This morning I was reading a blog post at Money Saving Mom and was totally inspired. When I first read it, I thought she was saying she averaged 50% savings on their grocery budget this month (obviously reading WAY too fast). I think my mind just couldn't grasp the reality, because that isn't what she was saying at all. Her family has actually hit the halfway point in saving enough money to pay for their first house in 100% cash. Can you even imagine buying a house in cash? Can you imagine delaying your first house purchase long enough to save 100% of the money you need to buy it? Can you imagine never having to worry about interest rates or mortgage payments? How weird! I WANT TO BE WEIRD TOO!!!
No, I'm not planning on selling our house to move in to an apartment until I can pay 100% cash for a new house. We're already past that point. We've already made our mistakes. Dave actually wouldn't tell us to do that either. Our payment is at or below the appropriate percentage of our income and isn't pushing us further in to debt with unrealistic payments, so there isn't a need for us to change our living situation. What I am saying is that I find so many aspect of their story totally inspiring and need to commit myself to the same sort of dedication.
Not only have they saved half the cost of a house, her husband went through law school without acquiring any school loan debt, they've remained debt free their entire marriage, they have saved a 6 month emergency fund, and are investing in their retirement and kid's college funds. It sounds like they've done it through real frugal living - rice and beans budgeting. I'd like to go back and read some of her other posts to see what all she's cut back on over the years (other than grocery). I also need to read a little more carefully to see how they feed a family of 5 on less than $40 a week. That weekly budget includes household items, so that's REALLY frugal. I know she does a lot of couponing and buying/using what's on sale. That doesn't work very well for our house, but I am sure I can find ways to improve.
The main thing is that I don't want to lose momentum just because we're debt free now. There are still a LOT more goals we would like to reach. Taking 15% off the top of our income to invest will keep us frugal in itself, so if I want to do any of the other projects I have in mind... I need to find ways to make cutbacks in other areas. I've considered offering my services to help other people find ways to cut their budgets. Maybe it's time for me to take another hard look at our own budget. I know there are some things we don't really want to compromise, but I'm sure we can find ways to improve. Can't we all.
Stay tuned while I gather my thoughts on what we've cut back on already and brainstorm ideas of how we can do more. Feel free to share any suggestions too!