We live in Hawaii and it's crazy expensive here. Totally worth it, but it takes some creativity and will power to not spend all of or money every month. Here are some ideas that have helped us.
  1. Give everyone in your family a personal allowance.
    You can spend or save this however you wish.
  2. Eat less meat.
    I only buy organic meat, so it would be pretty expensive to feed our family of five is we ate the typical American diet. Thankfully none of us are crazy about meat and that makes it a lot easier to pare down on the meat consumption.
  3. Don't go to Target.
    Just don't go. Or to the mall, or wherever it is for you.
  4. Be content.
    Learn to love what you have and to plan for what you need. If you budget for whatever needs come up they won't be an issue, if you decide you need something right away it will be an issue. Develop a pattern of contentment.
  5. Be resourceful.
    Maybe you think you need something but you can really make do with something else. Maybe you can make what you need?
  6. Go to the library.
    If you HAVE to own a book (I get that, I really do) you need to use your personal allowance to buy it.
  7. Eat more rice
    I'm not a huge carb girl and so I tend to make dinner with tons of veggies and a protein- which is great but not only does your body NEED complex carbs to survive, it also fills up easier with them. Buy a 25 lb bag of rice, a big bag of quinoa, and a bunch or sweet potatoes and make sure you use them!
  8. Cancel all of your monthly subscriptions that you aren't willing to pay from your allowance.
    I loved ipsy, but I didn't want the $10 every month to come from my allowance. Time to cancel! @mbmurray23 pays for a comic book subscription out of his allowance. Jointly we decided to subscribe to Hulu and Netflix, but we don't have cable. Balance.
  9. Make spread sheets
    It's super satisfying to see your debt go down or your savings go up- whichever is your goal.
  10. Use cash
    If I have a debit card I will spend and spend and spend because my brain can't keep multiple tabs open. I have no clue how much I've spent on groceries, or my allowance, or eating out. If I have cash, I understand how much I have spent in each area and how much more I have left.
  11. Budget some blow money.
    Not drugs. If you are doing blow, maybe a budget won't work for you, just a thought. We budget money for me (I'm the spender in our relationship) to spend indiscriminately. It's not a lot ($30/week) but I can spend it on whoever and however I want. I go to this super nice thrift store every week and buy whatever I want. It helps me to be able to spend without agenda, I don't know why but it does. Identifying that was a HUGE step for @mbmurray23 and me.
  12. Go on free dates
    My husband and I are really good about intentional time alone without the kids but babysitters are expensive, so we try to go on free or super cheap dates. We're lucky to live in Hawaii so it's very easy to go on free dates here between the beaches and the glorious hikes. Groupon is also your friend in this area.
  13. Live within your means
    I didn't understand this for a very long time. Living within your means includes not using credit cards, or paying them down to zero every single month. Living within your means includes buying cars out right, with no payments. Living within your means includes contentment. My generation was sold the American Dream on credit with 25% interest. Break that illusion.
  14. Good luck!
    You can do it! ❤️💚💜💙💛