We Paid Cash!!!

I always hear about how paying cash for goods can feel so freeing.  And truly, we don't carry cash, so I never really thought it was something we would do.  It's not that we use credit cards for everything.  We actually hardly use them.  We tend to pay with debit cards.  Which is still a card, and the realization of how much money is spent doesn't quite sink in, the way it does when you're writing a check out or handing over each bill for payment.

Before Christmas, my husband and I realized truly how bad of shape our bed was in.  The sagging was something we could no longer avoid... or try to fix with extra "egg crate" padding.  It was quite obvious that neither of us were sleeping at night, and we were both exhausted.

So we decided to throw in the towel and purchase a new bed!!!  Whooohoo!!

We started our search almost immediately and looked at nearly all the retailers in town.  We finally found a bed that we loved.  It's a plush top (oh yessss!) mattress, that's flippable, which most aren't anymore.  Being a flippable mattress we should get more time out of the mattress, since not only can we rotate end over end, we can flip.  Any place I can save a little bit of money, or buy some time, I love!

Anyways.... back to the point of this post..... CASH!

WE..... PAID..... CASH!!!!

We saved every spare cent we had for over a month.  Then, asked for ONLY money for Christmas.  Once we had enough money, the hubbs went to the store, and purchased it right out of pocket.  No credit card.  No interest rates.  No borrowed money.  I just have to say.... it's LIBERATING!!  We own our bed outright!  And we don't even miss the extra "stuff" we didn't get this year for Christmas..... probably because we're enjoying our bed so much, and enjoying all the ZzZzZ's!

Needless to say.... I was so worried that we'd have such a tight budget while trying to save that we'd feel strapped and like we were missing out on activities going on around us.  However, it was actually the opposite.  I was excited to be saving for something.  Happy to be paying for something out of pocket, instead of using a credit card for such a big purchase.

I definitely recommend saving money for a purchase, instead of slapping it on a credit card.  Start small with your next clothes purchase, then build up to bigger things, such as furniture, then even a car!  My goal is to pay cash for my next car!  I can only imagine how liberating I will feel after that kind of purchase!!

My question to you..... what will your next cash purchase be??


New Year, New Goals

*I just want to apologize ahead of time.  I'm home sick from work today and have medicine head.  If anything doesn't make sense, that's why* :)

I realized that I'm not going to make New Years "Resolutions" this year because in years past the resolutions are the things that get broken.  This year I'm simply going to make some goals towards different areas of my life.

Below are all my goals for this year.....

BE HEALTHIER.  Overall, I want to eat healthier and get healthier.  I want to lose weight and shape up.  Ideally, I'd like to work out 5 days a week, with many of those days being Zumba.  Unfortunately, the Zumba classes around this town suck.  Hopefully my DVD and Wii Zumba in combination with my elliptical and Jillian videos will help keep me on track.

EAT OUT LESS.  I want to get back to hardly ever eating out.  We've gotten away from this.  I'm really not even sure what our reasoning is.  There is no excuse other than laziness and lack of preparation.  We need to be prepared with food on hand so we don't eat out.  Not only is this healthier, but cheaper.

EAT FRESH FOODS.  We HAVE to eat better due to my husband's gluten intolerance.  With that, the easiest way to manage that is to eat healthier/fresh foods, rather than processed goods.  Ideally, I'd like to buy a food processor and make a lot of food from scratch, like peanut butter.  Some day, a food processor will help to make super cheap, healthy meals for our kids.  I also found a SUPER healthy pizza option on Pinterest.  It's a crust made from cauliflower!!  How cool is that!!  Has anyone tried anything like that before?  It's gluten free and much, much healthier than a regular pizza.

MAKE AND FOLLOW BUDGET.  I've always had a budget and always been very organized with my bills.  However, in the past year or so, I've gotten away from actually making a budget.  Maybe partially because I feel like I've not been very organized about it, and when the random things pop up it totally throws off my budget.  I'm not sure.  I hope to find a really good budget through Excel that I can just plug in my stuff.  I'd really like to create one, but that's been disastrous in the past (even though I'm great in Excel).  Maybe once I find one I really like, I'll tweak it to make it look better.   

DATE NIGHTS.  My husband and I have a really hard time deciphering date nights from regular everyday stuff.  I'd like to set aside one actual date night a month for us.  That way we can get dressed up, go out, and have a great time.  It doesn't have to be something fancy, just fun and meaningful.  Not just shopping or out to eat.

GREEN.  I want to continue on our green path.  Not everything we do is necessarily "eco-friendly," however we try to be conscious of the things we purchase and the things we throw away.  We try to sell things when we can, rather than pitching them in the trash.  Plus this makes us a little money, too.  I'd really like to try and recycle our everyday kitchen stuff, like cans and plastic containers, however it's quite costly to do it here.  I try and reuse containers when I can, whether it be using a can for a pen container, or re-using an old salad dressing container for homemade dressings. I also use green and/or homemade cleaners so they're better on the environment and our health. 

MEAL PLANNING.  I really want to try and create a menu for weekly meals.  We haven't been cooking much because we got so bored with eating the same things.  To help this problem, I want to make one new meal a week.  I also want to try and create our meals off of the sale ads, which will help keep our food costs down.

PHOTOGRAPHY.  I want to continue to grow in my photography.  I'm always learning new and better ways of shooting.  My husband bought me a telephoto lens for Christmas, along with a few other gadgets.  I can't wait to start playing with them more and more.  Maybe I'll even take a class at some point this year.

Well, those are my goals for this year.  What kinds of goals do you and your family have?  Similar things?