Friday, October 24, 2008

Budget, Fudget, Mo Mudget...

Oh how I hate thee...let me count the ways. Oh wait, this post isn't about that. It is suppose to be about the "freedom" I am feeling with my budget. (Cough, cough, lie, lie.)

But 'fer realz' people let me educate you on the ways of my last month of budgeting.

It all started when the economy started going all crazy like. My husband, well, you know he helps people find and sell houses. He loves his job. He is THE best at it. With the economy the way it is, and with all of the mortgage lenders going kaput and struggling, it has really hurt the housing industry hard. That goes for all the little people involved too, from plumbers to electricians, etc. So, so, so sad really. :( Frowny face.

So, Hubbs and I sad down and had THE. TALK. The talk we have had for eight years. The one that inevitably tells me that I can no longer visit Target. The one that I know means I can no longer "wander" aimlessly through Wal-mart for hours while "grocery shopping". Ug. It came down to this: "Do you want our kids to have a roof over their heads?"

Cry. Cry. Cry. Commence me FREAKING...and realizing that something had to be done. (I didn't have the best spending habits, if I saw something I wanted or THOUGHT I needed, well heck I bought it. This included luxuries large and small.) This also brought up the fact that my business was in fact helping our family in little ways, and that for us to be able to stay in our home, I would have to stop giving such great deals to everyone. Which is SO hard for me because I photograph for the love, but now I MUST photograph for the need. I feel SO blessed at this time to have this gift, that it is blessing my family enough to put food on the table while hubby scraps up enough to pay our house payment. (You all know how this is though, because WE ARE ALL FEELING THE CRUNCH!)


Anyway, back to the positive of my budgeting.

For a little over a month, I have been on THE strictest budget EVER. I won't go into details as I believe finances are very personal, and each family is different, and no one can truly understand how someone gets from point a to point b. I just hope to inspire someone else out there who had my same PROBLEM of over-spending and 'retail therapy'. Oh how many days did I walk the isles of Target to soothe my fat butt and aching heart?

BUT GUESS WHAT?!!! In the past month I have been able to:

  • Not walk into a store unless I know exactly why I am walking in, what I am going to buy and if I even need to buy anything.
  • I have discovered how amazingly and totally awesome the Salvation Army store by my house is. Dood, guys, it is AWESOME!
  • I have probably saved my family $1000.00. I am not joking. Not.
  • Shot 10 sessions before the month is through.
  • Without realizing it, I haven't taken my anti-depressant for TWO WEEKS.
  • And best of all, remember this? I finally saw that EXACT same number again this week. It has been FOUR months. I am proud.
  • We got a FRONT YARD. (Post to to come.)

Coincidence? I think not. I think there is something truly powerful to be said about being in control of one's life. I am happy. Striving to live my religion has blessed us tremendously as well. Tithing has always been SUPER important to us, and now I feel we are seeing a blessing in our lives for having always paid it.

There are times when of course I feel like a slave to my pocketbook. I am sad when I can't just join my friends out to eat all the time. But, I am happier, my kids are happier. And of course, HUBBS is happier. :)


Katie said...

Even though you think you are just helping yourself by writing this out, you are helping me too. My husband is in school. I work part-time, and we don't have a lot of extra money. We just celebrated our third anniversary and I look back and wonder how we've made it, then it hits me. We pay our tithing. The Lord blesses us. Makes me feel very humble when I realize that we're not the ones who have made our money stretch or that little extra come in when we have an unexpected expense.

This post has inspired me to do better (and not visit Target so much, which is hard b/c my office is very close to it).

Thanks for your wonderful posts...I totally enjoy reading them. You are a wonderful writer (and an amazing photographer)!

Midwest Mommy said...

I thought I was rawking this month until hubs got in a car accident (he's ok)= $500 deductible, water heater that is only 13 months old broke last night without a warranty, then while trying to fix it the hubs broke the kitchen sink.
Seriously called my mom and told her being a grown up can sometimes really stink :-)

Amy and Josh said...

We are Having THE same talk . . . it is actually exciting in a way to see how frugal we can be-like a challenge in a way I guess. But I hear you on the shopping, and the aimless wandering in stores . . those days are no longer here. These are the days where every penny will count-and the more we have in our savings the better off we are:)
I LOVE that picture of you and Emm, you are too gorgeous Kim-Seriously lady!!
Ya. I so want to get fam pics done, but we may be waiting until next spring.Love ya.

Wendy said...

Amen! Thanks I could have totally written this post oh say about 16 months ago when we went to a 1 income family. Scariest few months of my life when I went from having money to buy whatever (Within reason) to having NOTHING extra. Plus we added an extra little person who was way expensive. I know that tithing has made a difference for us, HUGE. We look at where we are now and it's those same things that have been our saving graces!

Do you coupon? If you want help figuring that out I LOVE it. We have cut our grocery bill in half by just shopping sales and sales with coupons! Funny how little things (and little ones)make you so much happier isn't it?

marci helen said...

i've never been much of a depresses me to spend good money on ugly sizes!! i do love to budget though...i am a crazy "what if" thinker it makes me feel good just to save a little.

Cassie said...

Way to go woman. Timmy and I had the ever blasted talk. The next day I asked him if he was coming home for lunch, he said no, I said what about the "plan", he said "You never gave me a date that we were going to start" Duh.

Mandee said...

We call it a "spending diet" at our house. And you're right- it feels so good to feel in control and disciplined with your spending habits! Thanks for the reminder! And to know that I'm not alone in my recent lifestyle change.

Amanda Edwards said...

I hear you sister! We are in the same boat and I am trying like mad to be better. I needed this little lesson. I am going to make a poster of #1 and put it in my room and in my car.

Best of luck. If you want we can have Ramen for lunch at my house since we aren't eating out either!!!

Arianne said...

Thank you I needed this. This is something we really need to work on as well. I htink it is a good reminder, especially with the way the economy is right now!!

Miss Myra said...

go fight win!

Ron and Jessica said...

Yeah, down with the economy! It's lame. I've never really been a big spender, but even more so right now (like everyone else). Can't wait to see your new front yard!!!

Holly said...

We went through this earlier in the year and have gradually slid back into our old ways. its just like a diet - you have to get back on the wagon when you fall off. I think I hear our wagon coming...
It can become a kind of hobby - being frugal. There are some good blogs on it too - like

Sarah said...

Oh, I'm so with you on the Target sentiments. It's got to be hurting them that all of us girls have to watch our Target wandering. So sad.

Shannon said...

I would love to take this crappy economy and shove it where the sun doesn't shine....or I can just have a better attitude like you!

Thanks for sharing!

moosh in indy. said...

Me too.
And I just won a laptop.
Yay for us being thrifty!

Julz said...

I totally hear yah! This month I had to cut out my toughest thing- fast food. Bummer!! It seems like this time of year is really awful, too. Halloween costumes and candy are getting so pricey, and Christmas just around the corner! It's really stressful!

The Moon's said...

Aren't budgets exhilerating? They make you feel so confident in yourself for saving the money and yet they sometimes feel stifling! But I think theya are one way to be creative and think outside the box. That is what I try to tell myself. Good job on hte savings though, you totally rawk! And I am so glad to catch up with your family!

Tim and Ashlee said...

It's crazy how things can fall so easily in place eh? You're doing awesome!

Christal said...

you are awesome love the beautiful picture the whole post a great reminder things do work out! You are the best!

Laur said...

It seems like all my friend's blog posts lately are about saving money.
Lets get together this week maybe?
Guess what, Corey and I had that exact same talk a couple months ago, it was the worst "fight" we have ever had in five years of marriage.
It ended up being positive tho because we came up with what we call my "kick" which is $150 dollars for ME to spend on whatever I want which is not a necessity. But everything i buy has to go into it, make up, clothes, shoes anything that is for me and not a necessity. It seems to be working. call me

mrs. r said...

it's so worth it.
i too went to target the other day ad came out with nothing.

...perhaps for the first time.

and besides we all know that you want to use all your money on helicopter rides for your kid. lol.

love you. love your skinny little butt.

Shan said...

uuuugggh. I hear ya sista. Money sucks. Good job to you for budgeting. Most definately not my strongest suite.

Carlotta said...

Money is poopy! I am on strike against the concept of money!

I spent like 6 hours a few weeks ago budgeting. Stapling bills together in a last stitch effort to gain some sanity with all the papers laying around. I now have my pretty little files and..... wonder how I ever ate out everyday and oh yeah I did all those things because I acted oblivious to those papers saying " pay me ". Now I am patiently, kind of, for my efforts to pay off. Somehow I feel like I have less money then ever. It will pay off in the end.

Brenda said...

First of all I LOVE the new look for your blog! I love reading your blog...I can relate to many of thing things you blog about. Budgeting is definetly included. We have also been feeling the "pinch". I think many of us have and continue to is nice to know I am not alone.
You are so talented....I let people know about your photography every chance I get.

Cal said...

okay, so you don't know me but I found you off Evonne's blog. I am soo in the same boat. I loved reading your post about how you are saving money. I love the Salvation Army, I had to swallow a bit of pride at first to go in there, then after a few times, I get excited to go in there and see what I can find. Thanks for the encourgement in these yucky times!

Vanessa said...

ohhh thank you for posting this seriously I think we are bordering on having the TALK and this will help me to be nicer ;)