Friday, February 20, 2009

February 20

Through a link from a friend, I learned of a family who was trying to live off only $1500 for a year. That blog has been since deleted, but I was inspired to try my own version of spending frugally, or not all, throughout 2009.

Yeah, I'm late, it's already February, but it's never too late to save a dime, am I right?

Anyway, it's not realistic for our family to spend only 1500 bucks in a year. For starters, we spend $445 each month to send our oldest child to private school. Suze Orman would cringe at this, but for now, this is a necessity and we're willing to cut corners where we can to come up with the tuition. Thankfully, we don't owe another payment until June since we chose to pay by semesters this year.

My husband makes pretty good money, but only on paper. He's taxed pretty heavily and the healthcare contribution for a family of five continues to increase. We recently moved to a nicer and newer neighborhood, something we saved for ten years to do. Our mortgage went up initially only $400 but now with the fancy new-fangled PID tax and a mistake by our mortgage company at closing, we're up $600 more bucks for escrow until it's all straightened out. We can make our payments and won't default because we've kept a savings cushion, but with this increase, we now pretty much pay our bills and that's it. There's nothing left for extras. But we have three kids and birthdays arise and playdates come up and we don't want our kids to sit at home doing nothing for the rest of their lives, so I'm going to budget and shop for the best deals on all our household supplies and groceries, children's clothing, etc. for the next year.

My goal is to save enough money for another year of private school and possible bring our bills down so that child two can attend there as well. I was going to go to the grocery store. I haven't been all week. But I decided to stay home and enjoy the weather and the kids and don't anticipate spending a dime today. We have bread and cheese and tomato soup in the cupboard and I have a frozen lasagna I'll thaw for supper. Usually we order pizza for a kind of end-of-the-week fun dinner, but I'm going to start limiting that to once a month or for special occasions. So, by doing that, I've saved $22-25 bucks today.

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