Category: Family

How to Get the Best Price When Buying a Car

I wrote over two months ago about my desire to buy a newer car, but that it felt more like an impulse purchase than a real need at the time. I didn’t want to take us off our financial path, and surely didn’t want to buy a newer car upon impulse. The type of vehicle I had test-drove several times would’ve done so easily. Last week though, that all changed with a twist of fate starting on Tuesday night.

First, before I share this story, I want to let you know Chris and I swapped cars before Christmas. Both the same Hyundai Elantra model, just his a silver hatchback which I prefer and mine a two-year older blue sedan. I had planned to have him run up the miles on the blue car (he commutes far), so in time it would be ready for a trade for what I truly wanted to get; which I still wasn’t sure.

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Frugal Date Ideas

One of the biggest expenses in our lives used to be eating out or seeking outside entertainment. We’d go to dinner and a movie and spend our entire week’s food budget on one evening, sometimes to the tune of $75 for the date. We never went to fancy places, but once children came along we didn’t have as much energy to stay up late nor additional income to toss away on one night. Once child number two entered our lives, it became even more apparent the choices we make on how to spend our income.

Some great changes we’ve made have been to take advantage of free childcare through grandparents who love to spend time with the kids, but still want to have their evenings free for their own entertainment. Chris’ parents are always willing to take the kids during the day, or morning, but they do have an evening social life they enjoy otherwise.

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No New Clothes: April Update

It’s been almost half a year without buying new clothes and I can say it’s been far easier than I had originally thought. When I started, I was unsure how I’d make it through the post-partum weight-loss process without new clothes to get me through the mid-way between size situation.

Now, I’m treating the weight-loss similar to the pregnancy weight-gain, slowly changing over to clothing that will fit with a belt or a button open. Doing it in reverse, so I can slowly donate the larger clothing once I’m finished completely. Seeing as how I own 3 bins worth of smaller sized clothing from my pre-pregnancy days, I will have more than enough clothing when I am finished losing weight.

What has this challenge taught me thus far?

I spend less time in the store because I’m no longer browsing for seasonable fashions. I skip over the clothing section completely and don’t even walk into clothing stores anymore. With the boys, I look or take a picture of cute outfits instead of buying them. Their drawers are barreling over in clothing so I haven’t bought much for them either, and nothing in the past month. They also receive gifts of clothing, which are super cute! Continue reading…

No New Clothes: March Update

So far, since the end of November, I’ve not purchased any new clothes (4 months!). I have several good reasons, one of which are several bins of smaller sized clothing prepartum to get back into. This month I continued to skip clothes shopping, although I did end up getting one new pair of running sneakers. If there is anything I am not willing to give up, it is appropriate footwear for running.

Unfortunately, even though I tried on about 6 different running pairs and landed on one that seemed like a winner, my knees were hurting after just a few short runs (and I can’t return them, bummer). So, I’m running in my older sneakers that still have life left in them, and the new ones have been great for walking.

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3 Simple Steps to Money Management

You must think I spend all week looking at my budget sheets, organizing my receipts, and planning our expenses or managing investments. How do I get anything else done when I spend so much time looking at and running the numbers?

I do run a personal finance blog after all, right?

It may seem overwhelming to take control of your finances. Should you pay off debt? Should you invest money? What should your goals be? That all comes after you put together the pieces of your money management puzzle and define your values and priorities.

In reality, I spend about 5-10 minutes managing our finances weekly.

Here are 3 simple steps to get started managing your money: Continue reading…