Life Lately

Well yikes, that happened quickly! I took a quick break to finish out my last couple days of work and now here we are on December-freaking-1st!! I took a leave of absence from my regular job to prepare to move, thinking that having over a month “free” before we leave would be more than enough time to pack and prepare to move to Texas. However, November flew by in the blink of an eye and I’m fully expecting the same to happen in December. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to!

The rundown:

November 6th: I had my wisdom teeth out (more on that later). It look me forever to recover so I lost about a week to being incoherent on the sofa.

November 14th (15th?): My step-mom came to visit and we had a great time!

November 18th: We departed for a week long house-hunting trip to the town where we’ll be living in Texas. (More on the base housing, no base housing, buy/rent saga in a moment).

November 25th: Returned home to realize we’re moving in just over two weeks and let the real panic set in!

More on the Wisdom Teeth:

Ok so wisdom teeth: apparently when you’re over 30 and have your wisdom teeth out, your body basically rages against you for it. The oral surgeon had told me it would be a more difficult recovery due to increased bone density “at my age” but I was not prepared for the fact that I am still in pain, now almost a month later!!! It needed to happen so I’m glad that’s it’s over but for the love of Pete, if you have the chance, have your wisdom teeth out when you’re young!

About that housing:

The base we are moving to, apparently, has fairly limited housing for families with only one child who aren’t “senior” enlisted or officers. Even though my husband is thisclose to being senior enlisted, we still don’t qualify for the housing that isn’t like 1000 sure feet of 1950’s splendor. After much discussion, we decided to look at purchasing a home like we did in Nebraska but when it came right down to it we really didn’t feel comfortable purchasing a home in Texas for a couple of reasons. 1: We are only going to be there for 4 years and it would be difficult to build enough true equity to make it worth our while. 2: I do not feel comfortable with how slowly the market moves in the town we’re moving to. I do not want to be stuck with a house in a town I’m not going to be living in or want to return to. So after much deliberation, we decided to rent. The rental market leaves much to be desired as well but we finally found a nice little house that I think we’ll be perfectly happy in for the next four years!


See you soon! In way less than a month I promise! 😉

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3 Simple Things I’m Doing Right Now to Save Money

Once we received our orders to move a couple months ago, we decided that I would leave my full time out-of-the-home job about five weeks before the move to pack, sell our house, search for housing in Texas, and deal with all the things that crop up in the weeks before a cross country move. However, with my leaving work, about 40% of our family income goes out the window as well. As much as I like things the way they are, I’m not willing to go into debt to maintain my lifestyle once our income is slashed. So I’m starting to practice my frugality now so that I can make the most of our money once we become a one income household. (I should also mention that while I will be searching for employment at our new duty station nothing is a guarantee, so once I leave work we’ll be a one income family for an undetermined amount of time. Scary!)

1. Make coffee at home

Y’all. Let’s not talk about how much money I used to spend on coffee, it’s embarrassing. Especially during the warmer months, I love iced coffee and I never could make it quite as perfectly at home as the baristas at my local Starbucks. But in the interest of living the frugal life, I’ve found an option that works for me. I’ve been buying the pre-brewed iced coffee (you find it by the milk and coffee creamer in the refrigerated section) either made by Starbucks or a company called Stok. These aren’t quite as cheap as truly making it from scratch at home but I have not mastered that skill yet (mine always comes out tasting stale, yuck), and it still fits within our grocery budget. Win!

2. Meal planning every meal

Over the last 5 years, I was in survival mode a lot of the time. My husband travels a lot for this job and I convinced myself that I either didn’t have time or “deserved” to eat out because my life was so crazy! Unfortunately, that lead to a lot of money spent and a few pounds gained as well. Over the last few weeks I’ve been planning out our meals so I can (A) be sure to buy the right supplies at the grocery and (B) have a plan to stick to during the week when things get hectic.

3. Only pre-meditated and necessary shopping allowed

Before, whenever my husband would go out of town and/or I’d have a super stressful week at work, I would shop to relieve stress and treat myself to something I “deserved”. I don’t totally disagree with this strategy if you have the spare funds as it did help me cope and I was fortunate/smart enough not to go into debt over it. And I wasn’t spending crazy amounts of money, but enough that it’s not wise to continue on a smaller income. It’s important that I don’t shop just for the fun of it and that if I do need to purchase something, I make sure it’s something I/we actually need (like food, or clothing for my continuously growing toddler).


These things may seem like second nature to some people who have been living the frugal life for a while but until you stop and look at how much you’re actually spending and on what, you may not realize that some really simple changes can have a big impact on your finances. If I’m being totally honest, I would estimate that I used to spend $100 every two weeks (each paycheck) on lunch and coffee. Using these tips I now spend about $40 every two weeks on coffee and food at the grocery store to bring with me to work. That’s $60 every two weeks or $1500+ per year. YIKES!


Are you living the frugal life? Why or why not? What tips do you have to share?

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