Today I am not going to write my typical post (feel free to come back tomorrow if this topic doesn't float your boat). I'm actually going to talk about something downright taboo. I'm gonna talk about the green stuff...yep, that's right, money! Who doesn't love money? I sure do and I wish I had more of it these days haha, but who doesn't? I'm about to get real about that flashy crisp paper.
I admit that I find it completely fascinating when people are able to live on one income. Especially since we are a one income household. A lot of times they make it seem so easy when I have had such a struggle with it ever since deciding to close down Clutter to Classy (my professional organizing business).
It's been really tight for us since moving to California because the cost of living is much more and my hubby actually makes less...go figure. So I have been trying to get used to not having a whole lotta' bucks to devote to decorating. It has been an amazing challenge for me and truly taken this blog in a new direction than if I had stayed in Baltimore. Where as I used to be able to drop $$$ on a pillow I now have to figure out how to do it for $. This has made me more creative in the execution process of decorating. Which is an awesome skill to have.
So why am I telling y'all this? Because I get a lot of emails from my sweet readers asking how we make it work on one income and if I have any tips to share with the class. The truth is there is no magical formula. But I am happy to share what works for our family even if it's just for entertainment value.
I have to say it... grown up allowances are the bomb! Knowing we actually get "fun money" out of our paychecks makes it feel like our home & our family is a priority and it makes paying bills not quite as painful.
We also have three different accounts. We have a savings account, a joint account, & a "Courtney" account. The Courtney account was a sweet attempt by my husband to make me feel like I had my own money to shop with even though it all comes from his paycheck. I can just spend from that account until it is empty with no worries. Let's just say that account mostly stays empty because after awhile I feel guilty that he doesn't have his own account. So I just stick whatever money I happen to bring in on the side in it. As self explanatory as the savings account is, it happens to stay quite tiny at times but knowing it is established is one step in the right direction.
A lot of you ask also how I save money other than cutting cost when it comes to projects. I am not nearly as cool as those
I am also a big believer in pairing a splurge item with a sensible item. For example, the little man has to look like a stylish dude. So I may splurge on a Janie & Jack hat but I pair it with a Target sweater. That's just us keeping it real. I may splurge on a lamp but cut back by purchasing a thrift store table for it to go on. Here is an example of that lil' formula...
|ahhh yeah...show me what you're working with...|
We also chose to be a one car family, to eat a lot of crock pot meals and we chose to be "the cup is half full," kinda family. We make going to get a latte an event. We take family drives and walks. We go to local events and even cook together. We try to just enjoy each others company, which is totally free and totally awesome.
I bet you can also guess..I try and make my gifts for people not only to save money but to make it more personal. Especially for Christmas this year. We don't do credit cards and believe it or not we don't really miss out.
I have to share my latest SCORE with you & my last little tip. I LOVE to hold on to gift cards for just a little while until there is a sale going on to use it in combination with. Remember this bag you all love?
Well I was able to get it for $15 out of pocket. Can you believe it? It was a $300 bag. But when I combined a sale with my gift card I had been holding onto I only had to pay $15. I also recently bought my little man this $129 Janie & Jack coat (ouch) for only $20 out of pocket.
This seriously made me do the happy dance in the middle of the living room while the hubs and the dogs watched. I thought it was liberating...I am pretty sure by their faces they thought is was
And here is a perfect example of one of my favorite, completely free projects that was born out of complete creativity and on hand supplies.
|Here is the How to|
Well I will wrap this up because I know that this post may be extremely boring to some of you, but I just wanted to share my life (the good and the bad) (the socially acceptable and the taboo) with those of you who emailed me and may find it interesting. If you find yourself on a tight budget just know you are not alone. Try to find the creative beauty in a budget...it makes it so much easier to be okay with where you are at financially. And don't misunderstand. I still shop Anthropologie and Sephora as well as enjoy fun things like my new birthday ipad woo whoo! But those purchases are in the "not often" category of the budget which makes me appreciate them even more. I really hope this helps some of you, especially when you are under such financial pressure during the holiday season.
I will be back tomorrow with something less heavy and more normal..but thanks for sticking it out with me today. I heart y'all!