Thursday, December 25, 2008

A new year and a fresh start.

I have always been cheap. Though this tightwaddery has taken different forms over the years.

When in my 20's, young, no overhead and no responsibilities this meant buying designer clothes on sale. I have to admit that I thought nothing of spending $200 on a pair of shoes. Keep in mind that was twenty years in today's term that is more like $350! (If I knew what I knew now that money would have been invested. But no sense crying over the latte once you have dropped it!)

Life marched on and I found myself without a spouse and two children. One whom has special needs. His day to day care means that I find myself unable to work a full time job. Impossible to find an employer who will let you take two weeks off without notice. What is a girl to do? How can I go from buying what I wanted when I wanted, eating out every day, sometimes twice to tightening the purse string so tight it almost snaps?

I got frugal baby!

It started slowly. Maybe checking out second hand stores if I was in the mood to buying a couple extra items at the grocery store when they were cheap. But when my income fell by 50% I had to step up my game. The last year I have been getting better but I really need to make the extra push this year. I have some debt that I want to clear ASAP. I have a credit card and a line of credit that total $7000. This debt is a hair away from drowning me. And I am going to drag you on this journey with me. Some may already be on the frugal express and some of you may have just had a sudden setback. Be it job loss or reduced pay to keep that job. We are all getting hit hard and I am afraid that it won't be getting easier for many of us. I want to share what I have figured out myself or have been taught by some really decent, kind hearted people online. I also want your ideas...though I think I know everything, um, I don't!

A little background about me. I am not on welfare nor do I get any government help outside my baby bonus and a small disability payment for my son. Combined I am 53% below the poverty level for my area in which I live. Yet I have to say that though I have my money worries I live a pretty decent lifestyle and my children want for nothing. We eat very healthy, my children look presentable and my home is comfy and looks nice. We get to the movies once in awhile, have fun and don't feel deprived. So if I can do this on so very little, imagine what you could do with a single or double income household?

So being that this is a new year, it is also going to be a fresh start. I want to even save more money and hope to be out of debt in about 18 months. That means I will have to be saving $4000 a year out of about $12 500 a year. It will require some pretty fancy foot work on my part but I am up for the challenge.

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