We have tightened our belts and saved over the past year so that we have been able to start a retirement fund. We have budgeted monthly monies for entertainment purposes and have stuck to it. When there is no fun money we stay home for fun. When the gas fund is low, there are no trips other than work, doctors, and therapists. And when the grocery fund is getting slim, no snacks get bought, just milk, meat, and the necessities. It has been a hard lesson, but I wish we had done this years ago.Imagine what we could have saved.
And we are not suffering. The children go on field trips, have new clothes, never lack for necessities. As for luxuries, we didn't go on vacation as a family so we could pay off our debts, but my daughter went to the beach with her cousin, my son went to camp and Hershey Park, and we all went to a family camping trip for 8 days. We also hosted an exchange student in August and were invited to tag along on day trips to Ocean City, Hershey Park, New York, DC, etc.for free.
I have gotten creative too about savings. It is sort of exciting too! It is like a game sometimes. I look online and figure my weekly menu based on what is on sale and what we have in the house. Plus I compare which of the two stores I love have the best prices on what we need and what extra coupons I can find for stuff.
I make my own laundry soap and home cleaners that work just as well as name brands and cost pennies!!!! And with that extra money saved, I reward myself with a month trip to the Korean Spa and Bathhouse that is near us. A day of relaxing and self pampering that I dearly need for my soul. We invite friends in for game nights and dinner instead of going out to expensive restaurants. We even invite families over for family sleep overs. That is WAY FUN!
Another creative way to save money is on movies. It is EXPENSIVE to take three kids to the movies, even when I hypothetically might possibly take my own candy and soda into the theatre LOL. So we order our movies from the library for FREE and maybe we might not see them as soon as they come out, but we can watch them in the comfort of our home and we can pause them when we need to pee. hehehehe
We also take advantage of the rec center in our county for inexpensive classes that allow the kids to try our things they have interest in.
It is all about balance...the balance of earnings, savings, and spending. It is always a challenge, but I am up to the challenge. And along the way, I try and turn it into a game so we all have fun!
Oh and by the way...my oldest and I are going to try some yoga classes...have always wanted to, was always chicken because I am not that slim silhouette that you see in yoga ads, but you know what, SO WHAT? I am a goddess and my body is my temple and dammit...lets go see what this yoga is all about. Plus I love yoga clothes hehehehehehe