Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life Abundantly

We live a full life.  We have been blessed with so much!  My husband has a great job, we have a home in a safe neighborhood, we are able to buy the things that we need (food, gas, clothes, etc.),  I am able to stay home with Hannah...the list goes on and on.  We thank the Lord daily for His many blessings and are constantly in awe of how good He is to us.  However, all those things do not come freely.  We are very wise with our money and feel that whatever the Lord gives us, we should use it to the best of our ability.  Many people wonder how we are able to live with only one income.  It's not always easy.  We do have to make sacrifices, but to us, it is worth it.  Thanks to our frugal way of living we are both able to do what we love!

So, I thought I would share some of our money-saving strategies with you.
  1. Grocery Shopping - I rarely pay full-price for anything. I shop the sales and use coupons on top of that.  Yes, it does take extra time to plan out what I will buy, but we save over 50% every time we shop.  I get all my shopping lists from Southern Savers and plan my meals around what is on sale each week.  I also keep a running price list of the items I buy regularly.  That way I always know what the best price is and don't get sucked in by the "SALE" signs.  Our grocery bill is rarely over $60 per week and often WAY less! :-)  
  2. We eat dinner at home every night during the week.  Even if I don't have a meal fully planned (and believe me, these days I don't!) we still find something to eat in the house.  But we do eat out on Friday and Saturday nights (most of the time).  This gives me a much needed break from cooking and gets us out of the house! :-)  However, when we do eat out, we often use coupons.
  3. We don't have the latest and greatest gadgets.  This is hard in the society we live in.  We are bombarded with new gadgets and gizmos on a daily basis.  It is so easy to think, "I need that new ___.  If I don't get it I will not be fully satisfied."  We rarely buy new electronics and the ones we have were most likely gifts. ;-)  When we do finally decide to upgrade on of our electronics (cell phone, tv, dvd player, etc.) we do a TON of research and find the very best price available.  
  4. We save a lot of our earnings.  Thankfully I married a finance major, so I don't have to worry about balancing the check book or saving money in a ROTH IRA.  Because he is so great at doing these things, I stay out of his way and let him do his thing. :)  So I can't speak much about the actual investments, but what I do know is that he has the money automatically taken out of his paycheck so that we never even see it.  That way, we don't miss it!  We have learned to live on less because we see less.
Even though we are frugal with our money, we still leave room for fun and spontaneity.  We love to travel (well, I should say "loved"...not doing much traveling now that Hannah is here), we love good food, we like to shop, and we have the freedom to do those things.  Being frugal doesn't mean you have to live a boring life.  For us, it is just the opposite.  We are able to live a life filled with joy and peace because we are wise with what the Lord has given us.

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