|Left to Right: Abby, Baby Bubzy (Joshua Titus), Abram, and my best friend and husband, Josh who handles with grace and love our finances.|
Living debt free and living frugally are not the same things, although they do cross paths more than not, especially at first. There are times when I am fixing peanut butter sandwiches for lunch daily because grocery money is down to $2 until next Friday...but there are other times when we just got a bonus or have done really well at saving and I splurge on the best Science curriculum I can find for next year--brand new books and all.
If you're just starting out, you can start living the Debt Free Lifestyle right away--even before you pay that last note. Debt Free Living doesn't mean you don't have any debts left to pay. It means that you are daily making choices that move you in that direction. (We are currently debt free except for our mortgage and a small loan to fix the house to sell.) The only things we are willing to go in to debt for are our mortgage, life and limb matters, and things like the plumbing under the house just busted and sewage is flooding our bathroom (actually happened) type emergencies. That's about it.)
For more on how you can live the Debt-Free Life-Style before the sun rises tomorrow, read;
Debt Free or Debt Free Life-Style?
Our Debt Free Life-Style Habits
- We really DEPEND on God! When we're having a tight November and Christmas money is nonexistant, we're not sitting around wondering whether or not to get the Amex out. I am on my knees, praying that God would provide a wonderful Christmas for my children. When we're buying a vehicle, we're not looking for the nearest loan office, we're praying that God would open our eyes to see which vehicle will work best for us right now and show us where this money is coming from.
The Debt-free Decision that Saved My Life
- We look ahead a ways down the road and make decisions based on our future. If there's a "surge" in income, I might have enough for patio furniture...but in a few short months my children are starting school again and need new science curriculum. We go ahead and buy books and set them aside for late August and go without the seating.
- We buy used first, dollar stores second, and everywhere else last. You would be amazed at what you can find if you search!
- Spend more on food! I am slowly but surely learning this one. Food matters to your health, your energy level, and your pallet. Splurge as much as you can stretch your pocket book and it will still be cheaper than eating out. This is a habit in progress for me.
- We buy when we need it. This might seem obvious and might even seem contradictory to thinking ahead. What I mean, is with the exception of necessity items, such as basic clothing, school books, etc., we just don't buy things for "later". We don't buy stocking stuffers and wrapping paper for next year, we don't buy party supplies for the future, we don't buy that lamp that would look great somewhere, someday.
- We give. I believe so stongly in 'you reap what you sow' that when I need clothes for the kids, I take a bag around to all the closets and start weeding out everything we don't need. I hand them down to someone with similar sizes and usually within a couple of weeks I have clothes or extra money for clothes. God has never failed me in this area.
Our Old Budget
Our Debt Story
How I Make My Own Baby Wipes
Series: How I Decorate Without Using Debt