Lean 2019- A Thrifty Year of Penny Pinching

Happy New Year to my beautiful people and readers.

I love this time of year.  When the calendar completely changes.. it gives us hope that we too can change, but it is indeed a choice.  Most of us know we don’t need a Monday to start eating healthy, to finally start running when it warms up outside, or a whole new year to get us on track (or back on track) to living a life we are proud of… but the magic in the fresh, new, and optimistic clean slate sometimes is just the nudge we need to get going in the right direction.

If you have been following my blog or know me personally you know that my husband (and I) have been on quite the road these last couple of years to gain his life and health back.  Lyme Disease stole a good 6 years of our lives, 4-5 years undiagnosed and 2 years of treatment.  A treatment that cost us nearly $27,000 out of pocket.   Thanks to living under or means and finding Dave Ramsey and financial peace early in our marriage we were able to stop at no means to get his health back as that at the end of the day is the most important thing you could possibly spend money on.

Despite being debt free (minus our home), having a good emergency fund, and living frugally the ridiculous and unwarranted out of pocket medical expenses and the need to replace two vehicles for cash on the horizon has taken a big hit to our feelings of peace when it comes to financials and as the clock rolled and the year changed the hubby and I could think of no better ‘New Year, Do You‘ resolution than to focus this year on rebuilding and it being the year of ‘Lean 19’ to save like crazy people.

We praise God and hope that the journey of health last (which eliminates a lot of our monthly outgo to supplements, rxs, doctors visits, doctors bills) and we stand looking with fresh rejuvenated eyes in search of where we can cut to rebuild.

I would consider myself for sure and the hubby too .. frugal people.  This is not to say that we don’t have nice things… if we have them we most likely got them at Goodwill, for free, or if we have them.. we allow them not to have us.   Meaning: we don’t hold our worth, our happiness, or ourselves in the image of the things we own.

When it came to looking at our budget there were some obvious categories that had to go this year to hit our target $$ in monthly savings:

  • Eating Out 1 or 2 times a month
  • Kids Scholastic Books (sorry littles you just get $1 book a month – unless you are being little terds then best borrow from the library ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People’)
  • Summer Vacation to a nearby city
  • Booze
  • Organic Food
  • Hair Appts ( I gave myself a number 0 and we will see how much it grows in a year)  hair
  • Things that are wants vs needs : Expensive skin products, gas station stops for anything other than gas, craft & hobby supplies, or being on amazon in general

… and it hurts me just to even type it

  • Thrift Shopping

Now please remember folks I wrote a post a couple months ago  ‘Today I Cried Because I Couldn’t Go To A Thrift Store’ so a whole of year.. of none of this is a hard pill to swallow.  Not only do I enjoy this…  I married a man who is my opposite.  I’m loud and he’s quiet.  I dream and dream and dream… cue my coffee cupdreamers

and my husband is the practical one.  Together we make an awesome team– I joke that I talk him on the ledge like ‘hey big fella come on out here a little ways it’s okay it’s nice out here on the edge’ and he talks me off it like ‘hey lady why don’t we just come on back to earth and take a couple steps back and a few deep breaths sister’ so far we’ve made it nearly 8 years and we are both still alive, still love each other, and I only biweekly flip him off behind the island when he’s in the living room.   So far .. so good!

Not only are our personalities opposite but so are our hobbies.  It is probably because I played sports in college that I can’t stand to watch a single minute of them.  Before we were together if my husband had kept a journal with stickers and metallic pens he would have wrote in calligrapher perfect penmanship ‘Football’ from 12 pm- 10pm in his binder every single Sunday from October-January.

So all that to say:   It is a BIG deal when we have something in common… a viewpoint, a shared appetizer, parenting skills, or a hobby.  However, we both look forward to our date days that are spent eating a nice meal together kid-less only to end up talking about the kids during our lunch, $20 at the casino if we are feeling crazy, and you guessed it… thrift shopping.

Coming up on a government holiday this month where our favorite store is 50% off first sent me into a little bit of panic.  Like what can we do that is free and fun for both of us– besides the obvious – remember nearly 7 years married what shall we do for the other 92% of that day?  We made a list and drumroll……..

  • clean the cars inside and out
  • make a meal together
  • de-clutter a spot in the home that gives us overwhelm
  • play cards
  • take a walk
  • me write a blog and him watch (stupid) sports
  • for future dates: mow, garden, weed eat, anything that takes away from family time to get it out of the way so you are better to enjoy your weekends

Basically nothing too exciting on the surface and pretty much just adulting at it’s finest.  However, I heard something on a podcast recently.

‘You have to be willing to give up what you want now, for what you want most.’

Which is so true but tell that to the 3 year old version in me screaming in a cereal isle wanting wine and just a little thrift splurge.  As we navigate this journey of frugality for the already frugal, I’m realizing going through closets, drawers, kids toys, and so many other crevasses in our home donating or reselling things…


that we have all that we need.  We have more than enough.  We’ve always had more than enough.

We don’t need more clothes even if they are super trendy and $1 … we need more laughs, more time spent with our kiddos vs organizing the crap and clutter.


We don’t need more amazing, quirky, or deals of a lifetimes… we need more home days together, more slowing down, and more child’s request of what they want their pancakes to look like for breakfast (it’s a little early but the six year old requested a St. Patrick’s Day Pancake)


So I’m grateful to have this opportunity to really obtain many more lessons in this season on what truly matters, what we can do without, what we can hack ourselves, and what we will learn walking through slim seasons when someday life wont require us to do so.

That’s all until next time.





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