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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tightening our Belts

Most of you know that we Leipprandts (that's Lie-Prants remember?) are Dave Ramsey groupies.

We've been working the good old Baby Steps since July '07 and if you don't believe me I have a 36+ page spreadsheet of monthly budgets in Excel to prove it. (Dork. Huge dork here.)

It's almost comical for me to look at some of the funds we had allocated in this "budget"thing back in the day. Dave encourages folks (once they have wiggle room in their budget) to have a "Blow" category that is essentially fun money with no strings attached. The first month we ever stuck to a written budget, we had $500 in this category.


WHAT THE WHAT? Who were we??

I'm both completely jealous of that couple and totally embarrassed for them. I'm sure my husband is shaking his head in disbelief. Yup babe. $500 big ones. Enough to buy that kayak we're saving up for now. In one month. Oh to be DINKs again. (Dual-Income, No-Kids) This wasn't some totally irresponsible allocation of money either - I checked. In the same month we socked away the recommended amount for savings and tithed. Oh yeah and we ALSO had a clothing budget. Like, for EACH of us.

These days we are lucky to have $20 left over after giving, saving and then paying for all our first world "needs." (Yes, DVR is a need for us. Don't judge.)

Last night when we sat down to create our September budget we were stoked to find that we had enough money leftover to actually allocate $50 to "BLOW" ...AND then we remembered an upcoming commitment that would in fact cost us exactly that much. -Sigh-

But don't go throwing any benefits for us. (Remember , we DO have a DVR.) I have enough foresight to realize that these lean years are going to be looked back on quite fondly when we're putting kids through college, paying for our daughter's wedding or helping our kids put together their first baby's nursery.

Until then...

I'm soaking up the nights when we have neighbors over for leftovers because going out isn't in the budget.

I'm savoring the quality time B Daddy and I spend pouring over our budget and deciding together how best to divide our extra $40 each month.

I'm realizing that the Squirt has just as much fun with an old wrapping paper tube and my hair brush as he would with a real t-ball set. (At least for now...)

So my question to you dear readers:

What are your fondest memories of being "broke"?
Or...if you're feeling like you're there right now...what do you love best about your "broke" lifestyle?

To read about our Cash Budget system and the time I spent the whole grocery budget in 19 HERE.


  1. In college, I was so broke that I only had a jar of change to live on for about a month. I literally went to Schlotzskys every day and bought a kids sandwich with nickels.
    There was also that time when I first moved back to GA and was teaching along with working in a bookstore just to pay my bills. I went to work one day and had no idea how I could afford to buy lunch. Thankfully, a Chickfila cow gave me a free sandwich coupon while I was at work. Those Chickfila cows...always saving the day!!

  2. Hmmm... broke, here! Our favorite broke moments include eating the neighbors leftovers, drinking $2 buck chuck out of our nice (wedding gift nice) glasses, getting tivo-getting rid of tivo- getting tivo again, etc. etc.

  3. Well, considering the fact that now our grocery budget feeds three adults (that's right, Kate's appetite is that of an adult's), we have zero "blow" money. I love the fact that on weekends that I work, free entertainment for Lee and the girls is tooling around Home Depot in the orange car buggies. I go outside for exercise or pop in a video instead of a gym membership. Molly will be wearing hand-me-downs for awhile. It also helps that Lee's job affords us free Braves, Hawks, and Thrashers tickets (although we have to pay a baby-sitter at the end of the night). A date night/watch your kids swap is a great idea!

  4. My favorite part about being semi-broke is knowing the house will be paid for sooner rather than later and my hubs can be free of his cubicle if he wants! Hey girl, you know we always have some yummy health food, so get your belly over here. Don't you salivate over kale like me?? Or breakfast veggie smoothies? Jk, we have food you'd actually like too.

  5. Post #2- Actually a big part of this whole Ramsey thing for us is not having financial stress over our heads because of debt. AND it's kinda fun to say no to the nice things and know that I have self control and that I don't NEED something. It's like being successful on a diet.

  6. You know, I think I like being semi-broke, as Amy put it, better than all those schmucks (did I spell that right) who have it all. I know since my husband and I tightened our belts...having two in diapers and one in formula will do that to you...we value our money so much more. It was nothing for us to go drop $100 in Wal Mart on CRAP when we were DINKS. Now I know our HARD EARNED money is worth our sacrifices because, like you Katie, we will one day be paying for college and TWO weddings YIKES! When it comes right down to it, being semi-broke has started to teach me the difference between needs and wants, and in the instant gratification society that we live in, I think that is pretty stinkin' invaluable.

  7. We are totally there right now and what I love most is that we end up doing creative things like sitting in our church's soccer field on a cool evening, letting Brayden play in the grass while we play a game. We would never do that if we had a lot of money to blow. Also it's so awesome to see God provide those little extras, like a free fake Christmas tree we got today. I've been wanting one for the upcoming season!


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