:::: MENU ::::

Optimism in Finances…


I’m trying to be optimistic about our new spending habits and decided on…

My Top 5 Reasons Why Living Within Your Means (Especially While Broke) is Totally and Completely Awesome

#1) For once in my life, I’m not all that concerned about a purse snatching. The days of credit cards in my wallet are long gone. If a thief can profit off my purse containing only a Costco card, a snotty tissue, and a pair of tweezers… more power to him.

#2) My husband and I get to try ‘experimental’ cuisine!

The old me used to take grocery lists to the store with silly items like: Expensive pre-cooked chicken, organic herbs, fine chocolate, $3 avocados…

Now my list reads: Anything on sale.

If anyone knows a good recipe for pigs intestine, Safeway brand peanut butter, and Ragu pasta sauce, please pass it my way.

#3) When solicitors come to my door peddling everything from magazine subscriptions to pest control, I can say, ‘We can’t afford it at this time’ and for the first time, it isn’t a bold faced lie.

#4) I finally have a sense of value. I value everything I have worked for….

And I think about how much I could get for it on EBay.

If my husband comes home tonight and all the furniture is gone…

I didn’t auction it off, we were robbed. Or at least, that’s my story.

#5) My husband and I are forming a tighter bond in our marriage. No, we aren’t ‘holding to each other during these trying times’ or whatever romantic notion you have, we simply cut back on our cable tv. Since neither of us are fans of the Public Broadcasting Telethon nor the 50,000th re-run of Everybody Loves Raymond, we are forced to…


After 15 seconds of that garbage (wink), we warm up the Nintendo and shoot the crud out of each other in Contra.

Bonding I tell you, Bonding.

Hmm. Maybe this optimism thing isn’t so bad. What do you have to add? What makes you smile about living within your means?


  • Reply fern |

    On the groceries, I hear ya. I do still buy organic, but only that produce which is on the top 10 list of most heavily sprayed fruits and veggies. Buying organic cantaloupe, for instance, just isn’t necessary.

    I plan my grocery trip around what’s on sale, and i now only shop at dirt-cheap Shop-Rite and Costco.

    I’m mostly vegetarian, but i will buy cheap red meat on occasion. For instance, I really happen to like chicken livers sauteed with onions and tomatoes. Works well cus it’s so cheap.

    For your entertainment, here’s the results of my research on foods you can still buy for $1. Surprisingly, there are a fair number that are nutritious: http://credit-blog.creditfyi.com/personal-finances/a-list-of-50-cheap-foods-for-a-dollar.html

  • Reply brooklynchick |

    Not worrying that my cc will get rejected at checkout! Not worrying when the rent is due! Finding out my friends are worried about money too – and they’re often relieved when I suggest something cheap!

  • Reply paisleypenguin |

    Over the weekend we bought a 50″ Plasma HDTV. We havebeen saving for it and sellingthings we no longer need (aka clutter) and only had to come up with $300 of our own money. WE DID NOT USE A CREDIT CARD!

  • Reply David @ DINKS Finance |

    I think the reason your blog is so succesful is because of posts like this. Just honesty and a great sense of humor.

    Keep it up!


  • Reply Claire in CA, USA |

    I don’t know if you’ve been to allrecipes.com. You can plug in the ingredients you have, hit enter, and have a long list of recipes to choose from. I’ve used it many, many times. 🙂

    I just tried to find pig intestines on their list, and it didn’t come up, but I’m sure most things would.

  • Reply Gbeeson |

    #5 rocks and made me laugh out loud and for that, I thank you.
    The rest of the points are spot on as well.

  • Reply jacia |

    So true, so true. You are speaking the truth, but it did make me laugh. Thanks, it makes me really think that I should continue with my saying”I can’t afford that right now”.

  • Reply Sharee |

    I just came across your blog today and you give me hope! I just recently cut up my credit cards and have started on a new journey to get out of debt. It feels so good to be living within my means and to have a plan. I wont lie it’s hard at times to not buy what I want, when I want it, but I certainly look forward to the day when I won’t owe anyone a single penny. I also have been amazed at how creative I’m forced to be at times. It makes me feel good and I have found it doesn’t take any money to enjoy your family. I look forward to reading more of your post. Thanks!

  • Reply Valdese |

    You’re telling the story of my life! After a crazy year of decadence and silly expenditures (can you imagine dropping $350 on a birthday dinner? Eating out every night? Drinking every weekend? Buying a Mini cooper?) in 2007, my BF and I had to face the harsh realities of 2008. At first, it felt like a hardship…cancelling cable, eating at home, eliminating $100 impulse buying trips at Target and forgetting about going out. We felt like martyrs and suffered for a while…but then, magically…we rediscovered the important things in life, like each other, our families, creating our own entertainment, taking care of ourselves and our home. As a result, I’m enjoying life more than ever and pausing to be grateful for those beautiful moments in life I had grown to expect and feel entitled to. My life isn’t about financial success, the things I own, the money in my bank account or even my credit score (*gasp*). It’s about who I’m being and the relationships in my life. Funny thing is, that’s what it has been about THE WHOLE TIME. I’m grateful for these difficult times for forcing me to prioritize and recognize what’s truly valuable in my life.

  • Reply Lil |

    Much like Valdese I had a crazy year and half with a BF (who unfortunately did not last – the nearly 20k in debt we ran up on my tab did) .. and am trying to dig my way out … added to the pressure is the fact that I have to refi in less than a year and am upside-down in my mortgage 🙁 Tried to go the debt consolidation route and was basically told I was SOL. If it was just me I would consider losing the house and starting over (sad but true) but my family lent me the downpayment and I cannot lose that along with my own $$. I make good money but have spent too many years as a shopaholic … and since I used to do ebay have a huge surplus in stock. Guess now is as good a time as any to start selling it off, especially the pieces that would be great for halloween! Thanks for the inspiration … and the advice! 🙂

    One lesson I learned yesterday is that shopping with coupons does not always save you money… I went shopping for swiffer refills, a mop, groceries, TP, and a bunch of other neccessities like laundry detergent, at a store that doubled coupons (up to 50 cents off) and walked out 97 dollars poorer. I am stocked up for maybe 6 months with basics for cleaning and such, but that was a real eye opener!

  • Reply Kat |

    I just stumbled across your website looking for encouragement in my own debt reduction and couldn’t help but post. I might actually have a tasty and cheap recipe for your pig’s intestine and peanut butter :)When I was in Ecuador, we ate a traditional dish called guatita. It’s made out of cow stomach, boiled potatoes and peanut sauce. I’m sure you could sub the intestines instead. As long as you are ok with funky textures, it actually tastes great! You could probably google a recipe if you’re interested…Good luck with the rest of your debt!

So, what do you think ?