I expected that when Ryan began working he would go out to eat everyday (that is what the attorneys that I worked for in MI did EVERYDAY). He had other plans. He brings a lunch to work nearly everyday. Imagine spending $7-$11 for lunch everyday at the end of the month that translates to a $140-$220 bill - not to mention the calories!
When we moved into our home we put a nice flat screen television in our bedroom and one in the basement. After some time we decided to move the television our of our bedroom for a couple of reasons (1) we wanted to put it in an exercise room (2) we would probably accomplish more during the day and go to bed earlier at night if it wasn't in there. I will admit it took some adjusting but I survived and now I actually prefer not having it in there. With the television out of my bedroom I realized how much less television I watch. I mentioned to Ryan that if it wasn't for his love of sports we could just get rid of satellite television all together. It didn't take long before Ryan had a plan. We purchased a Sling Box that he was then able to hook up to his sister's internet and satellite box that will allow Ryan to watch anything on her Direct TV package through his computer (yes, this is totally legal!). Now we no longer have a television bill each month. Any network shows that we want to watch we can also access through the network websites - you just can't watch the shows live but the next day isn't bad especially when considering you watch far fewer commercials. Ryan's entire family thinks we are nuts.
While Audrey is in gymnastics the parents sit outside a wall of glass. I have made a couple of really good friends during this time. One week we were sitting there and this mom that is always on her cell phone (I call her the cell phone mom) pulled out this binder with baseball card protector sheets full of coupons. The other mom I was talking (Tanya) to and I were totally shocked. Cell phone mom became coupon mom. The next week Tanya and I were discussing how we could never be organized enough to coupon in the way that coupon mom does and we wouldn't want to shop all over town to get the best deals because we simply don't have enough time. Well when coupon mom walked in I decided to talk to her. Before the 45 minute class was over I was convinced. I can coupon! I have learned so much and I love it. At some point I will put up a post just about couponing! Though I am saving money - quite a lot, actually - I am not one of those women you see on television that can buy a months worth of groceries for a family of four on a $75 budget.
In order to save money I also cut Ryan and Nathan's hair. I started cutting Ryan's hair shortly after we were married. I didn't like doing it and actually stopped for awhile. When we moved to FL I decided I was going to do it again. Yes, I did make him look ridiculous more than once - a great friend of mine, who does hair professionally, had us over and showed me how to give Ryan a good cut. Now I do not mind it and I am actually good at cutting their hair. Just this week I have decided that I am going to give up my blonde highlights because they are SO expensive and try out my natural color for 6 months to a year and see how I feel about it. Once upon a time my hair really was naturally blonde but age and having children have darkened my hair over the years. Who knows, maybe it will be just the change that I need...
Recently I was reflecting on all of the wonderful things we do to save money. We thought these things through and I enjoy the challenge as well as the results. I am a mom that stays at home and therefore I do not financially contribute to my family. I feel like finding ways to save money and implementing them is one way I can contribute to our families financial health.