~ from my home to yours, living the Working Pantry lifestyle ~

Friday, May 10, 2024

Hunkering Down in 2024: Week #19

If you are serious, I mean really serious about digging out of debt and or building up savings you must stop spending on anything other than needs!  You must also make sure that your needs are really needs and that they're not just wants dressed up disguise.

We are a society overall of getting what we want when we want it.   One of our biggest obstacles to achieving what we say we want, is ourselves.  Do we really want to pay off debt?  Do we really want to build up savings?  Are we willing to do the hard work of sacrifice and budgeting to accomplish those goals?  

Sometimes I have to have this talk with myself!  This week I have struggled with wanting.  No, I did not give in to the temptation, but it didn't change the wanting.  

Where did all the wanting come from?  It came from the knowledge that I have two occasions this month that would justify letting lose and spending extra money on myself ... Mother's Day and this month is my birthday month.  

As I pondered what I wanted, per my husband's request, my ideas just kept getting more and more expensive.

I could really get crazy and go on a spending spree and treat myself, after all I'm not getting any younger! (Can't you just hear me trying to justify what I might want to do but know I shouldn't!)  I could take the money that was earmarked for savings or paying extra on debt and have a great celebration.  You know the 'give me an inch and I'll take a mile' mindset, it gets us in trouble every time!

But how would I feel after the new wore off of whatever I purchased?  I can tell you that I would be full of remorse and would be grieving the progress I gave up on saving or paying extra on debt.

It's simply not worth it to me!  So, this week when I sat down to pay bills, I paid them and also made extra payments on our targeted debt.  It felt good and I know that tomorrow or next week I won't wake up full of remorse over taking advantage of 'special for me' days.

Will we celebrate Mother's Day and my birthday?  Of course we will, but it will be in line with our financial goals for the year and that is a pretty great gift, if you asked me!

Yes, I 'want' things, but there is nothing that I want as much as I want for us to achieve our financial goals for the year! ~ smile ... I truly mean that!

Do you ever need to have a financial 'reality' talk with yourself?  Do you ever struggle with the 'give me an inch and I'll take a mile' mentality when it comes to finances?

That's it for this week, how did your financial week go?

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

Sharing 44 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

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  1. I sometimes find it a struggle to spend money when I really need to, but I think that is because it is difficult to rein the spending in once I get started. It's easier not to start in the first place, if that makes sense.

    1. Tracy, that makes perfect sense to me. Once the gate of spending is open, it can sometimes be difficult to get the gate closed again. I get it! Knowing that helps me to refrain ... most of the time!!

  2. Patsi, I completely understand and had to have a talk with myself this week also. Various wants cropped up and I had to ask myself if those things were worth setting my progress back and waiting even longer to reach my goals. They were not. My one thing this week was getting my hair cut and I have no regrets about that, as keeping myself looking and feeling my best is in line with my personal goals and it has been two years since my last hair appointment- way overdue!
    This week as I updated my budget sheet, reality set in that we will not be getting that extra paycheck this month. That helped me with my spending choices as I saw how much longer it will take us to save without the extra income. Colton is taking overtime when he can, and he picked up a shift this week.
    We had a couple opportunities to go out to eat, and it would have been convenient, but we resisted. Even fast food for our family is around $40, and that's just way too much.

    1. Kelsey, unnecessary spending isn't worth the set back is it! In my opinion haircuts are not 'unnecessary.' One haircut in two years, I think you're overdue! I think it's important that we take care of ourselves and setting personal goals is one way to make sure it gets done. I have personal goals too!

  3. Patsy, I wonder if we consider what an incredible blessing it is to be able to choose? Not all have the ability to make the choice; their economic situation makes the choice for them. It isn't even a question or option. I never, ever want to forget the blessing of being able to choose. How is your husband's foot doing? Praying he's on the mend.

    Our son came over last night and I showed him a simple, delicious way to $ave on pizza; we'd been at Walmart on Wed. when French bread loaves were on a mark-down cart for 66 cents each. Great value pizza sauce has a shelf price of $1.49 and there's enough in each jar to make 2 French bread pizzas. Had cheese and meat at home. In the time it takes to preheat the oven the bread can be sliced in 1/2 and the pizzas prepared on cookie sheets. Hubs and I do just one loaf for the 2 of us and have leftovers, but I made both last night for less than $5 total. And we still have leftovers. Honestly, for a yeast bread I couldn't make the French loaves for 66 cents each. My Mother's Day flowers are red geraniums to plant from Walmart's nursery clearance--orig. $14.99 marked down to $5. They just needed a little trim up, which I did yesterday.

    Happy Birthday in advance! And Happy Mother's Day to all! --Elise

    1. Elise, that is a brilliant way to make pizza! I'm going to have to try that!
      Yes, it is a blessing to be able to choose!
      Hubby's foot is improving, thank you for asking.

  4. You are talking to me. Not paying down debt but rebuilding savings. We had to get a new refrigerator this week. Nothing fancy. Only upgrade was an ice maker. Top freezer. Again not fancy but goodness it’s expensive. Thankfully we have the $$ to pay for it.

    1. LeeAnn, I'm sorry you had to buy a new refrigerator, but glad you had the money to pay for it. It's why we make the financial decisions we do, isn't it ... so we can be prepared for things like unexpectedly needing a new refrigerator. Save on!

  5. Patsi, I surely do understand that feeling. I'm particularly vulnerable when I see a new art supply on the market that in the moment seems so unique and I imagine all the things I could do with it. I've found one of my cures for this is to take inventory of all the supplies I have and contentment sets in. This year brought many unexpected expenses that we went into our emergency fund to pay for rather than incurring any debt. Our goal is to bring our emergency fund back up to what it was before these expenses occurred. It does take sacrifice and a lot of deferred gratification, and we can do it. Cookie

    1. Cookie, my weakness is books! I purposefully stay away from bookstores and places like Amazon. I could literally spend a fortune not to mention having space issues for shelving them once I get them home! Libby has been a blessing to me in that regard!

      I like to remind myself that our financial sacrifices are temporary and that I can do temporary things for as long as I need too in order to accomplish our goals.

  6. Do you ever need to have a financial 'reality' talk with yourself? Do you ever struggle with the 'give me an inch and I'll take a mile' mentality when it comes to finances?

    Oh yes! Happily (now at age 62), the wake-up call came at age 26. The tax law changes of that year threw us very near the bankruptcy cliff. No way could my Dad's daughter walk away from decisions made and I got MAD! We stayed home until 1992! Literally. No eating out-not even a donut or a big mac. Only purchased clothing if there was nothing left to wear or the shoes were worn out. Nothing, notta, nope.

    How did we get there? Well, financial advice from my In-laws. Little did we know they lived on credit but dang their life looked good so they were wise right? ARGH>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Once we paid it all off, we aggressively attacked our mortgage. And we started investing every single wage increase to our retirement plans. When the car was paid off, that car payment $ went into savings for the next car. Wrote a check 17y later for my dream car which should take me to the end of a very long life! We bought a tear-down cabin in the mountains 2.5 hours north in a completely different world. And we aggressively attacked that mortgage as well. We have paid not a penny of interest since 2009!!! If we want something BIG, we have to be able to cover that credit card bill. Yes, we use CC for everything. Those travel miles are FREE for $ we were going to spend anyway.

    We didn't keep up with the Jones. I got chided a lot by coworkers (I was the boss), for not buying new cars, bigger newer home, getting my clothes at the local 2nd hand store. But I retired at 58yo and I am sooooo very happy with those decisions. I still don't need much and if I want something I buy it. But I just don't want much. I travel when I want, go visit friends who moved far away.

    Set the goals, set the target and keep the focus. If we could do it at that young age with all the peer pressure, YOU CAN DO IT!

    1. Elle, you are singing my song!!! Your comment is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Oh Lord, did I need this right now. I am struggling with my debt too. Thanks for the swift kick. :)

    1. Barbara, you're welcome ... I kicked myself too! Sometimes I need a good swift kick to help me remember what my priorities are!

  8. You are are singing my song today! We just got back from running some errands and the stores are so full of all the pretty things for Moms and my birthday is on Mother's Day so it was double trouble. Orchids are my downfall and they were so pretty but I know that when we go to the lake for two weeks they die and Hubby does not want an orchid in the car coming and going so I went on by but it was so tempting!

    I am constantly astounded at what people can justify buying at the grocery store! Apparently children are now allowed to ask for things to be put on the grocery list for themselves. I'm sorry if I am stepping on anyone's toes but our kids ate what I bought and I often said this is a treat that was on sale and we may never buy this again. And they did not ask. I also hear that expensive treats are bought because the kids like it. Or that kids are allowed to drink a half gallon of milk a day. Okay, off my soapbox!

    I always have to come back to the fact that what is important in life and what makes us happy are blessings that cannot be bought with money. It is friends stopping by for coffee this week. It is neighbors that help us. It is a phone call to talk to my sister. It is answered prayer and a big one. It is gifting a loaf of home baked bread to someone we know who adores our bread. It is time spent just talking to my Hubby. It is a good nights rest. It is bad storms and tornado warnings in the night and being spared any damage from the storm.

    1. Lana, you and I grew up in a different era, we never asked for anything because we knew it wouldn't do any good. If we didn't grow or raise it, we didn't have it. The only exceptions were flour, sugar and coffee. That's the way I grew up and now being an older woman with all that's going on in the world I realize how blessed I was to be raised that way.

      Orchids are beautiful, maybe you can get one when you get back!

      You're right about the things that are really important, you said it well!

      Happy Birthday!

  9. First of all happy birthday to you and mother's day to all our lovely ladies. I hope your husbands foot is slowly mending and he has something to support it in the meantime whilst healing :) . You did well in overcoming temptation and paying the bills and paying off extra off your targeted bill.

    Yes I do often give myself the I really don't need to buy that chat and did this week. I saw an online sale for new clothing for $5 a piece and did start making out a shopping cart but then went into the spare room and instead went through the clothes I had and realised I had enough clothing without buying more. I then deleted everything in the cart and didn't buy anything so I was proud of myself.

    We are still saving for my new car and will have to get another garage put in before we do that as the cars we have are too high for the old garages here. Both of us decided to get our savings back to where they were before buying DH's new car, ride on lawn mower and a few other needed things for the home too and then get the new garage built, save up again and then buy the new car. I can wait as my car is still going well now but is getting some age on it.

    This week we saved $1248 to help us get us back up to where our finances were when I received and inheritance before purchases. We call it levels of financial security and we like to keep a level and improve on it gradually so we are being hard on ourselves.

    Grocery wise we are under budget by $65.71 for the first week of May and I saved the amount that we were under budget.

    Have a great week ahead all and hope you achieve the goals you set out to do :).


    1. Lorna, thank you for the Mother's Day and Birthday month wishes!

      I love the way you're thinking and planning your savings and new car purchase. I like your strategy of 'levels of financial security' too, that's smart!

  10. Happy Birthday month! Wishing you a month full of blessings, and I hope that your husband is healing well.
    My husband has been laid off since August, but he had a job offer this week. It was so tempting to go out to eat to celebrate, but I think we will wait until we have some money coming in and build our savings back up again.
    Thank you for inspiring us to keep hunkering down. :)

    1. Kathy, I would be tempted too, but I would also be better able to enjoy it once the paychecks start rolling in again! Glad your hubby found employment!