Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm getting my frugal on!

The last 5 weeks our church has been going through a financial series based on a book by Barry Cameron, called "The ABC's of Financial Freedom". I REALLY don't enjoy talking about money, especially when it comes to our budget. As a matter of fact, I confessed quite freely to my small group, that I get a real nice buzz when I drop a load of cash while shopping. Don't judge me.

Now don't get the idea that I dwindle away our electric bill on a cute sweater from Charlotte Russe - instead Jason and I agreed on an allotted allowance for each of us, apart from our expenses, that is play money. Each paycheck, I get a chunk to set aside and do with as I please, whether it be going out to a movie and dinner with the girls, or saving it all up for one big spending spree at the outlets. I do think ahead to what I need to save for in the upcoming weeks and do try to save a little left over to roll into the months ahead.

This last Sunday, Barry Cameron came and spoke at our church and shared a very intriguing message on how he and his family became completely debt free in a matter of three years. Whoa. Is that even possible? Most everyone I know, whether its from my parents generation or my generation, honestly don't define "getting out of debt" as paying off their mortgage.

Well I've been thinking about what Barry had to say A LOT since his message on Sunday. And I was so inspired to think that this could actually be something attainable and to what lengths would I be willing to go to, to see Jason and I in a place of financial freedom from debt? Let me just give you an idea of some of the practical things that Barry Cameron did with his family during that 3 year period of time!

1. No eating out (pack lunches to work & school)

2. No buying of new clothes (FOR THREE WHOLE YEARS! - yeah I freaked at this one)

3. No watering the grass (They're lawn turned to dirt!)

4. Turning the light off as you leave the room

5. Turning the water off as you brush your teeth

6. No going to the theater

7. No TV or cable - got it disconnected.

There were TONS more, that I can't remember off the top of my head, but they were pretty intense decisions. Barry said his family hated him, but after those three years and paying off three cars and their mortgage, they have lived debt free ever since and they celebrated by enjoying a cash-paid trip as a family to Disney World.

So I've been thinking. While Jason and I have the time and resources, could we work our butts off now, saving as much as we can and pay off the car and house as much as we can before we get to the point of having a family and adding more expenses? And to what degree would I be willing to live without for this cause? How extreme could we get? These are things our small group are all discussing together. I'm making some mental notes for sure. I'm considering canceling my Netflix subscription, stop going to Starbucks and only make coffee at home, limiting mine & Jason's meals out to once a month, having a garage sale with my small group friends - where the cash goes towards a payment! Hmmm....what would you do? How far would you go?


Anonymous said...

Can you start this AFTER our visit? :)

Camille said...

I think it's a great idea. Kyle and I are trying the same thing, though not as extreme. We want to get our house paid off early, and we're really close to being debt free except for that.

Just last month, we started the "personal spending money" idea, and I am a huge fan. Before, I felt guilty if I bought new mascara with my groceries. Now, I don't worry. And, same as you, I'm saving mine up (for a trip to AZ).

Anonymous said...

Oh the conviction of it all.