Hi guys! Today starts a week long series called This Is How We Do It. Each day Barry and I will be answering questions that you guys submitted to me over the past few weeks – questions about how we live debt free, budget, and manage our finances. You submitted great questions! So, let’s get started – and make sure you check out the Dave Ramsey giveaway at the bottom.
Do you have any advice on how to get my husband on board? I am a thrifter, saver, do-without-er, but he likes to spend, and doesn’t pay a lot of attention to the bottom line. He’s been unemployed for two years and let’s just say my income doesn’t cut it (we’re probably going to lose our house… any advice for that while you’re at it?)
Wow. It’s very hard to do anything money-wise when your spouse isn’t on board. Recently Barry talked about what to do when your spouse didn’t agree with the charitable giving you wanted to do. For the most part, I’ve found that spouses who really love each other can have conversations about this type of thing without ending up in the slammer for disturbing the peace. If it were me, I would ask him if he would mind chatting with me for a bit. Then I’d sit down with him and describe how I was feeling – how being in debt and being low on funds made me feel exactly. Because honey, men don’t know how women feel unless we spell it out for them on a piece of paper. And usually they’re HAPPY we’ve done so. Men like to come to the rescue. If you tell him how you’re feeling, he’ll likely want to fix it. Then, when he does do something awesome for you (like bringing in some extra cash), make sure to praise him highly for that. And lastly, pray for him. Pray that God will change his heart. Pray that God will open his eyes and give him a YEARNING to provide for his family…..our God moves mountains…..and husbands.
Barry Says –> As far as what to do about losing the house – it all depends on what you REALLY want to do. If you want to keep the house and the math says you can’t, you have to change the math. He needs to see the urgency of the situation and get some money coming in before it is too late. If you want to move on and find a home that better fits your budget, get about selling…and do it NOW. Don’t wait until you get a foreclosure notice from the bank and have spent every penny of savings trying to stay afloat.
- My husband and I have been married for 3 years and we are expecting our first baby in 9 weeks I’ve been making a move towards living more frugally because to be honest it simply does make a whole lot of sense. I’ve read a whole lot of blogs on things like meal planning and shopping thrift but things in the UK are a little different. Coupons aren’t nearly as big here as they are in the states. So my first question is: can you show an example of being frugal shopping-wise without coupons? I get the impression that in the states coupons are way to go with reducing your grocery bill. I would also like to know how you and your husband paid off $20,000 in 8 months. For us that’s about £13,000 which to me is utterly mind boggling!!! And on one wage too! I would love to be able to do even just half of that! We have debt that we are trying to tackle and I have just ordered Dave Ramsey’s book in a bid to be a bit “weird”. Before we were expecting our first baby I knew that when the day came for us to start our family I would want to become a stay at home mom. My family will never understand this. My parents think I should be some high flying corporate investment banker but to be honest it is just not my cup of tea. I want a good quality life not just a stack of money with no relationships to show for it. In a few months time we will be living on my partners wage alone which will amount to the equivalent of about $1,400 per month. We both have our own outside businesses that occasionally bring in extra income (He’s a wedding photographer and building that up and I am trying to set up a bath and body shop as I make soaps/lotions/serums etc and I am also a make-up artist). We know that we can certainly make extra income from those things but nothing is steady yet. So I guess I’m looking to ask if it’s possible to do life (even if it is tight) on his one income until another stream of income becomes regular.
Congratulations on being a new Mommy! Being a mom is the BEST JOB EVER!
You are correct in your statement that people in the US use lots of coupons. I used to be a self-professed coupon queen…….and now I hardly use coupons at all. How am I saving now? By buying in bulk. I buy large quantities in order to get a cheaper price. Also, I encourage you to buy in season. That means, when certain veggies are in season, buy large quantities and freeze/can them. If you want to be frugal, a chest freezer is a great investment! I find that most people who cut out processed foods have the extra budget room to buy the scratch ingredients – which are usually cheaper. How am I frugal with food now? I wait for a deal….and then I go in for the kill – buying large quantities at once.
Thanks for doing that UK math for me…..because math is not my strong suit – that’s why I married Barry. Someone else asked this exact question, so I’ll be answering it in another post coming up this week.
My goal in life is to help mommies stay at home and take care of their babies if they so desire – I think you have a very noble goal and I hope we can help you make it! You said “in a few months” you’ll be on one income. So, what’s stopping you from trying it right now? Immediately cut your budget to the bare bones and begin living solely from your husband’s income. Bank everything you get with your job, having no plans to touch it. See how it goes for those few months….can you make it? How are things? Where is it tight? That should give you a general idea of exactly how much extra you need each month to make it in addition to your husband’s income. It is very possible to live on one income…..I’m testament to that, along with several of my close friends. YOU CAN DO IT! Pray for God’s blessings upon your finances….He provides.
- I am trying to get started living debt free and feel so overwhelmed. I have read Dave Ramsey’s books and know what to do, but not how. I need to see on paper…a real paycheck and how to divide it on real bills. I would like to see a menu plan starting with the grocery sale paper to the table. I can’t seem to get it together when I try to put the plan in action. The money just ain’t there. Please help. Thanks.
Don’t worry, honey! Being overwhelmed is very normal! You’ve got the knowledge, now you just need to put it into use. You don’t just need to see A paycheck; you need to see YOUR paycheck on paper. How much are you making? What bills do you have each month? Write them down. If they’re on paper, they usually seem less daunting. Sign up for my daily email (the box on the right) and you’ll immediately receive Barry’s FREE eBook on how to set up your budget. He’ll walk you through it and teach you what to do….with forms and examples. And please, always feel free to email us with specific questions. Don’t let the overwhelming feelings cause you to quit – pray for courage and determination!
Now, once you know how much you have to spend on groceries, we can talk about meal plans. I am a meal planning junkie, but I don’t do mine based on the sale paper since I buy in bulk . But, it’s easy to do. Let’s break it down. Sit down and write down what’s on sale and what you’re going to buy. What would you like to cook from that list? Visit All Recipes and use the “ingredients” tab for help with meal ideas. So, on paper you should have a list of what you’re going to buy and a list of what you’re going to make. Do you lack anything on that list that you don’t have in your pantry? Add that to your grocery list. You should be going to the store to buy what’s on sale and what you need to complete your meal plan for the week. Nothing else. Don’t go to the store hungry and attempt to leave all hungry children and spouses at home….they’re expensive. You might also try doing a cash budget for groceries to insure that you don’t go overboard on how much you spend….when the cash is gone, you’re done. And always know, I’m here to help you if you need it.
For all the posts in this series, see links below: