I’m the spender. Still today I spend 90% of the “”spending” money in our budget. My husband doesn’t go shopping often, he will occasionally come with me to help with the kids, but it isn’t his shopping list. I do the shopping, I make the list, and ultimately I decide what we buy at the store. I think this was a hard adjustment for him. When you are a bachelor all the money you make is all the money you have to spend any way you want. And now, he makes all the money just to have someone else spend it. We are a team, and this is very well known. I think he would agree that my nutritious list of groceries is better than beer and ribs every night. But I do feel sorry for my husband as I know it would be hard for me if our roles where switched. This is what motivates me to think very carefully about my shopping lists. I ponder each item in a want vs. need scenario and run it by my honey if I think there are items in question.
As a SAHM I now see my role as the financial conserver than a financial contributor. It’s my job to work inside the budget limits and make it work. My secret challenge for myself is that items we need will just show up in our home and my husband doesn’t notice a penny leaving our bank account. Sometimes I achieve this goal. I think I’m a member of all the second hand Facebook sites you can be apart of. I love to sell things and then use that money to buy what we need in that moment. I’m always surprised what people are willing to give away. One mans trash is definitely another man’s treasure.
Our children have added a new budget challenge. With the addition of children I have started to find serious value in coupons or rebate apps. I use Ibotta because I was invited by a friend and it’s really easy. I don’t have the time to be an “extreme couponer”. Coupons can definitely help you pay next to nothing, but finding them, printing them, and keeping them all straight can easily be a full time job. I’m not that passionate about coupons, if you send me a coupon that I can use I will use it. I do go on websites to find coupons when it comes to diapers or other kid items, otherwise I see more value in my time spent with my children than behind a screen organizing my coupons.
Here are 6 of my secrets:
1. Cloth diapers
2. Shopping at Fred Meyer (yup, one of the more “expensive stores” out there but we make it work for our family)
3. Secondhand shopping (This is probably our biggest budget saver)
4. Meal planning (I plan 5-6 meals every week and we eat leftovers. Planning our meals helps me have less stress, because there is a plan, and results in less food being wasted.)
5. Discussing “Want vs. Need” with my husband and accountability partner constantly.
6. Driving a secondhand van. (I love my Honda Odyssey)