How we plan to be frugal with food

Our plan to be frugal with food

One of the first things you learn when becoming frugal is to analyze your spending habits and figure out where you can immediately make savings. For us, that was the food budget, which was as far from frugal as a family could be. Unfortunately, becoming frugal with food when you have two young kids is a challenging task, especially when every aisle in the grocery store screams “buy me!” Thanks to a handy website called Mint, which pulls your bank data and categorizes it, I found out that we had been spending on average $1,365 per month on groceries in the past nine months. That’s not all. We had also spent an average of $884 per month on fast food and restaurants in that same period. Wow. Let’s lay that out in chart form so that we can bask even more in its grossness. Spent where: Average per month: Groceries $1,365 Lunches /… Read More! »

We set up a property tax payment plan on our rental property

The property tax payment plan on our rental property

I’ve been getting drilled about our back property taxes on the MMM forum. We owe around $11k on our rental property, and the vast majority of money hippies seem to agree that we need a property tax payment plan. They feel that the property taxes need to take precedent over the credit cards that are growing rapidly. I think they may be right. There is no mortgage on the rental property, and therefore no escrow for taxes. We were always very good with paying it in March of every year, but once our spending got out of hand, we continually delayed the payment of the taxes. One week turned into a month, a month into a year, and then a year turned into three years. So here we are now. Perhaps we should be thankful. In many others towns, the home would have been taken by now. After doing some research,… Read More! »

Our financial situation; Debt, debt, and more debt

Our financial situation; Debt, debt, and more debt

Mr. Money Mustache was right when he said it’s difficult to expose yourself financially to the entire internet. I’ve already done so on the MMM forum so it’s a little easier now, but still nerve wracking. This post will list the details of our financial situation. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Hint: There is very little “good”. It is important to note that this is our “starting” expense report. This does not include the changes we are making in our budget to become a frugal family. We are drastically cutting our food related expenses which currently come out to around $1,700 per month. Our goal is to get it down to around $700 per month. A $1,000 savings. Other expenses, such as the car loan, only have 9 months remaining before it is paid off completely. Once this is paid off we will have an extra $393 per… Read More! »

The uncertain life of the best website startups

There are very few things I’m truly passionate about, but Startups are one of them. I love nearly everything about them. The long hours, the teamwork, the passion, and even the uncertainties. Will they succeed or will they fail? There’s rarely a gray area, due in large part to venture capitalists who are less than willing to allow their investment to wade in mediocrity forever. I am thankful for this; There is a beautiful simplicity in only having two outcomes available. The startup life also aligns with many of the advantages of a frugal life. Startups allow their founders to steer their destiny. They have the ability to work for themselves on a project that they enjoy and possess a golden opportunity for early retirement. Paul Graham, who I will talk more about later in this essay,  describes startups as a way to compress your entire working career into a few years. That sure… Read More! »

I’m just bad with money, and the time I met the money hippies

I’m just bad with money, and the time I met the money hippies

It’s a peculiar thing, talking about yourself. I’ve blogged before but it was never about me, my situation, my inner workings and definitely not my financial situation. With each word typed I feel a bit more embarrassment, though I hope that fades with time. The relative anonymity certainly helps.  There is also the very real chance that no one ever finds this blog, and I’m very okay with that. This blog is about my family and me, and documenting our financial journey towards frugality. I often find myself re-visiting blogs I had written years earlier, mesmerized by how far I had come. Hopefully, this will be one of those times.  With that being said, I’ll start with a truth: