Monday, February 22, 2016

Can I Live On My Small Fixed Income?

I must say, that I have never been one to be frugal at anything, especially when it came to spending.  Not that I bought really expensive things at all but when my husband was alive, I just never thought about money!!
In fact, I must have been in that mind-set even when I was young.  I remember my father always telling me "that I thought I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth!"

It really wasn't till recently, when of course, I knew the stock market wasn't doing too well, that I thought possibly I should pay attention to what I had and how it was doing!
Hence, deciding to put myself on an actual written down budget.
Up to that point, I never did have a budget!!
Well, I had a rude awakening.
A wide-eyed moment!
Not the good kind.
I discovered that I was spending more than was coming in!
Every Month!!
That is the first "no-no" of living without going broke!
Kind of scary!!!
I started listening to Dave Ramsey about getting rid of my debt I had on credit cards and using only cash for the things I needed.
I bought his book, "The Total Money Makeover"
(Recommended by the way!)
I took the credit cards out of my purse and put them away.
I successfully got rid of my credit card debt and only have the debt of an equity loan that I had taken out when I redid my kitchen and a couple other rooms in my old house.
I use an online budget tracker called "EveryDollar" that Dave Ramsey recommended.  
(That's when I found out I had a spending problem.)
Or rather a money management problem.
So now, at the first of the month, I take a certain amount from the bank and distribute it into the envelope system that I carry with me to be my spending money for the month.
Of course, first I had to work out a budget and budget categories and figure out what I could spend.
I'm still working on that somewhat to tweak it so it works better.
Because I still am not being FRUGAL enough!!!!
I have to do more.
So that is what these next few posts will be about.
Me finding ways to cut my budget still further.
Things that work for me and things that don't.
I am trying to develop a frugal mindset that will work for me without sacrificing my quality of life.
I don't want to have to stress over money!!
In my next few posts, I'll discuss the things I am trying that are working and some things that haven't worked for me.



  1. I can't wait to follow these posts. I thought I had our finances planned out. My husband is able to retire next year at 60. I am a year old, but thought I would continue to work and carry the insurance until we both reached 65. I had spreadsheets.

    Well, then my dad had a stroke. I took time off, but realized I had to quit my job to care for him full time. I did not have time to budget and luckily had enough money socked away to cover whatever I spent. After he passed, I had to make the decision to go back to work or not. A new grandson had just been born and they were having trouble finding a reliable sitter. After careful evaluation of my spending, we decided we could afford for me to become a housewife. A few cuts to make this possible were no more craft supplies (including fabric), library instead of purchasing books and cooking dinner instead of eating out.

    This was not as hard as I thought. I do think I have enough fabric to last the next 100 years. I usually did not get home from work until almost 6 so it was pretty easy for the two of us to jump in a car and eat out rather than wait for dinner to appear. Being at home means I can make a grocery list, I know when they mark meat on a "manager special" and can go to the store and have plenty of time to get dinner on the table. And I really enjoy cooking. It is amazing when you make a budget and eye opening when you write down your actual expenses. We are able to live on much less than we thought.

    My only concern is morbid. If anything would happen to my husband before age 60, I would not receive any retirement or pension until I was 65. And I am not sure I could find a job with my old salary and benefits at my age.

  2. Shirley, at 71 and 68, we learned early to live on a fixed income. Each and every month, items are accounted for, planned on taken care of along with a little cushion for "just in case."...:)JP


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