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Have you heard the one about the homeschooling family that lives on less than $22K a year in an area that costs above 100% (116%) of the National CoL Index?

I haven't quite figured out why so many people still persist in perpetuating the myth that living on a single income and homeschooling on a dime aren't possible. I can only suppose these are people who can't imagine life without a daily trip to Starbucks and dinner out several times a week. The people who actually shop at malls (*shudder*) and think "Brand Name = Best". The people who really live by the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.

That? Would not be us!

Welcome to our world. We cook from scratch. Buy from thrift stores. Find 95% of our homeschool materials for free. This is my blog and this is how we do it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Are you tracking your spending?

Back at the beginning of June, I encouraged you to RECORD EVERY PENNY YOU SPENT. Now that we're in July, how did June look for you? Did you have some entries in the "Money I Never Should Have Spent" column? Whatever reason you had for spending that money then, what do you think about it now? No, I'm not trying to brow-beat you here! This isn't about "Bad Mom! Off to bed without supper for you!" This is about changing your buying habits if you need to, even if it's just a little bit at a time. (More in full post.)

We are all products of our society and we are bombarded by advertising on a daily basis. It's on TV, the radio, bill boards, mail-outs, the internet - it is pretty much inescapable. Not only that, but we even have people *urging* us to spend every dime we have and then some, because, if we don't, we're not supporting our country. Huh. With that philosophy firmly entrenched, we're creating a population that, as we age, winds up needing the country to support us! If you aren't already, start thinking very carefully about every purchase you make. Watch those pennies! You're probably already tired of hearing me say this, but remember, this is all about being responsible and living within your means. It is also about planning for your own future, outside of what the government might hand you in retirement. It can be done and you can do it, even if you're currently in debt and starting from less than zero. Take it step by step and day by day and you will get there.

And keep on keeping on with your budget book and recording those purchases so you know precisely what areas you need to work on more. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm halfway in the middle. Sort of keeping track of expenses, although there haven't been a lot of them. I'm needing some frugal inspiration to persevere right now.

Is the 22K you live on by the way, gross or net? Either is really good, but I would say 22K gross would be even more exceptional for a family of 4.

July 3, 2007 at 7:41 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

I think you meant "net" (that's the lower amount. "Gross" means it's gross that they take out so much for taxes!! :)

July 3, 2007 at 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, actually I meant $22K gross, because if that is the case, Jenni and her family would be actually living on less $$$ net after taxes - KWIM? $22K net means the gross amount is even larger. So more of a challenge to live on $22K gross. :)

July 3, 2007 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Just Me, Jenni said...

Hee. Well, basically, we live on a take home of $1800 a month (Give or take a bit. My husband's salary is not set.) We do get some money back in taxes and qualify for that EIC thing, but all that money goes straight to savings, so the $1800 has to cover everything each month. I'm guessing for some people that seems like not very much at all, and for others, it seems like a lot.

I do know we are above the federal poverty level, though not by much, but I've always felt the numbers used there were very misleading anyway. (Sorta like the food budget thing.)

July 3, 2007 at 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. L said...

I would say that you do really well with your budget for a family of 4! Kudos to you.

Mrs. L

July 4, 2007 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Tersie said...

I can do this! I will start tracking every penny I spend. I missed a handful of days this month, but that doesn't mean I can't start now. I'll just go through the 5th of August.

July 5, 2007 at 8:58 AM  

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