any benefits to being broke?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
any benefits to being broke?
9
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 9:12am

Hello all,


I was wondering if anyone has noticed any benefits to being on a tight budget?


One thing I have noticed is that our house is cleaner since this summer when we had to pay all of the medical bills for our daughter. Instead of spending $ on the weekend when we are both off eating out we are more home bodyish and have cleaned/organized/dejunked the house and are cooking more to save $. I also feel more goal oriented. I know that I want to save 1,000 for my e-fund and pay off our car loan to free up that money first.


Liz

student loan paid off 2010

Bathroom remodel loan paid off 2013

Pending Car loan to be paid by the end of 2014!!!!!

 

Avatar for sohappilyme
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 11:04am

1- We're raising our kids to be frugal. They don't expect toys or clothes for no reason. Rarely do I hear an "I want that now" in the store - usually it's "Can I get that for my birthday shopping?" (basically, use their own money to get it). They'll walk past the junk food displays in the grocery store and say the same stuff I will: It doesn't matter if it is on sale - junk is still junk. (Sounds funny coming from a little kid, LOL, but a little embarrassing when the cart next to you is buying.)

2- We're better parents. I spend time in the kitchen with them teaching them how to cook and bake from scratch. By the time they can walk they can garden. Then know how to can, freeze, and prep foods for both. Because we're not shelling out money for movies or theme parks, DH has time to take them hunting or fishing. You can't get that one-on-one time in a move theater.

3- We're handy. DH has always been, but the kids and I are learning. When we gutted our house, I did all the drywall and plaster myself. We've since learned that the guy across the street in a house the same size shelled out $15,000 in LABOR to have someone do his. My older sons, since their respective ages of 5 or 6, have been able to change the oil while supervised. My oldest DS, now 9, can rebuild an engine. Both older boys can listen to a truck or piece of equipment run and tell you where the problem is (engine, exhaust, etc) if not pinpoint it exactly. They know what blue, black, or gray/white smoke means coming from a tailpipe. They won't spend much money on repair bills in their lifetimes - they've all learned that they CAN learn. The only thing DH won't mess with is electricity, and the kids know that as well. (He does stuff like rewiring lights, running new plugs and light switches, etc but not major work).

4- We think outside the box. I know everyone here is sick of my boat story but it's telling so I'll tell it again! LOL. DH REALLY wanted a boat. We just didn't have the cash for a used one and we weren't gonna plunk down 60k+ for one like he wanted. So he basically dragged one home out of someone's garbage (they're hard to junk b/c they're fiberglass so it was in a junk pile in the back of the man's yard) and to this day we've put less than $1,000 in that boat including new seats, new life jackets, and registration. And for about $14 ($10 in gas and $4 for the boat ramp fee) we can entertain the whole family (of 7) all day long. We've seen all kinds of cool stuff from that boat, too - things you never see from a car and experiences you'll never have on the road. Even better, DH and the three older kids worked on it together - engine, transom, new floor, new paint job.

5- When we do spend money, the kids truly appreciate it. I honestly don't think they feel deprived - especially considering jaws tend to drop when they tell other kids what kinds of stuff they do around here for fun - but they know it's a big deal when they do get to do something that costs money. And DH and I don't take it for granted, either.

6- I found my own passion. I never thought about writing until I was looking for a way to make money from home. Now I earn a full second income, I'm learning a lot (I don't always get to choose my topics when I'm working for a client), and I'm contributing to our progress which makes ME feel great. My dream as a kid was to write a book, and now I'm writing my second one.

I'm probably forgetting something obvious or important, but that's what comes to mind for now. I don't love living paycheck to paycheck but when we turn it around - WHEN, not IF - these habits we've learned will keep us from ever having to do it again. As far as I'm concerned, that's one benefit that is absolutely PRICELESS!

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FLINGING DEBT:
Sarah
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 12:29pm

Pretty amazing and inspiring story. That is the kind of life I am going for with my kids but the only thing missing is that my DH is not handy :(, maybe we can learn.


Liz

student loan paid off 2010

Bathroom remodel loan paid off 2013

Pending Car loan to be paid by the end of 2014!!!!!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 2:41pm

I would say spending quality time with family. It is just habit now. Doing homework with my kids is free but so useful. They get quality mommy time. We go for walks and it is a great time for them to open up to me. We play a lot more board games too. They got some for Christmas and it is great. My bf and I have been walking too and I get free DVD rentals from my store so that is always great and we look forward to it. We do the dishes by hand and spend time together talking. We work so much is just nice to spend time together doing the simple things.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2008
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 8:03pm

My second job is really wonderful as I am helping students learn what I do.


As far as more time with the kids - nope I have a second job and less time.




iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2004
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 8:46pm
I would say number one would be spending quality time with family and frioends when I have a chance. I work alot so I really enjoy that. Another great benefit has been that I am MUCH more aware of my spending habits and exactly where my money is going. I used to go to Target to buy 1 or 2 items and come out with $75 worth just because I thought the price was good on something or it was on sale and I could use it in the future. Now I just go in and buy what I NEED and pay cash for everything. I've found I was wasting money on things I didn't immediately need right away and I can wait. It's actually a good feeling knowing I'm not using the credit cards and that soon I'll be able to start saving a little too.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 9:13pm
If you don't mind me asking how did your family get so far in debt? Was it do to an unexpected circumstance or budgeting issues?

Liz

student loan paid off 2010

Bathroom remodel loan paid off 2013

Pending Car loan to be paid by the end of 2014!!!!!

 

Avatar for sohappilyme
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 9:28pm

DH did have a cut in income last year but most of our debt was incurred before then. The major stuff breaks down like this (by current balance, not original):

15k to my in-laws for the down payment to our house and the new central heat and air. They said not to worry about it, but they'll get it back.

25k for a truck (bought used). DH kicks himself over this now but I still think it was a good purchase, maybe with bad timing. He can fix or do anything so he thinks he should have a beater, but we came across this 4-dr for a GREAT price with a super engine. Comparable vehicles are 50k+, although when we got it they no longer put an engine this big in a truck. He does a lot of hauling and was ecstatic. It's a 6 passenger (which was perfect for him plus five kids - I had a tubal so we really didn't expect #6) and pulls trailers like a DREAM. We debated selling it, but we just won't find another one like it.

$6,800 for my mom's SUV (bought used). We were putting $300 a month into hers - in PARTS - and on top of that she needed to borrow my van to get to work so that left me and the kids stranded. Again, we probably should have found a cheaper vehicle, but at the time we weren't focused on getting rid of debt. Had we been, the draw of giving her a RELIABLE vehicle - especially in light of the fact that she has the kids a lot - might have made us overlook it.

5k or so on an installment loan for shop equipment we bought a while ago. It was worth tens of thousands of dollars and we ended up paying 15k. One of those deals we'll never see again, and easy to fall for when getting out of debt isn't a priority.

$3,600 for a personal loan. I don't what the crisis of the hour was when we got this, but it's going down.

That's the bulk of it. There's some smaller stuff in there and some OLD collections I have on my list from years ago. We used to have the "they approved us so we can afford it" mentality (the reason for most of our debt). We've matured past that, LOL, but we're still paying for it (literally!).

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FLINGING DEBT:
Sarah
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Tue, 01-12-2010 - 6:43am

I'm trying, really trying, to find some sort of advantage to being broke.

Kate


empty purse

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Tue, 01-12-2010 - 10:20am

Well I'm probably closer to Kate on this one. I am single, have no kids (just two doggies!) so there really isn't a lot of extra "family time" to be had. Plus I am 5.5 hours away from my family so being broke actually decreases family time. I am 28 and being broke really does impact my life. Dating is expensive, lol. Granted I was with ex for the past 1.5 years, but dang it


Bex -