Growing up without much can make you very conscious about your spending habits, growing up without much and then making good money as an adult can make you feel invincible and ruin your childhood plans. I can recall standing in line to get handouts at the local church, hiding behind the crowd so the other kids didn’t see me. I told myself that one day I would make 6-figures, have a big house, fancy car and would never worry about money again… Then as an adult I fell into the expensive things are a need and not a want, trap. We still budgeted, but the excess money we had wasn’t 100% going to debt it was being split between luxury makeup, nostalgia items, furniture, and eating out (mostly eating out). My husband and I were both upset with ourselves. We had done what we had always said we wouldn’t do. We planned to spend the same amount of money no matter what our raises looked like. Although it sounds easy, it isn’t.
Seven months ago we found out we were pregnant and we were overjoyed. I’ve never been the woman who wanted to stay at home and couldn’t even entertain the idea of being at home instead of in the workplace. That was until the beginning of August when my sickness and exhaustion combined with a crazy work schedule and demanding availability finally hit its climax. I was 5 months pregnant, sometimes working 10+ hour days, leading teams and projects, having calls at 8 PM and needing to be available on the weekend while throwing up constantly and driving a 40-minute commute. Finally, it got to the point where the work was leaving me emotionally and mentally exhausted and we had a serious conversation about me staying home to take care of the baby and myself.
Now that I’m at home and not working, we’ve had to reevaluate our spending and take a long hard look at what we really need while getting ready for the baby. The registry that I had populated with expensive furniture sets and top of the line toys seemed completely out or reach and everything seemed terrifying. I was that little girl again hiding behind the crowd so people couldn’t see that I hadn’t met my goals. The sad thing is that I had. I did very well, have a beautiful home, two vehicles and everything we need to get by. Not many people have the luxury of quitting their jobs, especially with a baby on the way. This is when it dawned on me… I need to rein us in. We have to buckle down and focus on saving, paying off debts, and getting things done around the house while there is one of us here 24/7. That’s where we are now; starting a money saving, budget abiding, people will think we are crazy journey.
I know that after the baby is here I’ll be going back to work and money won’t be as stressful but I also know that at any time we could be back in this place. It’s better to build the habit now before she gets here and before we increase our income. I’m embracing the frugal life and focusing on getting our family to a place where we have no debt, have everything we need and can get the things we want without spending an arm and a leg. I’m going to share our tips and tricks, what we have done to get ready for a new addition on a budget. If you are interested in our journey or are on your own, I’d love to hear from you and learn what methods work for your family.