Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saving Money

It all started after we moved into our home in North Carolina in May of 2008. For the first time since we were married (2002) we had a mortgage payment. Adjusting to a mortgage payment wasn't too difficult because we were also were getting a real paycheck. After our first year in our home we decided to refinance our mortgage which ended up giving us a much better interest rate and thus reducing the total amount of our monthly mortgage payment. In talking with several people, my mom included, we decided we were going to pay more than our minimum monthly mortgage payment which will cut down on the length of our mortgage and the amount of interest paid over the life of our loan.

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.

6 comments:

The McGee's said...

What are your coupon tricks?--I cut them out, file them in a little holder in my purse and then forget to use them!

Carrie said...

I am a coupon fan too! Jake has never had a real hair cut and I would totally get rid of Direct TV if Aaron would let it go...But he won't, even though he is hardly ever home to watch it! I am still working on it...

I won't be able to come to Girl's Night in December. :( I am bummed but it is for a really good reason. My mom and dad surprised us and bought us tickets out to see them in Seattle! We are going 12/3-12/13, and Jake isn't going to find out until the day we leave! We are so excited!!! Let me know when the next Girl's Night is going to be because I really want to come see you guys!!!

tempppo said...

That was fun to read, and to remember all the things we try to do in our family to live providently. I'm looking forward to your coupon blog.

Jeanae and Mike said...

You are AWESOME!!! I can't wait to hear all about your couponing adventures. In AZ (I think) there are websites that you can subscribe to that tell you when to combine ads with coupons. It's crazy!

GoodsonFL@aol.com said...

We are penny pinchers here too. Why not? I am cutting out cable very soon. I am also dropping the newspaper and will see if we can cut our phone bill but keep our internet. We also coupon. Robbie cuts his own hair. I am too scared to try the rest of 'em!

Maureen said...

.....not really nuts, about the TV, just know that I could not go without my favorite shows. Let's not even get into Dad's sports!