Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to Live Frugally

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Before my husband and I got married, I never had an experience on living independently. Sure, I lived in a boarding house when I was in college, but my parents gave me more than enough allowance then. I was also with my older sister that time so I had no responsibility except myself.

Imagine my shock when I had to, suddenly, live on a budget. Luckily, my husband is not new to this as he is self-sufficient (unlike me, who, up to the last minute, was living in my parents' house). Together, we had to do steps to adjust to our life together.

1. We are a one-car household. Sure, we own a gas guzzler, but we live in front of my husband's workplace and I commute to work, so the car is not used that often.

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2. We "eat in". As tempted as we are to always dine out (our rented apartment is located in the middle of a restaurant strip), we cook our own meals.

3. Until recently, we never had a house help. A two-man household is fairly easy to maintain. Our electric bill never reached P1000 before as we seldom use the air conditioner. But when Laika arrived, that's a whole different story. (Our electric bill shot up!)

4. We took having a household help to our advantage. Whereas before, we buy our groceries in the supermarket, now, we ask her to buy from the local palengke. Much, much cheaper. Plus, given that we are not with her while she is shopping, she sticks to the list. You don't know how much we've saved without ME doing the groceries. The last minute "maybe I need this" items really add up.

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5. We also have our laundry done in the house. 

6. As I have mentioned before, I cut my husband's hair. And my hair, being always up in ponytail, is pretty low maintenance.

7. We anticipated the added costs of having a baby, so we took measures to still spend as little as possible. My number one motivation in breastfeeding is the free milk. We refuse to buy formula because it's not cheap. YES! All the health benefits are just added advantage.

We also use cloth diapers and avoid disposable diapers as much as possible. Cloth diapers (CD's) may cost much but in the long run, you save much. Not to mention, we got CD's as gifts before (Thanks, Myke). Sure, on the first few weeks, we use disposies. But now, we are 100% cloth diapering. It doesn't hurt that they all look so cute, too.Our brands of choice are bumGenius, next9, Baby Leaf, and Alva.

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8. We live within our means. Good thing, my husband and I don't believe in having a credit card. If we can't afford something, we don't buy it. As simple as that. Although we may have to eventually give in and have a credit card for when we are traveling. But for now, we're good without it.

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