Monday, September 1, 2014

Step 9 - making amends

9. Sheepishly and humbly made direct amends to our children -hoping to role-model the value of a really good life without "stuff." (Good Luck) 

This is so hard. I was a single-mom raising up 3 boys for a time and they did get to witness how financially strapped I was.  Did they go along with it, supporting my efforts? No! They still complained and put pressure on me to have all that they wanted.  Well they were probably better than most, but it still was hard - we lived in a upper middle class to wealthy community where everybody was still married. (They hadn't started divorcing yet) 

I tried to make our times together special - and cheap. I had to or I could of lost them to their father.  As it was, they wanted to live with me. 

Oh at times, now, they will share how they didn't even ask me for something - because they knew the answer would be NO.  I feel bad but life is hard sometimes and I believe it is much healthier to level with your children, instead of keeping a big secret from them. It's not criminal to not have enough money. I kept up with all their basics and still was able to send the oldest to college.  

It's time the children of a certain age to realize that money does not grow on trees or come shooting  out of ATM machines at will. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Step 8 - making a list and checking it twice

8. Made a list of all the dumb needless junk we thought we just had to have and that we really don't need, and became willing to either sell them, give them away, or re-purpose, re-cycle, or re-use them. 

1.   The treadmill that serves as a very expensive, clothes holder in the bedroom.
2.   The Belly Burner - Are your Abs amazing yet
3.   The bathroom putting green  

You get the idea. Sometimes we have bought things, silly things, just because we could. But those silly items, add up. You've paid retail for all that junk, when I can go into a thrift shop and probably buy it, practically brand new at a fraction of the cost. Not that I would!

Even when we are trying to be frugal we make mistakes - and we'll buy something we see, second hand - a real bargain - excellent condition and we have to have it. Only we don't use it and it sits.

Have a garage sale every 6 months - just to keep you honest and you'll make a little cash - more than you had before. 

The rule is: If you haven't used something in 1 complete year - get rid of it. That gives you a whole year to decide. Some tools like a toilet plunger would be exempt from this rule. Come on, you can figure it out.