This is just to let you know a little about my family and how we got where we are today.
My husband and I were married in 2003, we didn't wait long for our first child who was born 13 months after. We now have 2 girls and a boy, 5, 2 1/2, and 13 months. I stay home with my kids, so we have one source of income.
After my son was born, a lot of unexpected bills started to pile up. The hospital bills from his birth were triple what were expecting to pay. Our mortgage went up $150 (they needed money in escrow and has recently gone back down). My youngest daughter and my son were sick a lot and had to be brought to the pediatrician and to specialists. I think in two months time we had spent $300 at $25 a visit! My daughter needed tubes put in her ears, so that was more doctor bills. So at the beginning of this year were were struggling and our savings had been wiped out. That's when I started to look for ways to save money. I had tried couponing in the past (a few times) and failed miserably! Just recently have I started to get the hang of it. I started looking into things like making my own baby wipes and things like that. At the end of March I started to put together a plan to eliminate our debt. I was so excited. I was going to start with April's bills and then the thing I had been dreading happened. My husband was laid off from his job the last weekend in March. The funny thing about it, I had called him to tell him our tax refund was deposited into our account and I was really excited. We were going to pay off one of the credit cards and put the rest aside. He didn't seem too excited and I finally pulled it out of him that he was laid off and he was on his way home. Luckily that money didn't come in a couple days sooner because it would have been gone! Remember, we had no savings! So we had that and two weeks severance and a week of vacation. Oh and the week before he was laid off a drunk driver hit our HOUSE and we later got money from that and a friend who worked in the construction business said just to keep it, that the damage wouldn't effect the value of our house. So we had money from that, tax refund, and severance. A few weeks after that, my husband was organizing a huge service project with the mayor of the city we lived in and while they were organizing the final details, a city vehicle backed up into our car! Yeah. What else could happen? Luckily, I think that was it. But really, they were kind of blessings in disguise. If it weren't for the money from the drunk driver and the city vehicle we would never had survived this. My husband was out of work for two months. He finally was able to get back on with the same company he was laid off from, but in Nebraska (we lived in Louisiana), less money, and we had to move ourselves. So here we are in Nebraska. Just recently I felt comfortable enough to start back up trying to pay down our debt. Our goal is to live debt-free. Eventually we would love to pay for everything in cash, even vehicles.
I don't claim to know everything about being frugal and couponing, but I'm learning. So as I learn, I want you to learn to! It's been so fun to find new ways to save money. Never in my early twenties did I think I would get excited about making my own baby wipes or cleaning my floors with rags attached to my swiffer. But here I am. Being frugal and loving it!