Friday, March 28, 2014

Our Journey Home/Five on Friday: My Money Saving Tricks While We Build

I've always been a tight wad, but never to the extent that I am now.  There's something about knowing we will have a house payment double what we have been used to for the past 5 years in a few short months that has really put me into savings overdrive.  Most people cut corners when it comes to grocery shopping but that doesn't work for me because have you seen my husband lately?  Yeah, he's a beast.  So since that isn't an option (with the exception of coupons...I love coupons) these are our tricks...

While building, we live off of one income.  I go to the grocery store once a week and pay for that myself, other than that every single paycheck I get goes into a separate account.  An account that will be used for closing costs and the house payment once it starts coming our way.  All other bills (car payments, insurance, electric, cell phones, DirecTV, etc.) are paid out of Devin's income.  He probably hates it, but he's a spender.  I know deep down that if he has too much free money it will go towards unnecessary things.  Therefore, his money is channeled toward the bills.  I didn't force this on him by the way and I'm pretty sure he must feel like a total 'man's man' since he carries us financially.  Has to be good for his ego, right?

We split accounts.  The idea of a joint checking account was so appealing that I basically sprinted to the bank as soon as my last name changed to open one up.  Probably because when we first got married I was student teaching and had absolutely no income.  Well, except for a twenty dollar bill that my grandma would slip in my mailbox for me to use for food for the week while my husband was working out of town.  We sure have come a long way.  Fast forward five years, and we were high-tailing it back to the bank to separate our accounts. It was fun while it lasted, and having two paychecks dumped into our account every week looked really good on paper.  But the downside of that is twice as much money was flying out of the account at the same time it was being put in.  It is so much easier to forget about saving money when a nice chunky number is staring at you and you know next week two more paychecks will be put in to replace what you've spent.  There's so much more accountability when you have separate accounts and you know that the only reason money is being spent is because you're the one spending it.  Wake up call!

We hate credit cards.  I mean hate them.  We have several open in case of emergencies, but we don't owe a penny on a single one.  We don't believe in spending money that we don't have, with the exception of our home and cars.  Home and car loans are enough for us, thank you.  I'm not trying to pay interest on things I don't need (like clothes and junk).

"Do I really need that?"  I love to shop, but when it comes to actually pulling the trigger and making the purchase...it rarely happens anymore.  Some would call it torture...browsing for hours only to leave a store/website empty handed.  But I call it therapy.  I am teaching myself that I don't need everything that I want.  Self induced retail torture builds character, y'all.  In college, I swear I worked just to buy new outfits (outfits that I couldn't find right now if I had hours to dig for them).  So what's the point in blowing my hard earned money on something that will be in the bottom of a plastic container in my basement three years from now?  There is no point.  On the rare occasion that I do buy clothes for myself, they are from TJMaxx or H&M...or straight off of a clearance rack somewhere.

We set savings goals.  We know exactly how much we need for closing costs, things for our new home, and the savings cushion we are comfortable with when that dreaded house payment starts rolling our way.  I've turned it into a fun little game.  I have the number that I want in our savings account written down and it's like a race against time to reach that amount before our house is built!  So fun!  And I just realized... I am such a nerd. 

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