How I Changed My Spending Habits

About four years ago, my husband was diagnosed with MS, Multiple Sclerosis and could not go back to work.

I had no idea what I was going to do with our finances. I needed that income! Our children were 1 and 8 at the time. Hunter, my eight year old was playing sports. I knew we couldn’t afford it next season. I even had to borrow money from my mom just to pay our mortgage.

So what could I do?

The first thing I did was call our mortgage company and asked for a loan modification. Wow, what an experience this was! There was a ton of paperwork to fill out. Lots of papers to copy, bills and such. Lots of phone calls. It took over a year and us finally not paying a month of mortgage to get it to finally go through, but it saved us $500 a month on our mortgage.


While waiting for the modification to go through, I started clipping coupons and visiting numerous coupon websites out there. I only bought foods on sale and /or with a coupon. We planned our meals around the sale flyer. I had never done anything like this before.


We stopped going out to eat, stopped going to the movies. I think there was a two year period where we did not see a movie in the theaters. We rented instead and made our own pizzas. I stopped buying paper towels as much and napkins completely. I made my own napkins instead.


I bought as much clothing as I could at Goodwill or yard sales. I already liked to do this on occasion, but made it a point to go more often. Hunter’s school uniforms were all from there. That Christmas for my 2 year old daughter, most of her gifts were from yard sales. She had no clue and loved them just as much as if I bought them at full price!

Once the modification took place, it was a help, but we were still in need of more income.

Another year later, his disability kicked in and we could breath again! I paid back my mom and paid off some credit cards that had increased.

But you know what? I still clip coupons, we still make our own pizzas and rent movies and I still shop at thrift stores. Even though we have the extra money I don’t want to spend it! I almost think I may be too frugal, can that be? We bought a new home and now I need to start planning for our retirement. It seems like a long way off, but I want to at least start.

I’m hoping this will help teach our kids to save money. It’s so hard for them to understand that money really doesn’t grow on trees.




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I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. You’re wise to continue the thrifty lifestyle even though it’s not as critical to do so!

  2. My husband and I have been struggling, but things look like they are going to get better.

  3. You’re one smart cookie, because you learned and realized from experience that unexpected things can happen that can just flip our lives upside down. I’m doing the same thing right now… living frugally, because you just never know.

  4. That’s a smart way to be living. I really need to get in gear and shop smarter with coupons and flyers; I’m lazy and just go to the easiest grocery store (big enough cart for 2 little ones plus groceries and free cookies at the bakery) which is reasonably priced, but I know I could do better!

  5. We do a lot of the things you did and save a ton each year

  6. That’s great that you were able to save on just about everything, and I love that you still live this way.

  7. It is amazing where we can find money when we didn’t think we had it. Everything happens for a reason maybe this was a way for you to get a new house.

  8. You are a saving rock star! I with there were more coupons for how I eat but I’ve managed to trim costs buying bulk.

  9. I would love to go to yard sales!

  10. I used to live exactly like this and then some where things changed to a be honest I really need to go back to living like this because we too need to start saving for retirement and at the rate where going that won’t happen. Thanks for the reminder

  11. always great to hear stories like this. reminds me to always live below my income..thats the only way to go..

    thanks for sharing

    found you through bloggy moms…:)

  12. This is a great story of making it past a hard time. Great tips that w all can use.