Thanks to BlogHer, I just discovered Owlhaven, an amazing blog by a woman with 10 kids! 10! And I think I have trouble balancing my budget with just one mouth to feed (well, 3 if you count the cats, who do very much like being fed).
This month, she’s doing an experiment called 30 Days of Nothing, where she and her family cut back as much as they can to see what they can live without. They’re not actually spending nothing during the month, as I think it would be very hard to feed 12 mouths without buying any food, but she’s severely cutting back and keeping to a $200 grocery budget (with 10 kids!). Of course, there’s other money being spent as well (she mentions a recent gasoline purchase). But she’s resisting all impulse purchases and discussing that on her blog. She’s also limiting electricty use by hanging clothes to dry and making other “spend less” steps.
It’s an interesting experiment, and I’m eager to see what happens. I wonder if I could do it. I’m amazed at her grocery budget. She does appear to have an absolutely amazing garden to work with, and I admit, I’m very jealous, but still. 12 people. $200. It’s definitely an accomplishment. She’s also inviting people to participate in whatever way they choose. Might be something to think about.
(I considered not posting today, because it seems frivolous to talk about money on the anniversary of such a tragic event in American history. Then I realized that while it is always important to remember the past and remember those who died, it’s also important to remember that life goes on and that we have to be thankful for that and for all we have, even through our sorrow. I think Owlhaven is a great example of being thankful for what you have, so this seemed an appropriate topic for today.)
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.