Thursday, October 10, 2013

Living Frugally in Fall

Husband and I have a big accomplishment to celebrate. A shout-it-from-the-rooftops type of news. We are officially rid of all credit card debt! After months of eating out only once a week (sometimes not even that), minimal shopping (last clothing purchase was in July), and careful spending we were able to focus on our debt. Getting married, a two week honeymoon, and moving internationally all within the same summer put us in the hole a bit.  Tightening up our spending habits and budget living has been a challenge but a great learning experience.

 Even though we are credit card debt free, Husband and I are continuing to live in this style.  In fact, this month we started again (third times the charm right?) to track our expenses using a spreadsheet.  In the past we have tried this method, been "too" busy lazy, and/or inconsistent with recording our spending.  For us, it will be good to see where the bulk of our expenses end up each month (Groceries most likely!) to help us achieve our next goal.
This past Saturday, Husband was so generous to take me shopping at TKMaxx.  This is the same company as TJMaxx for all you American readers.  The store is a bit of a drive outside of Munich and I still have not learned to drive a standard. (It has been 9 months since I was last behind the wheel!) Ironically, Husband and I talked about our budget nearly the whole drive there. Girls, don't ever budget talk right before you shop!

So of course to add to the irony, while shopping I found two pairs of fall and winter boots.  If anyone knows me, you know I only shop frugally. Most of the time, if I can't buy good quality then I won't buy at all.  Husband usually doesn't worry when I say I am out shopping because he knows I look but rarely buy.  Remember above when I said my last clothing purchase was in July?  In fact, I had not bought new boots since before I met Husband so I was way overdue. With the purpose of buying jeans, it was a complete accident I found two pairs of boots in one shopping trip.  One pair of boots is black leather and the other pair is tan with thick wool lining. The second pair is basically UGG knockoffs but a nice knockoff.  Today when wearing them for the first time someone even asked me if I bought new UGGs. 

I'm not saying that Husband and I live 100% strictly to our budget, we are just careful spenders.  Being frugal is fun to me.  It is like a game and I enjoy the hunt for the best bargain I can find. 

Wednesday night I went to look at the Yankee candles in Karstadt. (a department store) I had been wanting a pumpkin candle to bring a bit a fall smell into our home. There were not any pumpkin candles but I did find that the Vanilla Chai scent was nice.  Then, I looked at the price... I couldn't justify spending 22 Euros on the medium jar! I know the Yankee candles are imported and scented candles are hard to find in Germany, but that comes to around $30... for a candle! So Saturday when I found a pumpkin candle at TKMaxx for only 8 Euros, I couldn't resist! And yes, it smells great!

One thing is certain, our spending habits have changed since moving to Germany.  Once in awhile we do take a weekend trip or occasionally I might buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte but Husband and I are now more mindful of where our money goes.  Wish us luck as we try the spreadsheet method once again!

Make Life Affordable,

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