Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 Days to Financial Freedom, Day 7: Sacrifices

The Penny Pinching Family has made several sacrifices in the past 37 days.  If you want to get your spending under control, I think sacrifices (both big and small) are a necessity.  Several small sacrifices can equal large savings. 

The biggest "sacrifice" we made was eating out.  In August we spent $447.14 eating out, and we spent $43 eating out in September.  That's a 90% savings!  The reason I have quotation marks around the word "sacrifice" was because this was not a real sacrifice at all.  Making meals at home (when planned properly) has not been that big of a change for us.  I hear a lot of people say to cut out one meal out a week.  I challenge you to not eat out at all for an entire month!

I was invited to 2 Lia Sophia parties, 1 Pampered Chef party, and a Tastefully Simple book party in September, and I refused them all!  This is peer pressure spending, and I'm trying to stay away from that.

We haven't gone shopping for anything other then groceries in 37 days.  I am an impulse purchaser and I can't be trusted, so I just stay out! 

We reduced our grocery budget to $100 to feed our family of four every week.  We've made homemade jelly, bread, and marinara to help reduce our grocery bill.  We also eat cheap and make extra for leftovers for lunch for the rest of the week.  So far this week, we've only spent $40 in groceries thanks to meal planning and eating our pantry (not literally . . .)

We haven't gone to the movies, amusement parks, or anywhere else that requires us to pay for entertainment.  We've used the library, the town park, and other free events.  Otherwise, we just stay at home!  Our children have 14 million dollars worth of toys.  Why did we insist on taking them places and buying them (more) things?  There are worthwhile experiences we are willing to spend money on (zoo trips, children's museum, picking pumpkins, etc.), but taking them to the toy store, book store, and out to eat has completely stopped.

Speaking of book stores, my husband and I are book junkies.  The majority of our Amazon purchases are books, both for us and our kids.  Pen has been borrowing his books from the library instead of purchasing them, and I've been reading all the books I've purchased in the past and have never actually read!  We're also re-reading the great books we've read before. 

We are already sacrificing for Christmas this year.  We are focusing on homemade items for both our children and other family members.  Piglet 1 and I are going to make homemade treats for his teachers, our neighbors, and extended family members.  We're also reducing the amount of money we spend on things for our children.

We scaled way back on our son's birthday party and, I'll let you in on a secret . . . he didn't even notice

What ways are you prepared to sacrifice and cut back? 


  1. Love your blog. My family is also trying to learn to live within our means. How did you tell your son that the gifts would be less at Christmas this year? My daughter is six and I can't even imagine how that kind of conversation would go...

    1. First, thank you so much for visiting! I am thrilled that you took the time to stop by! My husband and I have made a point of stressing the importance of being grateful and thankful for what we have in the last few months. We haven't actually told him specifically that he wouldn't be getting as much this year as he did last year (and we won't), but we've talked about giving back to people who are less fortunate than we are. We scaled way back on his birthday presents this year (I'm talking from $100+ down to $15) and he was just as excited this year as he was last year. He's excited to make crafts for his grandparents and other extended family, and candy and cookies for neighbors and teachers. I don't think we give our kids enough credit! If we stop the overspending now, we'll hopefully be setting a good example for him when he has his own family!