In this case, it doesn’t look like we’ll be moving next year after all. There’s work that needs to be done to the house, there’s Disney coming up that can’t be put off anymore, and we need some substantial savings along the way. That’s just not going to be monetarily possible in the next year. Give me two and I can work wonders, but I can’t do it all in just one. So, we’re suspending retirement savings for a year and paying off the credit card debt and getting a start on some savings. That year is a hard deadline though. I can’t justify even a month more. My paycheck will just cover the kids’ tuition and then one will be out of Montessori and the other one will get an extra year. Older Boy is going to have to spend a year in a school that isn’t the best, but he’ll catch up quickly once we move to a better school district. We’ll move the summer after next, by which time I will have been able to put enough away to get done what we need to and to have saved enough to cover closing costs and all of the associated crud.
It’s intimidating how much money we’re talking about though. It’s several thousand dollars that I need to pay off and another several that I need to save. My grocery shopping skills are going to have to be on point. The thrift will be strong with me from now on. I have to budget in some fun, but I’ll definitely be scaling back on our nights out and such. I’ve already warned Hubby that I’m going to start scaling back this paycheck and I’ll gradually do it until we are getting by on about 3/4 of what we are comfortable with now. That’s as far as I think I can take it before they start rebelling. That’s still a significant savings though. And it’ll all go toward debt and then savings. It’s time to get serious about paying this off and keeping it gone. If we need money for something, Hubby will do some overtime and we’ll get it that way. (I won’t be eligible for overtime for a while)
Yes, keeping it gone, that’s the challenge, isn’t it? We had all of our debts paid off for around three months before we started upgrading the work that we got done on the house and ran it right back up. I loved that three months though. All of Hubby’s paycheck after the basic bills was ours. We saved, we played, it was glorious. We WILL get there again and stay there, dammit!
This blog is going to see some thrifty in the coming months. Be prepared. I don’t think I’ll be going back to homemade laundry detergent because my whites started to get grey, but I have a ton that I bought on sale. Same with dishwasher detergent. Once we had some money to burn I stopped making my own and started buying with coupons. I hit the coupon motherlode and found a sale to go with it and bought about a dozen boxes of dish detergent, and 4 bottles of laundry detergent. I’m set for a while. I still make my own soap though. It’s glycerine soap which is expensive if you buy it already made, but super cheap if you melt and pour it yourself. I get my favorite scents, and it takes very little time to do. That’s my kind of DIY! I will also go back to baking soda and vinegar for my hair. I stopped because I wasn’t sure how it would react with hair dye and I wanted black hair, but I’m cool now and letting it go back to natural. I cut my hair short again so the color is growing out quickly.
The real problem I found with the homemade detergents wasn’t really with the detergents (I could have bleached my whites) it was with the ingredients. They would harden into concrete-like blocks between batches. I couldn’t break it even with the measuring cup to get a second batch out of the boxes that I bought. I don’t have many air-tight containers big enough for an entire box of washing soda or Borax just laying around, so it was a total bummer. Even unopened boxes would get hardened if you left them in the cabinet too long. I ended up having to dump a full box because I couldn’t dig into it, it was just an unusable brick. I may give it a go again one day when I’m well and truly out of the store bought stuff, but I’m going to have to find (or buy) some containers big enough to hold the contents of the boxes between batches. If you’ve figured out a way around this, please let me know.
So, frugal is going to win the day for a while, but I take comfort in knowing that frugal is often green, too.