Saturday, June 14, 2014

What I Am Learning During our "Spending Freeze"

I had been talking about moving into a bigger home for about 9 months before we moved to this house in February...I could tell that our current home wasn't working well with homeschooling our 6 kids.  We had talked about doing some remodeling with our home, or building a new home, and there was a home nearby that was for sale.  At the very end of December we learned that some people we go to church with were being transferred out of state and needed to sell their home.  It seemed like it would be a good fit for our family and I felt really good about the move.  Unfortunately, we had to buy the house without the selling our current home first.

We have been on a self imposed spending freeze since moving into our new home...while waiting for our other house to sell.  It is going much slower than we had is under contract now.  But it is a contingency offer (they do have an offer on their house) and it doesn't close until the end of July.  So, we are just praying that everything goes well for them so that it will go through on our end!  We decided not to try to sell it while we were still in it...that option was really overwhelming for me.  I didn't know how I could possibly keep it clean enough to show at a moments notice and make it look like 8 people did not live there.

Since moving...and owning 2 homes...we have had to make some adjustments to our spending habits.

1.  I am learning that we spent a lot of money of stuff we didn't need!  Not that we are big spenders...but I realize more than ever that there were unnecessary purchases.

2.  I am learning that we spent more for groceries than I realized.  While we've never been really big spenders at the grocery store and I always shop the sales...I never really worried about how much I was spending.  My kids are learning to say "If we have room in the budget this week can we buy______"

3.  I am learning that we ate more junk food than we needed to.  I actually already knew that.  Ryan is a wonderful husband and does some of the grocery shopping for me...however, he does have a habit of throwing some extra things in the cart that I wouldn't normally buy.  So, when Ryan or the girls get the munchies on the weekend...they have been opening up some cans of my freeze dried fruit that I have had for several years.  I guess it's a good way to rotate it and see what we like!  Kessiah has also made several sweet treats when she "needs" something and I have made an effort to make more treats.

4.  You don't have to spend money to have fun!  Especially when you have a bunch of baby chicks, ducklings, and kittens.  Our new pets have provided lots of entertainment that has helped a lot when we have had to say "no" to different activities.

5.  You can get through Easter without a new outfit!  We have always bought the girls new dresses for Easter.  I thought about it during the month before Easter but never said anything to the girls and they never said anything either...until we were on our way to church on Easter morning!  It surprised me that no one had mentioned anything before then about not having new dresses.  There was some disappointment expressed, but not as much as I expected.

6.  It is hard to say "no"  I guess I've usually been in a position where I can say "yes"  I found myself saying "no" to Jenessa more than anyone else...usually at the grocery store...I made her cry a few times...which of course made me feel bad.  She has gotten much better...but the first couple of months were hard.

7.  I spent too much on "disposables" ...paper towels, plastic baggies, etc.  They are easy and convenient.  I have been focusing more on using dishtowels instead of paper towels and plastic leftover containers instead of plastic baggies.  I've even stopped taking snacks with us in baggies and using plastic containers instead most of the time.

8.  I am learning how important a menu plan is!  I have always been pretty good at having some kind of plan...but now it is even more important because I don't have any freezer "junk food" to fall back on if I get lazy!  I have done some freezer cooking in the past but I haven't done any since we moved here...maybe I'll have to try that again.

9.  I am really glad that I had some food storage put away.  I have been using it...because I have just been buying what we need for the current next couple of weeks and still trying to stay within my new budget. 

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