We’ve made a kind of a name for ourselves as far as living debt free goes – and teaching other people how to make it a real thing in their own lives. Barry does a lot of work with people on the side trying to help them live debt free as well. Our whole debt free story is available both on the Humorous Homemaking and on Facebook under videos. But recently we asked if y’all had any specific questions related to living debt free and decided to answer them today in kind of a speed Q&A round. [Read more…]
I have told our family’s debt free story before, but it’s been requested a lot lately. And I have to admit, in recent years, I’ve almost been resistant to share. I guess it’s because I’m worried that people will think I am bragging or I am trying to point fingers at other people for the choices they make. I promise I am not trying to do either of those!
I’m just telling where we’ve come from, where we are now, and how we got there.
We’ll call this the new and improved version – but it’s really the same old story a lot of you have probably already heard. And this may come as a shock, but we weren’t born into wealthy families and we didn’t get here by chance or luck. No, our family is debt-free thanks to hard work and dedication. [Read more…]
I often get asked… “Stacy, how do I budget for unexpected expenses?” A huge part of homemaking is budgeting, y’all! Today, I’m going to share how Barry and I handle unexpected expenses each month.
To start off, what are unexpected expenses? Any expenses that you were not expecting! I love when definitions work out so easily like that. Every single month there will be times when you will say, “Oh no! I didn’t budget for this!”
Things you don’t plan for ALWAYS pop up. Let me give you a few examples of some unexpected expenses.
If you have followed me for awhile, then you know that I’m the blogger formerly known as Stacy Makes Cents.
And while yes, the name of the blog has changed, we still focus a lot on budgeting. My husband has written two books on budgeting and getting out of debt. Barry and I are huge into encouraging people to get out of debt and live free.
We started with a budget the day we got married. We went on our honeymoon with our cash budget. I’ve had a grocery budget since then and for us, a cash grocery budget just works. We’ve always done a cash budget because it helps me reign myself in as far as spending on groceries goes.
Comparing grocery budgets is not straightforward.
When one of you ask what my budget is… it’s not really an apples to apples kind of comparison, because grocery budgets will differ so much based on where you live. I live in a rural area in the mountains of southwest Virginia. It doesn’t cost a whole lot for me to buy my groceries here. There are people who live in areas where food is just super expensive! I have friends who live in California, different parts of Canada and the islands of Hawaii that spend double (or more!) than I do on food. [Read more…]
As you probably already know, our family loves to shop online and we love to save money. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know most of the benefits of shopping online already, but humor me for a bit because I may teach you a thing or two about simplifying your online shopping experience and save you some money along the way. [Read more…]
We all know we should eat healthy, get plenty of sleep at night, exercise, and be proactive with managing our finances. And yet we’re a society that hits the drive thru, stays up too late to get up early, sits on the couch Netflix binge watching and lives on credit cards. We want all the benefits without being disciplined enough to earn them. Wouldn’t it be nice if just one thing in our life could be easy?!
I’m at least 20 lbs. overweight, sleep and 4 small children don’t mix, and I only run if being chased…so don’t look for my expertise on the first three of those items above. However, we’ve done pretty well with our finances. In fact, we were able to become 100% debt free in 2011 (including our home) and have never looked back. That means one of two things: 1) we make a ton of money and can blow it all at will, or 2) we make a budget every month and stick to it. Trust me…it is #2. [Read more…]
Health insurance has become a hot topic of discussion around these parts lately. One of the things that has come up more and more for those fed up with traditional health insurance is the concept of health sharing plans in lieu of traditional health insurance. The idea isn’t new – faith-based “health sharing arrangements” have been around since the early 80’s as an alternative to standard health insurance plans.
The thing I’ve long hailed is that no matter what your lot in life, health insurance is a necessity. I believe you take too big a risk of sinking your financial ship if you do not carry at least basic major medical coverage of some sort, and I even dedicated a portion of my book to that very notion. [Read more…]
Let’s start off with a joke: what do you get when you combine a pregnant woman suffering from all-day “morning sickness,” three kids aged six, three and one, a small dog who is almost blind and a husband who works full time and is in a season of busy travel for work? Give up? You get the perfect time to do a kitchen remodel, that’s what you get! [Read more…]
I talk to lots of people who don’t make budgets…shame on you. A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went (thank you Dave Ramsey!). Did you know that if you make a budget you usually end up finding out that you have MORE money than you thought? It’s true. So, make more money and work out a budget. See how easy it can be to set good priorities? That’s all a budget is – priorities on paper.
It’s pretty easy to make a budget, it just takes time and effort. Here’s a great free budget template that we use. I love my budget. It’s a security system for me. I don’t have to wonder how much money I have…..I KNOW. I can see it. If it’s getting close to the end of the month, I can look and see how much I have left – not cry at the register because I’m afraid that I don’t have enough to buy my toilet paper….and no toilet paper is a crying matter, my friends.
When you think about starting to make a budget, you have to consider three things – needs, wants and wishes. It’s critical you understand these things before you begin a budget…..or else you’re in trouble. Big trouble. Up poop creek without a paddle…..or toilet paper. [Read more…]
Here’s the deal – unless you have some superhuman powers I’m not aware of, you probably have a bunch of junk laying around your house. You may not classify it as junk, but if you don’t absolutely love it and it isn’t useful to you today or in the near and known future – it might as well be classified to you as junk. The “I might need it one day” syndrome is rampant in American culture…and I could be the poster child for that syndrome! I get it – I grew up in a home where we had plenty of “I might need it one day” items or “that was too good of a deal to pass up” stuff.
With our latest motivation to declutter and embrace the KonMari approach to get rid of a bunch of stuff we didn’t need, Stacy took on her natural role of organizer and went at the decluttering with a vengeance. Each day we’d chat off and on about what to do with the things we decided we didn’t love and were ready to part with. Everything basically fell into three categories: donate, sell, and trash. [Read more…]