I’m so excited to be a part of the Savings.com 2011 Deal Pros! This morning I am meeting up with all of the 2011 Deal Pros at the Save Up Conference in New York City!
Savings.com is Challenging America to save $1 Billion during the next year! You can join in our Savings Challenge on the Passion For Savings Facebook Page. So far American’s have Pledged to save over $21 Million!
As we kick of Save Up ’11 and to help you get in the Savings Mind Set all of the Savings.com Deal Pros are sharing their savings story. I know I have a lot of new readers so I thought it would be fun just to let you know a little bit of my personal journey and how savings fits into our personal lifestyle.
You’ve probably heard the saying “In every relationship there is a Spender and a Saver”. What most people don’t realize is that I’m not the saver ;) ha ha. I actually love to shop and I love to spend money! When my Husband and I got married just over 5 years ago we both agreed that we would set and live within our budget each month. At the time I was working and we didn’t have kids at the time we did a decent job of sticking to our budget on a monthly basis.
After about 7 months of Marriage we became pregnant with our oldest Son, through some changes at work I ended up quitting my job to stay at home with my Son and we quickly went from 2 incomes to 1. It wasn’t until the Next Summer (Summer of 2008) When Gas prices were rising every day, My son was starting baby food, and the basics like Milk and Bread were going up every time I went to the store that I really began to feel the budget begin to tighten.
I remember having that “Money Meeting” You know, the one where you’re forced to move money around to cover the additional expenses in Food and Gas and I can remember almost as clear as day my Husband asking me where we should move the money from…. I knew that either I was going to have to find a way to spend less money on Groceries and Health and Beauty Items or I was going to have to sacrifice other items that were currently in our budget. We had always been committed to living on what we made, debt wasn’t really an option for us but the practicalities of that belief were difficult to come to grips with.
In an effort to avoid moving money around I looked at my husband and asked him to “Give me one more chance” to make the months budget work. And so my savings began….. I started clipping coupons, reading online forums, hitting more than one grocery store, making a list and sticking to it ;) and shopping at Walgreens. In just a few short months I had found a way to not only afford what we needed, but my stockpile was growing, and…. I learned that Savings could be fun, it’s something that I truly enjoyed!
Over the next year as our stockpile grew and our budget was back under control we realized that we wanted to do more than just “Make it” each month, so we began setting bigger goals. What I had found was that I was saving money, but I was still spending the same amount because I was buying twice as much ;) Setting goals helped us stay focused, we had always paid cash for just about everything, neither one of us had student loans so our Mortgage quickly became our top priority, since our kids were really little they didn’t require much we originally changed our 30 year mortgage into a 15 year mortgage in the hopes that we would be able to pay our house off before our kids graduated high school. Then over the last few years we committed to stick to our continued budget and put any additional money that came in towards extra payments on our house. This summer we were finally able to make our last payment on our house and we are officially debt free. However the savings doesn’t end there! We are continuing to set new goals and strive to be good stewards of the money that God has given us. I don’t think I could ever go back to shopping without coupons, or (Gasp) paying full price for toothpaste. Savings has become our way of life and it’s something that I am truly passionate about! It’s become our way of life, and our dream for everyone that we meet!
I hope that gives you a little perspective on where we have come from and the journey that God has had us on this last year! I would love for you to leave a comment and share your savings story below! I know we all have different situations and circumstances but in our own ways we have all made savings a part of our lives and hopefully you’ve seen the changes for the better!
JOIN US LIVE FROM NEW YORK CITY
Jenny from Southern Savers will be giving a Live 30 minute Workshop on Using Coupons today at 4:15 EST then several of the Deal Pros will be sharing their personal savings stories live from New York City! I hope you can join us! You can RSVP on the Savings.com Website!