Saturday, January 29, 2011

Meeting Goals Slowly

My goal is to pay off my debts as rapidly as possible and place as much as I can in savings at the same time. I'm careful to keep just enough cash to cover normal weekly expenses so I never have to tap into savings.

Savings grows with my excitement. I put all my change in a jar. Every few months I roll the change and deposit it in savings. Sure it may take a little time but I love seeing it all add up, plus I hate to take the time to pay for stuff with change. I never want to be the one holding up the line while I search the bottom of my purse for a nickel.

Groceries and gas are paid for with cash. Leftover cash at the end of the week is deposited into savings. On the day before payday when I get the urge to buy a little something it's usually easy to talk myself out of it when I picture which figure I can write on the deposit slip.

Being more responsible with money allows my husband and I the chance to sit back calmly and observe others. We sometimes discuss the choices of others and think of ways we could improve the situation. We don't sit about judging others, we just recognize mistakes now in others that we've made ourselves in the past. We would have had much easier lives if we would have learned our own lessons earlier in life.

An elderly customer came through my line with her husband. He's on disability and she just retired from her part time job. They have no savings and they barely get by. She had canned soup and potato chips in her order that were BOGO (buy one get one free) but she only had one of each. I explained that our store did not offer items for half price when they were BOGO and I offered to get another of each item so she could get the second one for free. She said she only needed one. The BOGO items usually have a long shelf life, but she couldn't understand it. They will keep.

I have a well stocked pantry. I always have the baking staples flour, sugar, brown sugar, yeast, and loads of spices. I also have plenty of boxed and canned goods that were bought on sale.

Here lately, I've been pretty much ignoring the sales and slacking on couponing. I'm at a point where everything is stocked up enough that, except for perishables, I don't need to shop. For the past month I've spent less than $30.00 a week for groceries. This past week I spent $16.00. I just don't need much of anything.

The money I would have spent on food is going into savings. I'm also slowly shedding my debt. It's a good place to be.

After saying all the above, life isn't just about living as a pauper and fighting debt. It would be very sad if it was. We do have fun, we are just more choosy about what we do. It's like television viewing. I recently asked my husband to turn off the television because it was too much of a distraction. He sometimes likes to flip through watching three or four shows at once and driving me mad. We enjoy it more when we tune in for just a few shows we really like and then turn it off.

We do go out and do things sometimes. We even spend money on occasion. Instead of eating out and going to the movies weekly, we pick low cost things to do like canoeing or going to the beach. Sometimes we do more. This is life - you have to live it.

Recently we went to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa and attended the Chocolate Festival there. This was a splurge for us. We've been in a rut lately and lamenting about how we never do anything. The chocolate festival was crowded but fun. There were all sorts of vendors displays and classes. Our tickets included a movie in the IMAX theatre which is always a treat.

We already spent money on tickets, and a lot of money on a few gourmet cupcakes to bring home, and we had a dog waiting for us with her legs crossed so we opted for dinner at home.

We came home, walked the dog, and together we made the most exquisite pizza I've ever had. It was a great evening. We're already planning our next trip. My husband wants to visit the newly opened Dali Museum, and I have a list of a few places I want to see. Whatever your financial situation at the moment, I'm hoping you make the time to find joy in your life, no matter how small.


  1. I think your blog is really inspiring. We are only just beginning our frugal journey but I hope we are in a similar position to you near the end of the year. A question - would you say food is cheap in the US? Here you would pay about $1.50 for a loaf of white sliced bread at the supermarket. What is the price where you are? Just interested...

  2. I don't know what to make of the customer who refused to do the buy one get one free deal.

    If one has finances that are that tight this week or this month - why would one assume that the cash flow will be any better next week or next month? Unless one gets a really high paying job pretty quick or wins the lottery, that's not going to happen.

  3. That change can add up. My husband and I keep separate stashes and combine it once a year and take it to the bank where we enjoy the ka-ching of it in the change counter. It is literally hundreds of dollars.

    Cooking together counts as a "date" in my mind and that Dali museum/exhibit sound delightful too.

  4. I must say that I've also gotten away from couponing too. It's so time consuming and it takes the focus away from the bare minimum of items that we really need. It's harder to live simply if you're always busy grabbing bargains!

  5. Your blog is so great.... this is exactly the place that I am in my life right now. I save my change, use coupons on the items I need. I am paying off debt and building my savings, I just finished my emergency fund. I work a lot and don't need much as far as groceries go, I also have a well stocked pantry. And, I actually hope to have a little more fun in life as I will get weekends off for the next 2 months. It is so great to connect with someone in the same boat as me.

  6. Keshling, I wish you the best of luck on your frugal journey! I try to get bread at a bread store or on sale. Grocery prices vary across the US. Florida prices seem pretty high compared to other states, although some other states may be higher. Without a sale I think most wheat breads are at least $2.89. A gallon of milk has gone up to $3.49.

    Monroe, I don't get it either. Oh well, I did my part and tried to help. It's not as if a can of soup will expire soon.

    Terri, agreed. I love cooking together, especially pizza. It's cooking and art together. You kneed the dough and then arrange the toppings just so. What fun!

    Alex M, I only use coupons for what I need and will use. The pickings have been slim here lately.

    De-ette, thank you! Umm, weekends...what are weekends? Ha ha.

  7. I think the lady only "needed" one can of soup and one bag of chips because she wanted to get them half price because she just could not afford to pay for one of each, even if she could have one for next week. However, she may be like a desperately poor acquaintance who when I mentioned getting at least one or two more of sale items, told me that she could only buy what she needed now. I gently tried to tell her that she did not have to buy more than one or two extra, that eventually she would have to spend less on food because she would be eating sale items. It never worked when I tried to share my money saving schemes.