Now that we are in 2015 I feel that I should probably explain all the cryptic tweets I kept making last year about our New Years resolution. I should begin by saying that the Hubby and I are planners and for the most part every big decision we have made has been carefully thought out. (Well most of them except this one.)
Last year before the ball dropped in NYC the Hubby and I began to reminisce about the year. We talked about all that we did and all that we wanted to do this year. One thing that came up was that we both felt it was the right time to start thinking about purchasing a house. We began to day dream about what kind of place we might get and what we were going to do to attain it. While all our family and friends were out partying the night away we sat on our couch watching our little Buttercup playing as we thought about what the new year would bring. We decided that our New Years Resolutions would be to buy a house. At that point we did not know exactly what we were going to do about it we just sat there day dreaming and enjoying the moment. Fast to a few weeks later when we devised a plan that I like to refer to as my crazy idea. The Hubby came home from work one day and suggested that we have my parents move into our apartment to help us save more money for a downpayment. I thought that he went nuts when he suggested that. I mean I moved out when I was 18 years old I was used to being on my own. Why on earthy would I want my parent living with us in a two bedroom apartment. I called his bluff and suggested an even crazier idea. Whenever I try to explain it to people I get a weird look from them so here goes nothing. Try to keep up and don’t get lost. I’ll try to simplify it as much as possible.
My idea involved asking for help from both sets of parents which we would normally not do. We don’t like asking for help and usually we don’t share information with anyone until the plan is complete. The first part of my idea was to get my in-laws to agree to let us borrow their house for a year. You see my in-laws had purchased a house last year and nobody was using it. They bought it as a retirement house the house was just sitting there empty. Part 2 was to get my in-laws to agree to let my husband stay with them at their one bedroom apartment during the week. Part 3 involved my parents. I had to get them to agree to move in with me and our little Buttercup for a year. They had to leave the comfort of their small town in order to help us out. I have never asked my parents for help and have always done things on my own so I felt odd even asking. With both parents aligned and the details worked out we set a date to move. We decided that it would be best to move when our lease was up from our apartment.
Although we’ve been here for almost 10 months now it doesn’t get easier saying bye to my husband every Sunday night. Nothing about this whole process has been easy and we’ve all made sacrifices. In early October we had an appointment to get pre-approved but for some reason we couldn’t make it that day. A week later the Hubby was notified that he was being laid-off from the job that he LOVED. About 300 employees were affected in all. We were crushed by the news! All the sacrifices we had done meant nothing. Everything went numb for us and I know that it might not seem like a big deal but it was to us. We went through all the stages of grief and decided that 2014 couldn’t be over soon enough.
As soon as I got engaged I began to plan (in my head) what I thought would be the perfect wedding. I began to dream about the cathedral veil, what cake flavors would be served and the flowers that I would see as I walked into the church. With all the dreaming going on in my head I never gave much thought to what it was actually going to cost to accomplish all this. My parents are of very modest means and could not help us in any way. My in-laws are in a better situation than my parents but we couldn’t see ourselves asking them to finance our wedding either. I hated the idea of asking any of my family members for money for our wedding like most of my cousins have done in the past. There was no way I was going to have sponsors or padrinos for our wedding no matter how much my mom told me that they would help me. If I couldn’t afford it then I felt that we didn’t need it. Okay, the truth is that I didn’t realize that until much later when I became more financially savvy and put things into perspective.
So why am I rambling on and when I’m I getting to the point?
I’m rambling on because I want you to know that the hubby and I do not come from families that are financially well off but have worked hard for everything we have.
The point is that if you really want to get your finances in order then you should be willing to do the work it takes to do it. I’m just so tired of hearing people complaint that they don’t have the money to do things as they are sipping their cafe mocha from a fancy coffee shop and carrying their designer purse. Come on people get it together.
I’m not asking people to be as frugal as us but simply to either stop complaining or do something about it. It’s not about the amount of money you make but how much you are able to save. People just need to be smarter about how they use their money and what they are willing to give up and sacrifice in order to achieve their goals.
Looking back on the planning process one thing that I will never forget that my hubby told me as we were going back and forth about the wedding budget was, “If wedding are so important for women then why don’t they start saving up for it since they begin dreaming about them.” When my hubby said this to me it floored me. I began to think about it and I realized that as I sat there planning my perfect wedding I never took the cost into consideration something which I think we as women should start doing.
Oh and by the way I didn’t have a cathedral veil, cake or flowers in the entrance of the church but what I do have is more money in the bank and a loving husband by my side.
I have appointed myself the official grocery shopper of our household. So yesterday I did my monthly grocery shopping and I was wondering how often others go shopping and if they have a strategy to it.
Here is what we do:
The hubby and I subscribe to the L.A. Times, which we got an awesome deal on, so that we can get the coupons. Every Sunday morning I sit in front of the t.v. cutting my coupons and organizing them into different categories. When I first began clipping coupons I would always forget to take them to the grocery store with me so to fix this problem I bought a small folder that I keep in my car. I also upload coupons into my grocery store club card and make a list of things I need as they run out. I usually have an idea of what I’m going to be making throughout the month but nothing is written down, maybe one day I’ll get to that level but not now. Before leaving to the grocery store I usually spend about 15 minutes going through my coupons and separating the ones I’m going to use from the others (remember I’ve been collecting them for a month) and looking through my pantry to see what I need to add to my list. One thing that I always do before I leave my house to the store is EAT because going to the grocery store in an empty stomach is such a bad idea. Once I have my tools I head over to the store where I usually start from left to right and going only through the aisles I’m getting things from. I tend to stick to my grocery list because if I stray off I end up spending more money. If I have a coupon for something I look at how much I save compared to what the store brand cost. I don’t use a coupon just because I have it that just doesn’t save money. I use coupons on items I was going to purchase anyways. Grocery shopping has became like a game to me where I try to save more money every time I go and so far I’m winning.
Yesterday I saved $75 on my groceries and earned more points for our rewards card. I also used my credit card to pay and earned 1% cash back. You have to love all those savings! Who does the grocery shopping in your household? Do you have any tips for me that might save me more money?