Sunday, August 11, 2013

I Found It

Even as I wrote about getting my frugal mojo back, I was having trouble finding it. I knew what I needed to do, but was having a hard time moving in the right direction.

Then, on Friday, my husband quit his job.

My frugal mojo? I found it.

To be clear, I totally support my husband's decision. He has been HATING his job for a long time, and I have repeatedly told him he can quit and work on finding something he actually enjoys. He has held off because he felt bad, but he hit a breaking point, and put in his two weeks notice on Friday.

In the long run, I think this will be a good move. He is starting a school program to earn a certificate in radio production and taking the CBEST (the first test you need to get a teaching credential). He decided to take an extra class in the program (so nine units, instead of just six). If he passes the teaching test on the first try he should also be able to apply to start substituting, which would be a great way to make money and still be able to prioritize school. He's also applied for a job as a production assistant at a local radio show, and is going to continue to look for jobs and internships in the radio field. I'm glad he's actually pursuing jobs that would make him happy, rather than sticking it out somewhere that makes him miserable.

I worked the budget, and it's definitely do-able to live on one income. However, it will require some lifestyle changes from where we are now, and rather than wait until he is done at work, I'm implementing them NOW.

A few ways I have gotten my frugal on this weekend?
*Made banana bread from almost rotten bananas rather than just throwing them out. I did the same with the giant zucchini a friend gave me that probably would have gone to waste otherwise. I also froze individual portions of one loaf of zucchini bread so I can have them for breakfast before work. This was free since we had all of the ingredients already.
*Bought sandwich stuff to make sandwiches in a cooler for tomorrow's trip to the water park instead of buying overpriced, unhealthy food there (we have passes, so we get in for free).
*Snagged a free lotion from Bath and Body Works to use as a prize for a baby shower I am throwing. I plan to package it up cute with stuff from my gift wrap bin. That will save me from buying a $5 gift card.
*Made invitations and decorations for the baby shower using my Cricut. I spent $5 on paper at Michael's and still have a lot left from the pack of paper, so I feel good about that. I'll have to do a separate post with pictures of the baby shower stuff I made. It came out really cute!
*Went back on Recyclebank and earned a $5 Amazon gift card (planning to put it towards blades and mats for my Cricut, since I'm using it a lot for cards and such).
*Wrote five vendor reviews on The Knot and got a voucher for a free 8x8 photo book from Shutterfly. I will probably make this a Christmas or birthday present for someone.

I am also committing to bring my lunch to work this week (even though the kids aren't there yet, so it is VERY tempting to go out to lunch with co-workers). I bought good sandwich stuff and some crackers and fruit snacks to bring.

These are the kinds of things I didn't focus on after my debt was paid off, but knowing that we are going to be living on one income has immediately snapped me back into being more disciplined! My goal is to not tap into our savings at all, and in fact I'd like to pay at least $100 extra per month toward the student loan debt.

While there is some stress associated with this decision, I'm sort of enjoying getting back to my frugal ways. It's satisfying to me to see how much I can save and get for free.

Do you find frugality more satisfying than spending? Or do you prefer the rush of the mall/shopping?


  1. Wow! Big changes for you. This will bring you closer together. I do find frugality satisfying.

  2. Nice to see you blogging again! Congratulations on your recent wedding! Also, really liked your list of small ways of staying frugal. I think by attaching a monetary value to the food I eat it makes it that much harder for me to waste food. I might think oh its only a bagel or some fruit that I'm tossing but thats 2-3 dollars of food that is being wasted. Also, another good idea to not let fruit go to waste is to make smoothies. I've recently started doing that. I agree with ND Chic that you have some big changes ahead of you but I'm sure you will thrive and survive and still get to LIVE and enjoy life in the process. Best of luck to you both!

  3. I definitely find being frugal, even though we don't need to be. But to me, it's a no-brainer. WHY wouldn't you?? And I find a lot of fun in shopping at the thrift stores - it's amazing to me the things I can find! So if I stay out of the mall and don't read magazines with so much advertising in it, and not too much TV - I honestly don't miss all the extra "stuff" that they are always saying you "need" or "have to have!" Because I'm perfectly content with what I have.

    Good luck to the husband - he's going to be happier, which means the marriage will be better. Everyone may have to make some small sacrifices, but for the sake of the family/marriage - it'll be worth it, I'm sure! Keep us posted!

  4. Thanks all for the positive comments...I admit I was a little nervous to post this, so I really do appreciate the support!

  5. Glad to see you posting again! :) being frugal is awesome.
    Its funny, as I got older the more I hate shopping. I hate malls, I hate going out to 'get stuff'. I look at my closet, and seriously 95% of my clothes are at least 10 years old. Around the time I graduated college. I ended up just buying lots of plain colored, non-trendy, classic pieces, so it'll always look good. That has saved me a lot of $ over the years and curb'd my shopping needs. For example, slacks and a button down shirts will never go out of style, and a few dark jeans, which you can find on sale for ~$10. (wait for Express's after Thanksgiving sale or after Xmas sale, they're not abundant but you can always find one pair left. And always the Gap outlet has clearance pants). Also a strange one, that I just kinda fell into. Somehow my address go placed in Victoria Secret's mailing 3, (I swear I didn't do it), its under other ppls name with my address. Anyways almost once a month they give a $10 credit or 1 free undie (x3). So after a year or so, all I have are VS free undies, and when I get the $10 credit, I usually spend it on body wash (cus 1 bottle is $10) so I dont even have to pay a cent. haha

    My downfall is for weird gimmic stuff, home decorating or improvemnets and food. Thats where I waste all my $.