I’ve tried a lot of experiments with my money over the years, but there are still some I’ve never been able to pull the trigger on.
Here’s a list of them below – perhaps you’ve accomplished them and lived to tell the tale? :)
#1. Using cash only for an entire month
I swear this one’s been at the top of the list for 5 years now, but ever since having kids I just haven’t had the energy to give it a real go, haha…
I could get by with daily expenses just fine (I already use cash for most of those), but how the heck would you pull off paying your rent or utility bills, or even Netflix with only cash money? Can you just walk into their headquarters with a wad of it and hope they don’t give you the side eye?
I actually paid for coffee in spare change the other day and I swear the cashier didn’t know how to add it up, haha… So until I’m kid-free or we revert to the pre-plastic days, I’m afraid this one will remain on ice.
#2. Selling the wife’s engagement ring
Technically this would be my wife’s decision, but you’re always hearing about how people (bloggers) are cashing them in and using the $$$ for more prudent things like savings or paying off houses/etc – as if to right a past wrong from their pre-FIRE days.
Now I’m not a hater of the bling, but considering my wife only wears hers approximately 3 times a year for special events (the diamond scratches the kids), that $7,000 or so could def. have been put to better use. And it’s not like she doesn’t have another ring that signifies the same thing that she does wear every single day (wedding band).
Still, I’ve never been brave enough to broach the subject, so I’m passive aggressively sharing it here to see if I get her attention ;) She tells me she still reads this blog, but does she really???
#3. Going down to a one car/no car family
A few years back I came *THIS CLOSE* to living with only one car while we were in a more walkable city, but sadly that window has passed unless I desire to extend our daily travels by a solid 10x (nope).
I’m always blown away by large families that have figured this out though, so if you are one of them PLEASE DIVULGE ALL YOUR SECRETS so I can one day consider it again! But only after Baby Dime grows up as my personal car currently doubles as a sleeping center as well (Praise the Lord).
#4. Cloth diapers
This one’s going to be a short one. 6 years ago I asked my wife if she wanted to try out cloth diapers when we had our first babe, and her response was a hearty “hell no.”
And that was that :)
#5. Moving somewhere dirt cheap
This is probably the #1 tip from all financial “experts” whenever you say you want to save a lot of money. Which admittedly is very helpful if you hate where you live AND ALL YOU CARE ABOUT IS MONEY. But what if you have awesome friends, family, job, social life, where you currently are? Could you trade all that for some extra savings?
At one point I could have (right out of college – although I still chose one of the most expensive cities to move to instead – New York City, hah!), but nowadays loved ones and kids dominate all priorities. So unless I can magically convince everyone I know to trek across the continent with me, we look for our savings elsewhere and just sigh whenever I’m reminded that it’s not normal to shell out half a million dollars for a condo – hah.
#6. Getting rid of all my stuff
Ironically I’m about to start a “one thing a day” challenge which I’ll be sharing in a bit, but as much as I’m obsessed with minimalism, I haven’t gotten to the point of wanting to unload *everything* I own quite yet.
Still, the idea 100% intrigues me (although I always get stuck on the sentimental stuff!), so I won’t cross this one off my list forever, but for now I’ll have to live vicariously through all the nomads out there… As well as for all my kids to finally leave the house :)
#7. Shaving my head
Michael Jordan, Bruce Willis, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – all incredibly wealthy, all incredibly bald!
But as much as this is the Best Hack Ever according to my friend Lee over at Bald Thoughts, I am enjoying what little still remains on my head until the fateful day when it finally retreats altogether ;) I’ve rocked this style for over 1/3 of my life already, so it’s going to feel so weird putting down those hairspray bottles once and for all! The savings will just go toward therapy sessions!
And that’s all I’ve got for you today, haha…
Ever try out any of these before? Got any lists of your own you’ve been too nervous to tackle?
Share with the community and we’ll continue the madness below ;) And for a list of all those experiments I have tried with my money over the years, click here.
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I like these lists and the fact that make us think, so
#1 Maybe it is just because the place I live, but this was pretty much the reality a couple of years ago
#2 This only makes sense to think of it at all if that is a diamond ring… in my opinion, this is a stupid ritual (sorry), for me, this is equal to showing off with an expensive sports car.
#3 We are a one-car family of four. Fits us all, when we have to go on separate ways one of us uses a bike, walk or public transport.
#4 Same for us, I brought up and she told the same :)
#5 By US standards I am living in such a place :D, however, I would not state it is dirt cheap.
#6 Most of it? Probably one day. All of it? Never. Period.
#7 Doing this and having a mohawk (againish…) are definitely on my bucket list :)
My biggest item would be on the list which I never had the balls to try is owning a credit card…
DON’T DO IT!!! People survived just fine before they came around :)
But DO do the ‘hawk! And send pics!
1. I like travel hacking,so this is unlikely to happen, but I would be curious if this changes my perception in spending.
2. I feel disloyal even saying this, but I never wanted a ring. My husband went to a lot of trouble to find a stone (star ruby), and now it sits in our safe. But because it meant/means so much to him, I’m not ready to sell. If I had to do it all over again, I’d be more assertive and insist the money go towards our (at the time) first house.
3.I’m European, so this is one of my big wishes. I was just about ready to buy an e-bike (see my latest blog post) but was thwarted by the state of NY (they’re illegal).
4. We’ve been using a mix of cloth and disposable. Once you have a working routine, cloth is great!
5. A lot of those places are simply not where I want to be, though…Then again, many, many places would be cheaper than where we are.
6. Working on it. So-so at it.
My lack of daring is more on the income side. I’m interested in real estate but haven’t started working up the courage. I could probably ramp up some other side projects, too.
This was fun getting to know you more :) Have you ever checked out BiggerPockets.com? The real estate community LOVES THEM and maybe they have articles on helping overcome some of your worries? Though I don’t blame you for ’em – it’s not my cup of tea AT ALL haha…
Cash Only: I don’t see the point of including routine bills in this experiment if your spreadsheets are all in order, but I would consider the modified everything-else version. Never done it, and probably should!
Ring: I guess we were wiser than our years on this one because we never chose to go down that road. Skipped the expensive wedding and hired a JP as well. I actually felt bad for the JP because she obviously wanted to special-it-up, and we were like hell no, just the legal requirement please.
One Car: Not gonna happen. Can’t walk anywhere where I live, too dangerous with no sidewalks. Driving each other to/from work would be a complete waste of time and gas. I am home homeschooling the kids while hubby is 1/2 hour away at his day job. We are always out adventuring. Add in the fact that I do shift work and often get called in last minute for shifts that cause me to go in before hubby gets home…like I said, not gonna happen.
Cloth Diapers: That ship has sailed, and I was on it cloth diapering 4 kiddos. I guess I count myself lucky that I don’t get what the big deal is. I actually find disposables to be disgusting…which helps because the guilt would have plagued me. We all have our things in life, and I just think this one would have nibbled away at me.
Moving: Family. I am already making sure my kids know that they are welcome to pull up a chunk of dirt out in one of the fields and settle down. My own family only spread about an hour from our birthplace, but all in different directions…and that is too far for my liking.
Stuff: Ouch! That’s the one. My nemesis. I don’t buy a lot of stuff, but I did build a house to hold it all. And yes, the house is holding me hostage in mid-term debt payments…but now that it is done, I refer back to my previous answer as to why I do not undo it…family. Love my stuff holder, and I am stuck with it.
Hair: I procrastinate haircuts and occasionally give a kid cut. That saves money. I used to skip them altogether, but no more. To much time and stress involved…we have a lot of hair here!
“Stuff holder” haha…. I like that :)
I think about moving someplace cheap pretty often, although I know it’s not going to happen anytime soon, if ever. We live in an area that is moderate, definitely not the most expensive place in the U.S. to live. I would actually like to live in some of the places that are lower cost, but like you, family and friends are likely to keep us where we are for a while.
1. I’m with you – I don’t know how one would pay some of the bills with the cash-only method. Unless you did a mostly-cash-only method….
2. I sold my engagement ring after the divorce and um, er, threw out my titanium wedding band in a public trashcan near where he proposed. His went into another one nearby. Ahem.
3. I’m one person, have one car. Live about 5 minutes from work and would consider getting a bike for the work commute. I should think about that more….hm.
4. No kids, not an issue. My mother did use cloth on me waaaay back in 1975.
5. I’m fairly rural where I’m at, and rent is a bit more expensive than what a mortgage payment would be for the same type of place. That said, I fell into a “house-sitting” situation where I’m only reimbursing my “landlords” for electric and, in the winter, propane. Excellent. I am very happy with the circumstances, it allows me to put $ in the bank at a great savings rate, and I realized how much I **hated** house hunting. I would consider renting over buying now, for sure!
6. With the move I just made, I have been downsizing a lot. This place has very very litle storage. I reboxed up things that I can’t use/store here but could use in a larger place (why the hell do I have so much barware?!?!) and rented the smallest, cheapest storage unit I could find *hangs head in shame*. Had to be done. The rest, I’m going to either use or get rid of. It’s been fun and sad at the same time.
7. I sported a short pixie cut for years, but have been growing it out for a while. Looking back on the pictures of me with the pixie….I don’t think I’ll do it again, but it was so much fun and easy to take care of!
I’ve planned a no-spend month for August. I’ve never done one before, but I just finished reading Cait Flanders book (very good and raw, go get it), and am inspired to see if I can live off one paycheck or less in August and bank the other. I’ve started a list of rules already. Pray for me! LOL.
DO IT!!!! YOU WILL LOVE IT!!! One of the best things I’ve done too w/ my money over 10 years ago now – it really forces you to stop and realize just where all your money is going (and how many habits you have!). Just had a pretty powerful call w/ Cait the other week which I’ll be blogging about soon – she’s incredible.
Cash only: I just started doing the opposite of this a couple of months ago. I was finding I was bleeding cash and had no idea where it was going. I’ll admit I wasn’t good at writing down where I was spending it. To help get my budget better under control, and understand where I’m spending my money, I’ve switched to only using my credit card. (That $50 in my wallet has lasted for months!). I’ve found I’ve spent less money doing this versus when I was paying cash. I have a excel file where I track my spending (pivot table) and I can start reigning it in if I feel it is more than I want to spend in that caregory. Plus I like the bonus of earning cash back from my credit card.
Ring: Not married but if I do get engaged/married someday I think I would have a hard time spending $7k on a ring. So many other things can do with that amount of money.
No car: Will never happen. I love having a car and love road trips. Guess this is a true fail for me at the moment since I’m one person who owns two cars! (One practable car and one toy)
Cloth diapers: no kids so don’t really have an opinion on this one
Moving: I did move a few years ago to a cheaper COLA (from Massachusetts to Georgia). I’m definitely not in the cheapest area of Georgia but I do like the area. I don’t think I could move where it is dirt cheap – I like living in areas with civilization and convenience (eg grocery store close by).
Stuff: will never be able to be a nomad but I do try to limit the amount of stuff in my house. I don’t like clutter – I’m happy when I see empty space in cabinets and closets.
Hair: tempting some days to think about shaving it all off (especially when you have a thick head of hair) but don’t see this ever happening!
Haven’t tried any of these either. I’ve never been fully convinced that the cloth diaper thing is as money saving as some would lead you to believe. You still have to buy materials (liners) and there’s a ton of costs involved with washing, drying, detergent, etc. that I think many don’t factor in. Plus, most new parents are busy enough without having to worry about finding the time to deal with it, and I know very few who would trade the few pennies for even less sleep or time with their baby.
I’ll chime in with my experience here. I’m fully in the diaper trenches (4yo, 2yo and baby #3 due in 9 weeks) and cloth diapering has been a huge perk to our budget for very little effort.
There are several sites that have done more extensive breakdowns of the costs (http://www.iheartbudgets.net/2012/09/cloth-diapers-vs-disposables-cost-comparison/ for example) and, even factoring in the extra laundry resources, cloth wins hands down. The combo of that and knowing other families with full time working parents who did it convinced me to give it a go when I was pregnant with our first.
Other moms I know spend $50-75/month on disposable diapers and wipes per kid. Our family spent ~$300 up front on higher end cloth diapers, inserts, liners, wet bags and wipes. At the end of our diaper years, we will likely be able to sell them for about $150. I’ve spent maybe $50 on replacement supplies and disposables for a few cross-country flights, etc. They fit each kid from about 1 month through potty training and we are about to use them for our third. They also tend to encourage earlier potty training and can be bought for cheaper than what we elected to do. So, at a minimum, $3600 for 6 years of diapers vs $200 plus minimal laundry expenses. Those dollars were significant in our budget.
As far as the time commitment, it has worked out for me to be about 3 extra loads of laundry a week. The ~15 minutes/load it takes me in total to start the washer, switch over to the dryer and toss in a basket works out to be ~45 minutes of work a week. At this point, it is so second nature I don’t even think about it.
All that said, I would never encourage a new parent to tackle the learning curve straight home from the hospital. Meconium poop, umbilical stumps and super tiny bums have convinced me disposable is the way to go for those first few weeks until you get your feet under you and that’s what we’ve done with all of our kiddos!
Thanks for your insight! Going to check out that link myself right now… I used to read that blog yearrrrrs go – loved it.
1. My dance school was cash only http://www.danceconmigo.com/ I used cash for 7 years. Even my rent. The only electronic payment was eletricity and Internet
3. Being without a car for years. I only had a car for 3 years when I became an Uber driver. Now my car is for sale. Will be carless for the rest of my life.
Look at you, man!! Always learning something new and fascinating about you, haha…. A man of many talents :)
I’ve been itching to sell my lifetime engagement ring.
I know it’s supposed to be special and all, but I only think of it as a not very good investment that yields no return. Hubby is not so thrilled at the idea, but I think I can convince him if I get a good price for it
Maybe you can use the money towards some awesome goal/dream that you both have?? So it excites him more?
I just vacationed in an area with a low cost of living. Then my car broke down and I was car-less until it got fixed. Turns out there was no Uber, no Lyft, no public transit, no sidewalks, and the taxis were unreliable. I tried to walk the approx 4 miles between places but people immediately assumed I was a bum. In short, areas with a higher cost of living are that way because they’re more desirable for good reason
Daannnnng… lots of good thinking you had on that walk! Reminds me when I leave my phone somewhere and freak out for about 3 seconds until I realize how feeing it feels… (though of course not so much when $hit goes south, haha…)
There’s a difference between being frugal, living a Spartan lifestyle, and being ridiculous and some bloggers in our community go for the extreme, which is ridiculous.
I guess they would think owning a Rolex is ridiculous. As a matter of fact it’s one of the most liquid objects in the world. Anywhere in the world a Rolex (not a diamond engagement ring!) brings top cash. Don’t approach her about selling the ring My Friend. First of all, that $7k you paid would get you about $2000-2500 from a jeweler. Markups on diamond and gold are huge and markdowns in the aftersale are horrible. Sentimentally it’s worth much more so don’t fret about it being dead money. On one occasion in both your lives that dead money made someone’s day, evening, week & lifetime.
True true… much better way of looking at it :)
Were you reading the blog when we featured Financial Samurai on it with his watch flipping side hustle?? You might like it:
I would love to go down to one vehicle. I live less than two miles from home and can easily bike or walk to work. However, we live in Minnesota. Those frigid winters would be literally dangerous for me to be out in for the 25 minutes or so it would take me to walk. And frankly during the summer I’m just lazy. The thought of biking home in the rain or when it’s 90+ degrees out doesn’t sound worth it.
Cloth diapers are really not a big deal at all, though you get the most bang for your buck if you start with your first kid since you can reuse the diapers with each kid. It’s basically just a couple extra loads of laundry a week (and we’re already doing laundry almost non-stop so what’s two more?) and having to dump the poo into the toilet. I have never done the math, but I’m sure we’ve saved thousands over the course of our three kids. And think of all the space in the landfill we’ve saved!
You had me at “dump the poo into the toilet” haha…
I already live in a low cost of living area and it is awesome. The only major downside is the lack of reliable public transportation.
Shave your head? I already do this. My wife, not so secretly, wants me to be bald (or at the very least very very short hair). She has a thing for bald men, which sort of works out for me since I am too lazy to keep a real hairstyle and a set of clippers was pretty cheap anyways.
YOUR WIFE IS AWESOME!!! Haha… I have no idea what mine is going to think when that fateful day comes, but I may need yours to help convince her of all the reasons it’s so sexy :)
#1 – When I feel like I am not treating my credit card with the respect it deserves, I will stop carrying it for a month and take out my monthly “allowance” in cash. So far 1 month of that has been enough to set me straight for a while.
#2 – No way. Not only would we not get much for it, but it is one of the only things my unsentimental wife is sentimental about.
#3 – Due to my wife and I both working slightly different hours, I don’t think going to 1 car is realistically possible.
#4 – My wife’s response echo’s your wife’s response…
#5 – We probably could have moved to a place that has lower cost/sq ft. of home instead of our house, but we have some of the lowest property taxes in the area (they haven’t gone up in 12 years)
#6 – We are talking about some form of this. We are planning on each getting 2 totes that we can keep anything we want in, everything else has to go. It’s a goal to get done this year.
#7 – I shaved my head exactly 1 time since I have been married, and my wife almost cried. She really likes my hair. She has offered to start cutting my hair, but I am balking at the idea…
Ever since I calculated how much I have spent on Amazon I’ve been working my way up to not spending on single $ on that website… I’ve made it a few weeks. Planning on making a goal for 1 year.
Woahhhhh that’s a hard goal!! Especially if you buy normal household stuff off it, but I applaud you! The two totes one would also be a dream and interesting to think about what would go into them… I’d probably have to get rid of a lot of my historical and rare books, but I could still keep my coin collection that fits in a small cigar box :) Along with some socks and underwear of course (or maybe you’d nix that one and save even more room? haha…)
Our family of three (myself, my wife, and a one year old) have tried two of these things.
Cloth diapers aren’t that much more work than disposables in my opinion. Most of the diapers just get dumped in a sealed bin until there is enough to wash. Poop gets flushed down the toilet. After we get enough for a load of diapers we just toss it in the washer. In the summers I take them out to line dry and in the winters I put the drying rack under a vent. I haven’t ever done the math but I have probably saved hundreds since the baby was born. We plan on having more children so it will definitely be worth it in the long run.
The brand of diapers that have really worked for me are bum genius diapers. They are a little pricier at $20 a diaper but we were able to get a bunch on ebay for about half the price. I didn’t want to skimp on quality when it came to diapers.
We live in Chicago and have good access to public transportation. We also have a well served Uber and Lyft market. An uber Pool or Lyft Lineto most places I would ever need to go only costs $3-5. To get groceries I take a bike share bike one way towards Aldi and then take a Lyft back with all of the groceries. For out of town trips we will occasionally rent a car.
In general living without a car and being a parent of a young child does have its challenges. You have to do a bit more planning but I think the cost savings more than makes up for it. to be honest though the main reason isn’t even money. I like the exercise that I get from biking and walking. Also, I now have the peace of mind of not worrying about car related expenses.
All excellent perks indeed – I salute you, sir :)
If I got rid of all of my stuff I would probably be a millionaire. No lie. I love to shop. I am the exact opposite of a minimalist. I have tossed that idea around a few times but all I come up with is what Carrie Bradshaw says in sex and the city. They ask “where is all of your money?” She says ” i am either eating it or it’s hanging in my closet . ” I guess this is also connected to using cash for a month. ..not sure I could do that. I went good shopping with a friend who only used cash once. She actually put back the salad greens because she ran out of cash. Um, not gonna do that…
HAH! What if you tried a “no spend month” and see what happens? At the worst you save a ton of cash and get even MORE excited to go shopping that next month! ;)
1. Tried this too and that’s why we do the “hybrid” system to get the best of both worlds.
2. Not a tremendous amount involved so i’m not going down this road.
3 Not a good choice as our jobs are 20+ miles apart and no public transportation option
4. Holy smokes, I’ve got 12 grand kids, I better not need diapers!!
5. Did this one 20 years ago and here is what it helped us accomplish. We had 13 years in a row when we had one or more of our 5 kids in college. By keeping our housing cost between 5-10% of our income during those years we were able to “cash flow” their education with no debt. At one point, with 3 in college, our education expense was 32% of our income. We actually did a double dip on this strategy. Moved 100 miles from Dallas to East TX and from a 5 year old home to a 98 year old home. Square footage and utilities doubled, but every other expense dropped dramatically. Would do it again in a second!
6. This is the one I need to try. I’m on board with the one item a day challenge and will join with you!
7. I say flaunt it it you have it, just like J$!
Nice house hacking :) And nothing saying a big move like this has to be permanent, eh? Not a bad strategy to knock out some giant goal and then get back to your ideal lifestyle again if you miss family/friends/etc. Stage of life plays a huge part as well, of course. Pre-kids I wanted to live in every party town in the world, haha… Now it’s all about being close to grandma!
I tried repeatedly to sell our original weddings rings (in hopes of getting a bunch to buy new rings) back when gold was high. They only offered us $75!!!! Forget it.
Ugh, yeah – not worth it in that case.
#2. I lost my engagement ring six months before my wedding. At Costco. My now husband was extremely upset about it. I was sad, but knew it was just an object and I told him long before we were engaged not to spend too much money on it… I couldn’t live with myself if I lost it!
I am a massage therapist and I saved my tip money to “pay him back” $1300 for the ring. I had the idea to put the money towards his mountain of student loan debt. He was able to pay off an entire loan!
Awwwww that was incredibly sweet of you :) And hard to get upset with being debt-free! Haha… Did you guys replace it with another or still engagement-ring-less?
We decided to skip replacing the ring and instead got matching wedding bands from Etsy for $40! So engagement-ring-free! :D
Love it :)
I’ve never been brave to get rid of all my stuff either. I was thinking about doing that for my move to Boise, but then I thought it would end up costing me more getting new stuff when I move, PLUS adding a very large task to my to-do list of listing stuff, selling, yard sales, and hauling things to goodwill. Maybe next time. I’ve also never been brave enough to travel around the world solo for a year (or something similar).
My wife’s engagement ring was designed and cast by a nearby artist, and the ruby was a pretty killer bargain from a cutter in Ohio. It’s utterly unique, quite sentimental, and platinum has gone down in value by 35% since I bought it… not really worth selling. If I wanted to get rid of precious metals, I’d dump the pounds of .925 sterling my mom picked up for a song on eBay in the mid-00s. Hmm… maybe I should look into that.
We have been doing the looking at houses and pondering moving dance here recently. I would like to move to Arizona where a friend of mine is moving. However we live in Arkansas and it’s so cheap compared to many other places on the map. So, relax and enjoy the cheapness or stretch the budget and live close to a friend? It’s still up for debate.
Oh and #2, I wish you luck. That conversation shall never be uttered in my household.
What if you made it a *temporary* move? For like, two years, and then either move back or stay there if you find it’s fun? My best friend lives in Milwaukee which is a good 800 miles away and we’re always trying to convince the other to move out to no avail, haha… So I salute you for just making an effort in it – even if just mentally!
Does using a debit card count as cash? Same thing, right?
We’re seriously considering moving out of our area. Sperling’s best places say it’s 43% higher cost of living than the national average. That’s a chunk. The problem is where to go.
RV life for a year or so is what we’re thinking. We’ll find the right place when we get there.
To be continued…
AHHH THAT WOULD BE A DREAM!!!! One of my only regrets before having kids is not RV’ing or doing something similar for a year (tiny house? house boat?), so I’m all for it if you can pull it off. Then stop by the DC area and come visit me! :)
1: I spend cash like a money launderer…so it’s all credit for me.
2. I gave my engagement ring back to my ex-fiance and he sold it. Does that count?
3. I’m a no-car person. But I pay through the nose for rent so having a car and living somewhere cheap would save way more money.
4. My sister used these to great acclaim.
5&6 I’ve been thinking about this because I’m dating a maximalist who lives in a lower-cost area (as pertains to #3, he owns 3 cars). I’ve decorated my apartment with the idea that if I get married, I could get rid of everything quickly and painlessly (Suffice to say, I live in what appears to be a secondhand Ikea catalog). But he has so much stuff it stresses me out to think of it.
7. I haven’t locked someone down yet so I need the hair to serve as a siren call. I love that you use hairspray on your mohawk. I figured it was just naturally spiky.
A Maximalist – hah! Not something you hear too much about in this crowd ;)
*I would never go all cash as I get loads of points from my card that I use for flights. And I’m on top it (obvs, I’m a Sexy Budgeter!) so I’ve never once paid interest or fees.
*No engagement ring. Got a simple gold band exactly the same as my husbands.
*I live in London so, er… the exact opposite of dirt cheap!
*I try to keep my “stuff” levels low. Less crap but nicer crap.
*Never in a million years will I shave my head! My long red curls are free and I love them!
The big thing that eats my money is travelling home to visit family. And I’ll never give that up. I’d rather eat beans on toast and pot noodles for a year than miss Christmas in Australia!
“Less crap but nicer crap.” – gonna have to steal that one ;)
Okay, J. I’ve done it all but #2. If I sold my wife’s engagement ring she’d sell my family jewels! Actually, she wouldn’t, but I would hurt her and money isn’t that important to me. Mrs. Accountant is my life. There is a story buried in that comment.
Shortly after we got married I bought my wife a beautiful chandelier with ceiling fan for our bedroom. It wasn’t very expensive, but very attractive. We both like ceiling fans around the house and my gift was the perfect fit for our bedroom. A few years later we go to sell the house. A buyer demanded the bedroom chandelier/ceiling fan while offering full price. Without hesitation I accepted. Mrs. A quietly said, “You bought that for me as a birthday gift.” I knew selling her gift with the house hurt her deeply. It was too late to save the gift; it went with the house, but I never forgot the pain I caused. It’s been a good 25 years since that fateful day and it feels like yesterday.
Mrs. A and I don’t wear or rings; we are not big into jewelry. I will still never sell, nor suggest selling, out engagement/wedding rings. The value is well beyond the list price of a precious metal.
Back to you.
That must have been one helluva chandelier! Got any pics we can all ogle?
My list is about the same except I was considering shaving my head a while back :D I don’t know if I want to find out how weird it feels to grow it out though, nor do I want to know if my head is oddly shaped!
If I got anywhere near a decent price on it, I’d be willing to consider selling my engagement ring but I haven’t broached the subject to PiC. Not sure how he’d feel about it since I also don’t have a wedding ring! I decided my engagement ring cost enough to stand for two rings. Still, I don’t wear it because of the scratching kids and dogs problem.
I’m also no longer willing to rent out a room in our house to strangers. My home is my sanctuary and I only want people that I love here :)
A lot of these I already do. I’ve been shaving my head since I started wrestling 20 some years ago. Cloth diapers were part of our routine just because they were easier.
What have I considered but won’t do… try tiny home with kids. I can’t imagine how frayed my nerves would be if I was on top of my kids 24×7
But man – how FREEING right?? I really want to try it myself one day but haven’t been able to for the exact same reasons… (though looking back I should have tried when we only had 1 and not 3!)
I used cash exclusively from 0 – 16 does that count? and even then I mostly used cash till I was about 18. I remember those days, it was inconvenient. Of course , this was also the late 90s by far the greatest time in the history of the world to be a teen… Cash is so outdated, there really is no need for it at all. Also, if you think about it. Getting rid of cash completely as a society could solve a lot of problems.
you’ll never pry it from my hands, good sir!
Strangely enough, I’ve done a good handful of these! Mr. Picky Pincher shaved his head before I met him. When we were on our first date, I saw he was bald in his driver’s license photo and was admittedly taken aback. :)
I’ve done both the cash-only thing and single-car household thing. In hindsight, neither was horribly difficult, but I will say a single-car family is much more challenging, especially if both adults work outside the home. I was stranded without a car for many weekends when hubs needed it for work!
However, these two things made it possible for us to save a LOT of money in a short period of time. We could do it now and save more, but I don’t find it necessary at this stage.
1. Cash only for a month – I have never gone that hardcore, but I have attempted the envelope system for some expenses. I think even those who boast doing cash only have to still use check or debit for their bills, right? I’ve always assumed the ‘cash only’ idea was for things outside of monthly bills. We’ve used it for gas, car repairs, groceries and eating out. But we didn’t stick with it for long.
2. I get the idea, but my ring wasn’t insanely expensive and it is sentimental to me. If we were in a dire situation, like living on the streets, I’d probably sell it, but for now I’m keeping it.
3. We live in a rural area and I work in the nearest metro area, about 20 miles away. My husband works in the town we live in so I suppose there is some possibility for us to become a 1 car family, but I don’t see us becoming a no car family, even if we moved to the nearest city.
4. This is something we have actually done before. Currently, I’ve been buying disposables, but I want to get back to doing cloth on a more consistent basis. It really isn’t as gross as most people think. You’re already changing a diaper and dealing with poop in that moment. The only difference is that you’re dealing with it again as you prep it for laundry and after that it is just an extra load of laundry…..but I do understand that you have to be on board with it. If you wife is stuck with diaper laundry duty and never wanted to do it in the first place, she probably won’t be very happy about it. My husband was nervous to do cloth diapers, but I told him I would deal with the laundry, all he had to do at diaper changes was to change it just like he would a disposable, but don’t throw it away.
5. I think we already live somewhere dirt cheap. The downside is that unless you work for yourself, like J Money and other bloggers, the jobs available pay you dirt cheap because that’s where living expenses are. The low income makes it tough to save up for retirement but that is where side hustles can come in and help.
6. We need to at least do a garage sale to get rid of some stuff. I don’t want to go down to zero possessions right now but we could live with a lot less junk.
7. As a woman, I will probably never do this barring a cancer diagnosis or something. But I already have fairly cheap hair costs because my sister-in-law is a hair dresser and doesn’t charge us for cuts. We usually give her something anyway, but it’s less than a salon would charge. I rarely get my hair highlighted or anything like that, but if I do, my sister-in-law does it and only charges me her cost to purchase the color.
That’s a great hook up you have there :) I used to have my wife cut my hair, but then ended up trying it myself one day and found it wasn’t actually that bad so long as I have lots of mirrors around, haha… (and I don’t change my hairstyle :))
We did cloth diapers during our son’s first year and it was actually a great experience. We didn’t have to worry about going out to buy disposables and with the number of diapers a baby goes through their first year we would had to buy a lot. It was really convenient to know that we could reuse the diapers. Also we didn’t have to deal with a lot of poop diapers back then since he didn’t eat any solid foods.
Wow! I must be really hard-core.
I don’t shave my head by choice.
It was genetically inflicted.
“Mad” Max Speedwell
You make me look like such a wuss! :)
Don’t bother selling the diamond ring. You’ll get cents on the dollars that you spent.
Enjoy the bling for those 3 times a year she wears it!
Great list! It is so important to have a frugal limit! It is easy to get carried away on saving money and you don’t even realize that it is having a negative impact on your life. Draw the line somewhere.
Interesting stuff! We never went down to one car, but didn’t want to have another *thing* to support. And I look at home ownership the same way, as a thing to support – and too expensive if one can be comfortable renting. I do consider a car to be essential, so we have one. It works for the way we live.
I think of moving somewhere cheaper from time to time, but I’d hate to do that and find that I can’t stand the place. It would be hard to do it, because you can’t know what a place is like without living there for a while. It’s an adventure, and unfortunately, I don’t feel like we have time even for easier adventures!
I don’t want to get rid of everything, but know I’d feel much better to get rid of a lot. Minimalism sounds good.
About your wife’s engagement ring. It is something, it is *real*, and as a result I would see it as having value in the way that money cannot. Money isn’t real; it is an idea that we do best behaving (pretending) as though it is the most real and important thing. Because that is what everything is powered by in our material world and society. That ring can be valued through generations of coins, your coins’ coins, etc ;)
I do like the idea of it being passed down through generations :) Always find it so beautiful when others pass down heirlooms for big events like this!
I began shaving my head my second year of college, I am now 36. I always kept my hair short and was hitting the barber shop 3 times a month. Needless to say that was not a reasonable expense as a poor college kid. I bought a 10 dollar pair of clippers and never looked back. I figure this has saved me at least 6-7k over the years…I am sure that most of that money saved in the college years was spend on Jager Bombs and hot wings, but I have no regrets about that.
haha yup – sounds about right.
Cloth diapers are doable. We got several used sets off of eBay (!) and went to town. They lasted long enough that we resold them! Cuddle Bunz cloth diapers were what we used.
Used??? Okay now THAT is hardcore haha…
Man, I agree with being tied down where your family is. I’ve been out of college for 3 years now and I’m starting to realize how important it is for me to live near my family.
Although I never went bald a few years back I did try cutting my hair but failed miserably. The good part was that I realized this a few years later. Otherwise, my money would’ve most likely gone to therapy sessions haha…
Love these money hacks. As a family of 5 we just recently downsized to our 1 Buick Enclave. We did have an 05 legacy that needed too much work to fix so we sold it to carmax and invested the 1500 in my husbands IRA. I have used Uber a few times to get to work, but my husband works from home so it hasn’t been terrible. Usually, if he needs the car, we pack up the three year old and now that our eldest is 12 (laws of kids left alone are starting to work in our favor) we can leave the 5 and 1/2 year old with him while my husband drives me (round trip is 24 minutes). There are times when it’s hot and we have to walk to the pool, etc bc the other adult has the car, but it’s worked pretty well. It’s about a 15 min walk to preschool, elementary school, Cvs, a town center, etc. If we lived far out I think we might look into another car, but we’re holding out, for now.
Sounds like it’s definitely working out! Are you planning on making it a permanent thing for now, or just testing it out and seeing how it goes?
1. I used to be cash only, but you’re really leaving easy money in the table if you do that. It hinders wealth building. I would never go back.
2. I spent a lot of time selling the idea that the money for an expensive engagement ring would be better spent elsewhere. I told her whatever price she thought it should be worth, that I’d put into a special personal space for her in our home. It worked and I was able to get a ring we both agreed on.
3. We moved across country and only had one car for almost 3 years. She’d drop me off at work, then go to work at a later time. Fortunately we lived less than 2 miles from both our jobs. I didn’t have to deal with the hassle of parking and paying to park and we saved on the full 2nd car expense.
4. Pass on that idea.
5. Leaving an expensive state for more opportunities in a lower cost area was one of the best decisions we ever made. We’ve since moved again, but look forward to going back to that way of life.
6. I did a major purge years ago. It was both good and bad. I was never too wasteful with my spending, so when I got rid of an item I later wanted to use, it was a bit of a bummer. I’ve also lived out of suitcases for work, so that’s also like having nothing. It’s doable, but not a way I want to live.
7. I used to cut my own hair in college and when I was broke. I still hate paying for haircuts, but at this point I prefer to look more professional than what I could do on my own.
I remember watching this special on TV years ago about a woman that would get food out of the dumpster. She even had a dinner party and surved it to her friends. Now THAT is something I’m too nervous to try. I’m thinking food poisoning may not be worth the savings.
Haha yup – another one that would NOT be making it on my to-do list anytime soon ;)
Awesome about only having 1 car for 3 years! Great quality time with the wife too!
I recently sold all of my gold jewellery that had been sitting in a safety deposit box for the last 20 years…untouched…and looking to stay there untouched for another 20 years. Received most of it as wedding gifts and never had any desire to wear much of it…too gaudy for my liking. There were a couple of sentimental pieces I thought I might want to keep, but the gold buyer offered more than I expected…sold!!
My husband was surprised I sold it all but came to his senses when I asked him, “When was the last time you remember seeing me wear any of it?” My only regret was not selling when gold prices were in the US$1,900/oz range about six years ago…could have cashed in for approximately 50% more.
My engagement ring sits in the safety deposit box almost all year long and it will be next to be sold…will do it when I can get my husband on side with the idea (that will take a bit of work! hahaha!).
I’m going through a phase now thinking about what will happen to my stuff if I pass away suddenly…morbid yes, but a real possibility. Trying to minimize so that my executor will have less hassles to deal with.
YES YES YES to all!! Thinking about dying is great as it really puts *everything* into perspective more. And the last thing your loved ones will want to do is figure out what to do with all your stuff amidst the grieving..
So keep on going, baby!! You’re on a roll!
If I was in extremely dire straits (as in, the only valuable thing I have is the engagement ring), then maybe I would be open to selling it. Otherwise, it’s out of the question. If the only purpose of selling the ring is to pad the retirement savings, or any kind of savings, a little more…no. Why not work or do something else to do that? I am pretty sentimental, especially about jewellery. It really is something that can be passed down to the next generation. On my wedding day, my mom gave me a necklace that my grandma had bought for me. My grandma had passed away 13 years prior. But that necklace will always remind me of her, and that even when I was a kid she thought that one day that I would grow up, and get married, and all that.
That is pretty beautiful :) I would have loved to have a ring/diamond that was passed down from my history to give to my wife! Would def. never want to hawk that regardless of how much it was worth or not… But maybe we start the tradition and pass this one down to our kids later? Never considered that one before (again – pending okay with my wife, haha… since it is *her* ring :))