Hands down, the biggest change that The Boy and I will be experiencing centers around money. I have been so lucky to live and work where I do, because teachers here make a decent wage. Without the third person in the house, and with an increasing salary, I was able to crawl out of the debt that was largely due to the ex’s money mismanagement, and then provide a life for my son, virtually free from want.
In about a month, I will be unemployed. I will get paid through the summer, and God willing, I will be employed again by the time those paychecks stop coming. But I know I will not be making anywhere near what I have been making.
Now, before you start freaking out on my behalf (because I really have put a lot of thought into this move, contrary to what most people think), we will not have a mortgage or rent payment. And if you give that fact it’s due consideration, you will understand why this move is not nearly so scary as it might have seemed. For most people, the house payment is the biggest chunk of their pay, usually 25-33% of their monthly income. In addition, insurance is substantially lower (at least half of what we pay here), and we will have no water bill (well water). The Man is very handy, and the labor portion of any home repair bills (and even some minor car repair bills) will be nonexistent, as well.
We have considered selling my rather new car in exchange for an older, yet reliable car, eliminating the one car payment between us (not sure we’ll do this, but it is on the table — we both feel if you aren’t making payments, you’re paying repair bills). We also intend to plant a garden, if not fully-fledged this year, then at least by next, to supplement our groceries (we have really good soil – used to be a potato farm!).
Where I do anticipate some difficulties adjusting to a blended checking account will be in the food department. The Man loves the convenience store, and often eats out, sometimes for lunch and dinner. The Boy and I eat out about once a week, with all other meals coming from our weekly groceries. Of course, we may also have a discussion or two about where to keep the thermostat, too…
I just found this lovely series from The Peaceful Mom, on how to live on under $28K a year. You should check it out – lots of great tips on how to live more frugally (without couponing). I’m hoping we can use some of these in the near future (I’m thinking a clothesline would be nice!).
What money-saving tips have you used?