Living on a Budget


It’s been a while since I’ve talked about coupons and money saving tips. But, believe me, I continue to try and get the most for my money while slowly converting my husband to a more frugal shopper.

The other day my husband had a good chuckle. A card arrived in the mail from my mom. No special occasion, just a card with a $10 coupon and some articles about shopping for your budget. I had to laugh that she took the time to cut these coupons and articles to send across country, but I appreciate her efforts. My husband on the other hand thinks she’s taken it a bit far; mailing coupons.

Coming from a third world country, I’m surprised my husband isn’t as frugal as I. I’m the penny pincher in this relationship and assume it’s because he didn’t witness the budgeting skills I did. It wasn’t really an option to over spend, so his family didn’t focus as much on money. I was truly influenced by my mom’s budgeting techniques and coupon cutting skills .

My parents stayed on a budget to be sure our family of six was living comfortable. This meant my mom accounted for every penny she spent. I recall going to the grocery store with her holding a full envelope of coupons and sneaking a few extras at check out to save a little more (these were the days when computers didn’t detect whether you actually purchased the items). The clerk seemed happy to scan a few extra coupons and mom knew just which aisles “coupon scammers” like her were accepted. Afterwards, she’d write the cost of groceries in a little notepad that tracked all of her weekly expenses. She wrote in her checking register on a daily basis and carried that little notepad everywhere. I can clearly recall her frugal habits.

As I got into my teens, life was more comfortable and budgeting wasn’t really as necessary, but my mom was still spending very wisely. She always paid the credit cards off at the end of the month and only bought what she could really afford. Thirty some years later, it’s these habits I remember from mom that have really helped me get through these tough economic times. It’s second nature to me.

I often wonder what it was in our lives that makes my husband and I so different when it comes to money. He considers me to be “cheap” and enjoys making fun, and I call him “Mr. Millionaire” for his expensive taste that he has no choice but to suppress these days. We come from different worlds but we’ve worked at getting on the same page with our spending habits. We really don’t have a choice these days. Either way, I’m grateful for the lessons my mom taught me and hope to provide for my family as well as she did for me. Yesterday I used a coupon to eat lunch for $2.99. Mom would be proud.

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