Forced Frugality and Online Learning

Does your wallet look like this? So many of us are getting this way with the economy the way it is going. We have been hit too. With me being a WAHGM and my husband’s job cutting overtime first and now cutting actual hours things look glim. At least with hours cut we still have insurance, more than some people have, so I am thankful.

For many of us frugality was a choice. We could do some here or there and get by. We cut where we wanted to and where chose to cut. Now many are forced to cut everywhere.

For us, my husband is a big one for wanting to eat out. We cut in places and kept him happy eating out once a week. Now, that is impossible.

I am not trying to make some special meals on little money, and checking blogs for how others do it! If you have suggestions leave them in the comments please!

One thing I want to keep is my internet. I find that you not only can keep contact with family and friends you can save a lot of money with do it yourself tutorials and learning.

Need to fix your sink leak? Look online. How about get some online learning to keep your mind fresh or to help job hunting?  MIT,  as well as many other colleges offer them free online. There are tutorials for free for all kinds of things from sewing to fixing your car. Not that I would try all of them, but they are there!

Besides a google search, you can go to sites like:

Lifehacker, Thrifty fun, tipnut, ehow and other places.

DIY helps with house projects.

These are only the tip of the iceberg on places to help save money. For some a necessity and others a desire.  Another place to check out is Life as a Mom. On Fridays many bloggers get together and give their frugal ways out to all bloggy world. Check it out!

Cheerful Frugality

First, for a chance to get a nice package check out Ain’t No Place To Put A Sticker.

In these days with so many losing their jobs I think we all think more frugally. Ladies, I know for some it is a hard thing to do and not complain. Some of you have not been forced to make changes yet, at least not to any big degree, but why wait?

For us, my husband had to change jobs that resulted in over $100 less per week pay. Until the January he was able to make some of it up with some overtime and we could also make a bit of it with my cleaning job. First, his overtime was cut and then they cut the extra’s on my cleaning job. This has left us hurting.

When the handwriting was on the wall that the US was going to have a real turn in the economy and things began shaping up for a set back I began to make more changes in our budget.

Right here I would like to say that attitude makes a big difference. Your husband feels bad enough about things when he loses his job, or takes a cut. Or you, if you are the one bringing in the income. Don’t complain and make things worse. Make the changes silently and with a smile.

What changes?

  • Think waste not. I try to have as little waste as I can. Now, I am not one to waste to begin with, but I checked to see where I was wasting, how I can use things for another purpose and can something that really will not make another meal be used for part of my dog food. (yes, that helps cut down the food you need to buy)
  • Make from scratch. I am not a box person, or a ready made meal person, but there are some things that I would buy. HOWEVER, sometimes the box will work and the price will be less. For instance, mashed potatoes. The price of potatoes here went up and the packaged was on sale. I made potato soup with some boxed and a few fresh thrown in.
  • Toilet paper rolls. Yes, those brown cardboard things inside your toilet paper or paper towels.  They work well to make small pots to start your garden seeds in. Save them up, the collect fast.  pack together in a tray, meat tray or something, fill with dirt and put in your seeds. Planting time you just stick them in the ground and they fall apart. Green, cheap and works!
  • Craigslist and Freecycle. I have freecycled for some time, and have done the craigslist before too. However, I do not always think of it. Now I do. We needed to get a buck for our goats. I found one on Craigslist for free and he is a sweet (but stinky as all bucks are) goat. BE CAREFUL! But, free is good and many things can be found for nothing.

This is just a handful of ideas, I am sure you have more and I would love for you to share them with me also. I do want to stress again, attitude. Be cheerful and build up your husband as well. We are all going through a lot as a nation and need to stick together and get through.

For more ideas on being frugal check out Life as a Mom for the Frugal Friday edition.

Loss of Income Help!

I need help. Since this is Frugal Friday I thought I would ask for ideas here.

It appears that our income may be cut by a third or more in the next few weeks, by the beginning of July anyway. Right now we are struggling, and this will make things even tighter.

I am not a person to spend wildly and have always tried to be fairly frugal and wise in our spending, however, this will be pushing it to the limit for awhile.

Have any of you had this happen? What were the first things you did to make ends meet on what you were getting?

I get all the frugal blogs, websites and newsletters I can find and have been working on what I can long before this happened, so I am feeling like I am going to need to cut in some unfamiliar ways and want to see what others who have faced this have done.

How have any of you learned what is your place in the WAHM area? I am sure I can do something, yet feel very uncreative right now. I assume it is the stress we have been under for some time, since I am normally a creative person.

SO… help me out dear bloggers! Those that work from home in any way, what do you do and how did you figure out to do it?

For frugal ideas, and I will check them all! go to Biblical Womanhood!

Stay Home and Save Some Bucks

This blog started with a real burden for the younger women. In today’s society Biblical principles are ignored, even in many churches. Our young adults are growing up like the world because they have not been taught by the older generations. In fact, the older generation has been so caught up in the ways of the world that they do not remember the things that were morally, spiritually and right. Divorce is rampant. Materialism is the thing to strive for and a me first attitude prevails.

It was because of what the Word of God says here that I began this blog:

“Let the older women teach the younger women to love their husbands, love their children, be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored” (Titus 2:3-5)

As I look at the world today I am seeing more and more reason to step up and be what we are to be. I do not know about you, but with all the cost of things going up, gas going up and health care skyrocketing it seems to me that one way to help us and our families is to “be sensible and workers at home”.

Our wants and needs need to be clarified. “Keeping up with the Joneses” was poor to begin with but makes even less sense now.  Developing a frugal lifestyle, using what we have and being creative can be a great gift to the family and to our stress level.

Being keepers of the home and generating an income from our creativity or even just the amount we save the family by not working, is a great asset. I once saw a report about how the average working mom brings in such a small amount that it is often in the negative and cost for her to work outside the family.  A friend and I tested this. She had good credentials, but that meant better dressing, more traveling for a better paying job, a better second car (with payments and gas) as well as the lunches etc. It ended up costing her to work at a good paying job and she was better at home where meals could be planned, no second car payment and a less costly wardrobe. Also, less stress.

I am a grandmother, at home with one granddaughter. I look for frugal ways to stretch the budget. We have one car, if I need to keep it I do as my husband only works about 3 miles from home. He is practicing on his bike to be able to ride that far and save even more gas. (He is overweight, so this is a big undertaking for him and I am proud of him!)

One of the ways I look for frugal ideas is other blogs and Frugal Friday Posts at Biblical Womanhood. I am also looking for ways to make money from home. I did this as my kids were growing up. Each place we lived there was a different way. Now that I am in Texas I am trying to find my way here as well as online.

If you make money online, how did you get started?

Just Say NO!

Today is Friday and I usually like to include some frugal ideas for family and join in the fun at Biblical Womanhood. Last night I was tired and did not get my blog written and this morning I was in bed and thought about it. Funny thing, by the time I got to the computer my thoughts were all jumbled up and the idea for frugal Friday fell out somewhere between here and the bedroom.

I have been trying not to blame it on old age, but I am getting worried. Stress? Maybe. Lack of sleep? Another idea. Or could it be that I am just a scatterbrained grammie? I hope not!

Actually, I tend to think it is stress. I do not know about you, but life takes a lot out of us with everything going on. Gas prices, food prices, health insurance costing more and paying out less. Add to that the problems that weather causes (a bad rain washed out our driveway, but others have tornadoes etc too),  health problems and all the other daily living things we tend to get a bit overwhelmed.

When I had my bloggy giveaway one thing I realized, so many of us are stressed with all that is expected of us and needs to be done. Single mom’s trying to raise the family, wives trying to fill their roll as wife and mom and some have no help from their husbands either.

With all this, how can we think? How can we plan to be frugal? Today it is becoming more and more of a necessity than an option.

One thing I am learning is “Just say no”. Sometimes it comes to that. Materialism has taken over our world. The toys are no longer cheap. Kids no longer need to use creativity to make things to play with, they want it all provided. When I was growing up, as well as when we raised our kids on a tight budget, creativity was the answer for play. Parents now think that kids need to have every toy out there. They feel their child will not do well in school if they are not filled with baby Einstein or Leap Frog or one of the other “learning” toys. Kids are pushed and not allowed to be kids.

What is wrong with saying “no” and letting them use their imagination? Imagination is frugal, but with great impact on development.  Creativity. It does not need to be bought.

Frugal is also saying “no” to ourselves. No to eating out every time we do not want to cook. No to running to the store for a few items. No to lobster. (Sorry, I am from Maine and living in Texas and dying for lobster!).

NO. A powerful word when followed through. Only two letters, but can be a huge help to the budget, to the stress and to the mind. Get going, say “no” and let you and your kids use some creativity!

For more frugal ideas go to Biblical Womanhood!