage or spend a fortune, it just means you have to know what coverage your family needs.

5. Keep up the maintenance on the car!  This is a super important thing!  You have to have the tires rotated, the engine checked and most importantly the oil changed when it needed to be done.  We didn’t ever want something simple that we could have fixed easily to take our car away from us for a couple days.

When we would do our oil changes, I liked to do it at a place where I could do other things while I waited.  Due to the fact that I didn’t have all day to have the car, it was a must to maximize out time while the repairs were happening.

#dropshopandoil

Because of this I love the Walmart oil center to get my shopping done while I waited for my car to get the oil changed!  It is SO simple and easy and very affordable to get it done.

walmart oil change center

It makes it super easy to get everything done so my husband can have the car when he needs it.   We were able to go to Walmart this week to get our oil changed.  It is really nice because you are able to pull up and they take your car in and you go in the super secret entrance reserved for those who are special enough to enter it.  Ok, so it is just the side entrance of the store but still… ;) You get to go in and get your shopping done.  No fighting for a parking spot or battling the cars to get the kids inside!  LOVE that!

pennzoil high milage oil

As an added bonus they have high milage Penzoil oil!  our car has over 140,000 miles on it.  We need it to run well.  This is oil specifically made for higher milage cars.  It helps to clean the engine and lubricate it so it still runs smoothly. (By the way, there is an ibotta coupon for $5 off right when buy the 5 gallon bottle) We did pay a little extra for it, but it was only $42 for the oil change so I think it was money well spent to have a car that runs well for much longer!

thumbs up!

(and he had to have some thumbs up screen time too.)

While I waited, I got my shopping done and took a side trip to hug the stuffed valentines  in the seasonal section!

waiting for the oil change

Then went to pick up my car.  The best part is if there isn’t a long line, I can check out all at once at the oil center and go out to my car and I am on my way!

walmart tire and lube

 

What other tips do you have that will help other families to live with only 1 car?

 

5 Tips to Successfully Be A 1 Car Family is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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January Debt Pay off and February Budget http://www.livingafrugallife.com/january-debt-pay-off-february-budget/ http://www.livingafrugallife.com/january-debt-pay-off-february-budget/#respond Wed, 04 Feb 2015 15:22:10 +0000 http://www.livingafrugallife.com/?p=29300 1 month down and I am excited!!!!!!  I know you were hoping for part 2 of our story, but you will have to wait another week for that one!  (insert evil laugh here)  Seriously though, it is coming so don’t disappear on me! We did a lot of moving stuff around in the last month.  We have […]

January Debt Pay off and February Budget is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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Monthly Budget Check up

1 month down and I am excited!!!!!!  I know you were hoping for part 2 of our story, but you will have to wait another week for that one!  (insert evil laugh here)  Seriously though, it is coming so don’t disappear on me!

We did a lot of moving stuff around in the last month.  We have been able to get some things we weren’t expecting to get yet, so we had to rework the budget. 

This is the first time we have ever had a bi weekly pay check so we are learning how to budget when you don’t get everything in 1 day for the whole month.  It is kind of difficult, I am not going to lie.  Do you split up your bills between the 2 checks or do you do a little from each check? 

I don’t think there is a right or wrong in that one, but I do think that we are going to have to do a little trial and error experimenting to figure out what works best for us.  I think I am more of a split it between checks type of person.  But we will see.

So we made a payment on our debt!  It was a lot more then we thought!  Because we are working hard to get extra money each month to pay on our debt I had to make a separate section of our budget just for the extra money on our loans.  I worked it so I could calculate the total payment we would make at the end of our month so I don’t have to do that at the end of the month.  If you want me to share that I can, just let me know in the comments.  But without any further suspense for you, here is how much we paid.

debt paid

Are you as shocked as I was?  Almost $6,000 paid off!  This picture shows our minimum payments on our other loans and the rest put onto our smallest loan.  If we are able to put as much on the loan this month it will almost be paid off.  I can’t wait!!!

I was a bit scared making the payment.  I was worried we wouldn’t have enough money to live off of this month.  but now I see that is totally silly because we have had even more coming in and more blessings coming.

So from our budget last month we had $3280.63 from our budget this last month and this was our extra income.

Extra money we paid on loans

My husband paid a lot of money for a study program for the bar.  His school told all the students that if they passed the first time they would get a portion of their fee refunded for the study session.  We were not expecting to get that until next month, but we got it early!  So we were able to dump all of that money into our debt payment.

We also sold a couple books on half.com that we were able to include in the payment.  We still have lots on there so we hope that will continue this month.

We are also continuing to sell items from our house.  We have a couple shelves and a desk that need to sell so we are going to be working on those getting sold this month too.

February Budget Plan

So this month we are spending more money then last month.  We are starting to fund some things we have never done before.  Like Matthew and I are going to each have $20 a month for us.

I am using mine for a once a week dance class on Thursday evenings.  He is going to use his for whatever he wants.  We feel this is important because we were both so stressed for the last 3 years that we need some money to decompress.  This is sanity money for us.  we are not budgeting a lot.  for him it is only a couple lunches at work or something like that, but It is important to have that time for him and for me.

We also got new phones.  Our plan was up with Sprint and the service isn’t great here in Fresno so we decided to switch service.  Matthew gets a $50 reimbursement from his work for his cell phone since he uses it for work at times.  So we decided to go with Verizon since it is the most reliable in the area and he needs that for work.  so this month we will be getting applecare and paying taxes on our phone.

So here is our budget for this month.  I am hoping we sell a lot more items so we can put more toward the loans this month.  I love how much progress we made last month and while I know that can’t happen next month, I still want to keep up the momentum.

February budget

Groceries – I know this is going to be a huge question for people, how do we get our amount so low.  I learned a few things from my many years of couponing.  I don’t use a lot of coupons for food.  But I have learned to cook from scratch, use substitutions and to be very frugal in how I shop.  I am going to be adjusting this a bit to find our sweet spot, but for now that is where it will stay.

We split up our gasoline on the budget because I find it easier to track our totals when it was split.  This is another section that we are working to find the sweet spot for.  We will be adjusting it back together if we feel it doesn’t work.

What questions do you have?  how is your budgeting going with your family??

January Debt Pay off and February Budget is a post from Living A Frugal Life

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