Monday, July 20, 2009

Making do

My husband and I struggle with money. We've never come to the point where we have had to say we are flat out broke, but we have come close a couple of times. Mostly when the **** hits the fans.

Our problem is that we don't like to do without. When we have money, we know we can spend it so we do. If we are out and about, it's much easier to just grab some food from the food court than it is to remember to pack some snacks or to wait until we get home to eat.

I'm drawn to sales. I've said it before, I love shopping.


So we've started to change our ways. We are making do. When we go out and the urge to splurge hits us, we actively take the time to pause and consider and reconsider. Do we need this? If so do we need this right now? Can we get it cheaper somewhere else?

For instance, my kids and I have been spending on average 2-4 hours per day out walking. Its great exercise and they like looking at the neighbourhood and generally I can get them to fall asleep during the walk. But my poor stroller isn't holding up very well. It was just a cheap double stroller that we bought so I wouldn't have to sling Little Bit absolutely everywhere. What I really want is a double jogging stroller.

But the fact is I don't need it. As long as I don't go too fast and we don't go too far my stroller doesn't yell at me too much. When and if it breaks then I'll go out and find a used jogging stroller but it's really too gluttonous to have two strollers at once. I just can't justify it to myself.


This is a really hard concept for us to really get around. The fact that just because it's there, doesn't mean we should spend it. Saving is hard. Having all the money go into one account is harder. My hubby goes out and spends money when I'm not around and I do the same when he's not around so at the end of the month neither of us is really sure what's left in the account.

Our new goal is to live plastic free. At the start of a pay period we are going to take out a set amount of money and that's all we will be allowed to use for personal use and things like groceries. Most of our bills get taken out automatically so that's taken care of.

I think if we can manage to just live on cash our spending will drop dramatically and we'll be able to start making a nice little cushion.

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