Money Talk

It’s been said that the subjects of sex, death and money are off limits. Apparently we are more comfortable talking about politics and God than the other three. Maybe this is why I have become so fascinated with the bloggers who air their finances for readers to see – and judge – gulp! (Check out Minimalist Mom or Man vs. Debt).

I’m ready to admit that living on predominantly one income is proving tricky. But to actually spell out the monthly digits, no way. The most I will reveal is that if we were to sell our home today, we would be on top of things. But admittedly, some lingering debts, the day-to-day living expenses, and long-term savings is something that I know we can improve. I would love to say, one day, that MJ and I are genuinely debt-free.

Which is why I’m getting ready for May. I’m declaring May to be Minimizing Month here at Tortoise on the Loose. It’s time to take a better look at our household money. I want to minimize our expenses. But I also want to take stock of the ‘stuff’ that is weighing us down. When I read about people getting rid of debt, one of the strategies that is consistent across the board is selling stuff, putting the money toward debt, and not accumulating any more things.

I see this self-imposed challenge as a fundamental part of slow parenting. Tackling the money part of our household will hopefully loosen some of those metaphorical shackles that keep us tied to thinking that ‘work’ is always related to ‘money’. In other words, I don’t want to always feel that I need a better, well paying job in order to live or maintain a certain lifestyle for our family. I want work to be related to other values. And I want to have relationships with people, not things. But mostly, I want the kids to grow up being satisfied with what they have as opposed to always wanting the next thing. I don’t want them to grow up thinking that life is about accumulating more or looking for the next best object.

But first, I’ve got some bad habits that I need to fix. I may not share the details about our financial situation, but I will confess to some of my bad consumer habits.

May is about cutting back. Want to play along?

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  8. 8 Michelle April 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Lately I’ve been thinking the same. Most of our expenses are relatively fixed, but it seems to me that I should be able to reduce our grocery bill. Every time I hit the grocery store I swear that I’ll spend less. I always, always, always shop with a list (based on a weekly meal plan) and rarely stray. I’m also pretty good about using what I buy, to minimize waste (especially produce). My shopping takes me to the perimeter of the store, as most dieticians and financial planners advise, with stops in the aisles for crackers, baking supplies and cereal. Recently I read that grocery prices have gone up 29% since last year….could this be the reason my total always makes me do a double take? Our family of four, with two young boys, costs us about $1000 each month in groceries (which also includes toiletries and vitamins). That seems like an awful lot to me!!

    I realize that your post wasn’t about food….but, as I participate in Minimizing May, this will be my area of focus. Oh, and my Starbucks addiction.

  9. 9 Pamella April 26, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I totally want to play along! One thing as a couple without children is eating out. Husband hates it so we turn eating in into healthy fun way to experiment. However we don’t skimp on the food we buy.

    We also don’t “drink.” meaning we don’t recent pubs, clubs, and lounges.

    BUT we love clothes. I think because of our one year exile I feel like I am making up for lost time. LOL!

    I have tons of stuff to sell but no front lawn or garage for a public sale. If you are interested in hosting a joint summer garage sale we are in! 😉

    I can cut down on cosmetic purchases including soaps and moisturizers. But I hate ti compromise on quality. Maybe May I will resort back to basics for skin care. Tomato mask, oatmeal scrub, yogurt wash. As for clothes I shop at Joe in Superstore. Amazing and cheap.

    We too, well I, have debt. It would be great to be more aggressive with. Car is paid off in June. Time to put that money to the next debt payment!

  1. 1 Pure Asian Garcinia Trackback on February 1, 2015 at 9:50 am
  2. 2 Minimizing May – The Re-Cap « Tortoise on the Loose Trackback on June 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm
  3. 3 Bad Consumer Habit #1: My Love of Groceries « Tortoise on the Loose Trackback on May 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm
  4. 4 Cut the Crap « Tortoise on the Loose Trackback on May 3, 2011 at 9:37 am

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