Everyone has that one decoration that has stuck around for some reason. You want to throw it out but you’ve had it for so long you just keep it in the closet or the garage. This is what our “Home Sweet Home” sign was for us. We’ve been in our house for a year today and have had this thing since we had our second apartment together. We had originally put it by the door and hung our coats on it, but when we got our house I really wanted to do a gallery wall instead and it just didn’t match. My husband also pointed out that we had a lot of décor that said “home” on it, so I didn’t want to hang it, but I also didn’t want to throw something out that we have had for so long.
We live in Texas, which means that we have to embrace fall when it’s still in the 90’s outside. A nice Fall day right now means that it’s less than 80 degrees outside and that there is possibly a breeze. As much as I am a die-hard Texan it’s no secret that we have to embrace Fall in our own way. Yesterday morning was one of those days for me. I woke up and wanted to smell cinnamon, enjoy a warm breakfast and feel like it was a chilly autumn day. Yesterday also kicked off the first day of Fun and Frugalfest where we aren’t spending money outside of our budget and we are planning a budget-friendly date night which meant whatever I was going to cook needed to come from what we had in the pantry and fridge.
If you research personal finance or budgeting at all then you know that most people consider it a taboo topic. They will write about it but won’t openly discuss it, mainly because it is seen as rude to talk about how much you make, how much your house cost, how much money you owe in student loans and so on. What if instead of being ashamed or feeling like failures we actively made small changes to better ourselves and our situations?
I’ve done quite a bit of research around meal planning and to be completely honest, it is all just too much in my opinion. I think that meal planning is something that is pretty simple but I think it may seem simple to me because we don’t try to over-complicate it. At one point, we tried doing meal-prep but it took up the entire day Sunday and left both of us feeling frustrated and burned out. Below I’ve listed the 6 things we do to have a successful and non-stressful shopping trip.
I have always been one of those people that never wanted to buy anything used. After having hand-me-downs for so long, I never wanted to be in the position where I couldn’t buy what I wanted new. I also couldn’t get out of my head that no matter how much I cleaned things it would never actually be clean. Then when we started to look at what we could spend on the remaining items for the baby, I noticed a gap between the cost of what I wanted and what we could actually afford. The original bag that I wanted was the Jujube Be Prepared, which retails for around $200. I know, $200 for a diaper bag is absolutely ridiculous but at the time I was thinking “this one is so cute and it’s got perfect reviews, everyone says it’s the one to get”. When my reality check finally hit I started looking for bags that are more reasonably priced but I still wanted one with good reviews that wouldn’t fall apart. I found some but none of them really stuck with me and I started to get frustrated. This is when I did what old me would have considered desperate and looked on Facebook Marketplace.
Growing up without much can make you very conscious about your spending habits, growing up without much and then making good money as an adult can make you feel invincible and ruin your childhood plans. I can recall standing in line to get handouts at the local church, hiding behind the crowd so the other kids didn’t see me. I told myself that one day I would make 6-figures, have a big house, fancy car and would never worry about money again… Then as an adult I fell into the expensive things are a need and not a want, trap. We still budgeted, but the excess money we had wasn’t 100% going to debt it was being split between luxury makeup, nostalgia items, furniture, and eating out (mostly eating out). My husband and I were both upset with ourselves. We had done what we had always said we wouldn’t do. We planned to spend the same amount of money no matter what our raises looked like. Although it sounds easy, it isn’t.
Every fall we face the same dilemma; we want to save money, but we also want to watch the Texans play. My husband and I have been playing fantasy football over 15 years combined, so it isn’t something we can easily give up. The downside is that we don’t want to shell out $150+ every month just to watch football three days a week. My main issue is that $900+ to watch football is ridiculous and that is without signing a yearlong contract. We have had the conversation countless times with friends and family that if there were a service where we could just watch football then we would pay for that no problem.