Everyday Living, Money Saving Strategies, Reader Input, Where My Money Goes

A new way to save …

Now that I’m done working at the cab company, my husband and I have been fulfilling familial obligations and taking a fair share of road trips. And although we love to see our family members at the end of these journeys, one of the best parts about spending three hours in a car is that my husband and I just talk without the usual interruptions of our life. We talk about the things we need to do to the house (new shingles on the roof, finishing our raised garden bed, trying to rid our neighborhood of ruffians), we talk about things we want to do someday (the list of trips that we imagine going on are endless) and we talk a lot about money – what we have, what we need to save, what we aspire to do in the future with our funds.

This weekend, I threw this idea out there – what if we could live on one of our salaries and socked the other person’s paycheck away into savings? During our road trip from the past weekend, I talked to two different people who managed to do this in their daily lives and it was like an epiphany to me – especially with my credit card debt out of the way – even if we couldn’t totally live off of my salary or my husband’s salary, I think that I could live off of one of my paychecks a month and we could sock the rest into savings. I need about $300 to pay toward my college debt per month, money for groceries and other household necessities and gas to feed my Tank, but other than that? We could totally be stockpiling our savings.

Is there anyone else out there who does this? How do you make it work?

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4 thoughts on “A new way to save …

  1. Haven’t done it in about a decade because my spouse has been “retired,” but we have never relied on more than one income in our household. Still living on one income – not saving the second one until my spouse returns to work – probably in a couple of years.

    I highly recommend. My spouse only worked 2-3 years out of college and I would say his income went to 25% down on our home, cash for our (modest) cars, as well as a substantial cash fund, going into the switch to one income. For the future – would like to build up a nice 1-year of income in cash, and pay the mortgage off rapidly (maybe just a few years), with his income. IF nothing else, a second income will never go to “regular expenses,” in our house. It goes to savings, and maybe one-time luxuries.

    The plain answer is to pretend like you have one income, and make it work. The reality is we never lived up to our combined income when we married. So, “saving any future raises” is the simple answer to how we did it, and is a good strategy. In addition, you just have to be very money savvy. One example is our 4.875% fixed interest rate on our mortgage. We were able to refi a couple of years ago, and really keep our only debt payment on the low side. Um, we have always bought mostly used items. We don’t spend much on furniture, appliances, and cars, etc. Just stuff like that. Those are kind of the biggies. Shop around to keep expenses low. Buy used if you want more luxury than you think you can afford. We live a very nice lifestyle on an income that is considered “low” for the region.

  2. Try the envelope system they used back in the 30s….it works. One envelope for food/gas, the other for bills, another for entertainment like movies or going out to eat.

    Also, for any purchases, Google is king—shop around until you find the lowest price from a trustworthy seller.

  3. @MonkeyMama – I always love your comments – thank you very much!

    @rudy – I rarely carry cash, but I’m beginning to wonder if the envelope system is the way to go … once the money is gone it is gone. And you’ll see in my most recent post that I’m kicking myself for not listening to your “Google is king” advice! But I’m learning.

  4. I think what is even more important is to pay down your credit debt and start purchasing directly from your bank. By reducing your debt now, you won’t need to spend more of your money later towards high interest credit cards.

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