Back on the Wagon
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  1. #1
    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    Default Back on the Wagon

    I'm the first to admit that when times are good, I let up a bit on my frugal habits. I never give them up completely, but I do lighten up a bit and may spend a bit more than usual.

    This fall, however, it's time to get back on the frugal wagon, whole-heartedly. No more slacking. In fact, I need to be working harder than ever to save, save, save.

    First of all, I'm taking a 1.5% pay cut. I'm a public school teacher in NJ, and this is one of the many changes that Chris Christie has implemented in public education in NJ. We are also in a negotiating year, and Christie has also put a cap on what we can negotiate, so it is entirely possible that our new contract will have no raise in it, or may be more of a cut, so I don't know for sure what I'll be making in the coming three years.

    Secondly, we finally sold our old house and purchased a new home. However, the new house did cost more than the old one, and our mortgage payment has gone up. Our new payment is about $3,300 per month! We used to pay a ton extra on our old mortgage, so we can, luckily do this, as we were doing it on the old house, but unfortunately, this is the base payment, with no extra going to principal.

    Third, we were looking forward to DS2 going to kindergarten so we wouldn't have to make a daycare payment anymore, but we were blessed and surprised with DS3 last February, so daycare it is, again. However, this is a home daycare, so we are only paying $800 per month, as opposed to the $1300 we were paying for DS2 at nursery school, so technically, we are saving about $500 there.

    Fourth, my 10 year old van was just about done, so we decided to go ahead and get a new vehicle. DH has wanted a Jeep since we were kids, and so we traded in my van and bought him a 4-door Jeep. He's thrilled, and I've inherited his 2006 Ford Expedition. So, we now have a car payment, where we haven't for three years. Perhaps the timing wasn't smart, but we were nervous about getting in a situation where the van just died and we had to make a snap decision about what to buy. Also, DH's company is offering a fantastic rate if we finance through them, so we are doing that to save some more.

    So, it's a lot of money going out. We do have some things going for us, though.

    1) We're both employed in careers that do offer some type of job security. I'd never say never, (particularly in this economic environment) but I think we're in good shape with keeping our jobs.

    2) The Team Leader of the team I teach on got a job in a different district, and so I am going to be the new team leader, which is a stipend position. That is extra money.

    3) I gave up being the musical director for our spring musical last year because I was on maternity leave with DS3, however, I'm taking the position back this year, which is another stipend position and something I just love.

    4) I still have 3 piano students and will see if I can garner any more for some extra cash and doing something I love.

    5) Although I purged quite a bit before we moved, as I unpacked, I found other things that I am more than willing to part with, and so I will be eBaying when we get back from vacation.

    6) I am more than willing to cook dinners every night rather than eat out, and my whole family is used to me sending them with lunch and not buying, so this is not a change that they will have to get used to.

    So, while frugality is nothing new to me, it's time to go black belt again! Wish us luck!
    Last edited by AmyBoz; 08-09-2011 at 08:23 AM.
    Blog: http://amysreallife.com

    Amy
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    Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

  2. #2
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    I'm with you...I go months of doing awesome with our budget....then like the summer for instance...spend,spend,spend! which isn't so bad as it is not on CC's....but that is money that could go onto our mortgage...Live and learn...and start the day fresh!

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    Default i so needed to read this...

    i too do this but i must must keep to the frugal ways so that when and if the shtf I will be prepared...hehe...thanks for the push!

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  5. #4
    Registered User Megareader's Avatar
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    I'm right there with you...dh is retired and I just quit my job on Friday so we need to watch what we are doing. Time to rededicate myself to frugality.

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    I hear you Amy. I'm glad to hear about your new house and that you're doing well.

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    Amy - it's so good to hear from you again. Love the situation you're in - yes, you;ll need to be back to strong frugalaity, but look what you're being frugal will get you!! Looking forward to hearing your frugal and family stories.

  8. #7
    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    You can do this. Hop back on the wagon!

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    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Glad to hear younare loving your new home. Jump back on the wagon...you can do it!




  10. #9
    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Glad to see you back Amy, was wondering if it was moving time for your family Yes of course you can tighten up that frugality belt - you've done it before and I'm sure you'll be able to do it again

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    Good Luck to you!

    I go through phases like that myself! Especially in the summer, with the larger winter bills, school, and Holidays- this is the time of year I get back onto the wagon. Especially after I finish the back to school shopping!

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    Registered User bumplett's Avatar
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    I think we all fall off the wagon every now and then.


  13. #12
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    Great post! So honest.....I enjoyed reading it.
    Well, you know what needs to be done and you will be soon making extra payments on that mortgage before you know it!
    You know FV will keep you on track!!
    Take care!

  14. #13
    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    Well, I got started this morning.

    I'm on vacation at the beach, but DH had gone home for 3 days last week to work, and brought down our mail with him when he returned for the week, this week. Included was our first mortgage bill. So, I paid the mortgage and added $71.24 to principal. Again, it's nowhere near the extra we used to pay, but I just couldn't start off without sending ANY extra.

    Also, on vacation, we're staying with my parents and have been buying and preparing all of the meals. As we move into the second week, I told my Mom, last night, that we needed to eat our way through all of the leftovers before I went back and bought anymore. My parents aren't big on the leftovers...they throw away more food than anyone I've ever met. However, to feed 8 of us, it is expensive, so I put my foot down and said "Nope...gotta eat the leftovers." Not a big deal for my family, but my parents had to shift their thinking. They weren't thrilled, but they are dealing.

    I also e-mailed my piano families to remind them that I'm coming home on Saturday and can start lessons again next week.

    Not big steps, but small, helpful ones!
    Blog: http://amysreallife.com

    Amy
    Wife to
    Mommy to 4
    Public School Teacher

    Mortgage - $377,836.63

    Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

  15. #14
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    Amy,

    So glad you are back!! Congrats on your new home. I have a lot easier time getting back on the wagon in the fall and winter seasons.

  16. #15
    Registered User Cricketlegs's Avatar
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    Hi Amy! Good to see you again!

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