How did I become a frugal nurse?
Before Nurse Frugal got on a budget:
- I lived paycheck to paycheck
- I bought new cars and financed them, I figured that I needed to have a car payment to build my credit.
- I put everything on my credit card so I could earn “points” or “cash back” then I would pay off the balance in full every month
- I didn’t have an emergency fund
- I would get surprised every time Christmas came, and would dread having to spend money I didn’t have on presents.
- I would buy things on impulse, without doing research or trying to find a better deal.
Basically, I was everything but frugal. It’s interesting to see what a difference a year makes. When Mr. Bigtime got the idea to pay off the house, it seemed like a great goal that we would accomplish in 4 or 5 years. We started out making modest principal-only payments last year and started gradually increasing as we saw the mortgage diminishing. Now, more than a year later, it’s so awesome to see how much traction we have gained. If we continue at the same rate, our house will be paid off by September of next year, that would make me 28-years-old with a paid-off mortgage.
When you have such a big goal, it changes your whole attitude about money. Things I once paid for, I now do myself to save money. We sacrificed by not funding our vacation fund for the past 4 months, cutting our groceries expenses by shopping with coupons and reading the paper for the best deals. We also are making personal sacrifices such as cutting our recreation funds (the money we match every month in a “his” and “hers” category that we can spend without accountability to each other.) It’s incredible to see how much sacrifice can be made when there is a huge goal involved. I have more of a desire to pick up shifts and work overtime because it will get us that much closer to the prize We have decided to scale back our vacationing this next year to maximize our work potential and to see if we can hit our goal even sooner.
After Nurse Frugal got on a budget:
- I live off of last month’s income with a one month cushion
- Our next car purchases will be “used” car purchases, hopefully from private sellers.
- I cut up all of my credit cards.
- I have an emergency fund that would cover all of our basic bills for 6 months.
- I budget for Christmas evenly throughout the year so it isn’t a big surprise. It also helps because if something goes on sale during the year, I can buy it and save it for a Christmas present.
- I ALMOST never buy anything on impulse (still working on this one.) I prefer to do lots of research about expensive items that I purchase and I will even try to bargain with people. It’s pretty fun!