How to save money while homeless and living with your parents

by Melody on November 15, 2012

Most of you know that in the process of selling our old house/buying our new house, we ended up essentially homeless.  The boys and I lived with my parents for over 3 weeks, which wrecked havoc on, well, just about everything.  Especially our budget.

These are tried, tested and true tips to easily double your monthly budget.  You could probably apply these tips to tripling your budget as well, only if you are willing to put in the work.

Head out of town to watch your team play football and forget just about everything you meant to take with you.  Buy a pack of Stayfree maxi pads out of necessity at the college bookstore, pay $3.79 for a small pack.  Only do this when maxi pads are free at the drugstore that week.

Have your husband pick up the remainder of your produce from your weekly CSA program on the same day that your parents buy a bag of corn larger than your car and enough peaches to start your own orchard.  Forget about your produce that is sitting outside until it is crawling with caterpillars.  (I know, sigh.)

Do not buy a thing on sale.

Pack your coupons in a giant trailer.  Lose your coupons.  Forget what a coupon even looks like.  Buy things that you know you probably have a coupon for somewhere.  Let most of your coupons expire.

Forget that you pay cash for everything as part of your budget and bust out the credit card at every turn.  Lose your receipts.  Barely pay attention to your credit card statement.  Pay it off at the end of the month with your eyes closed.

Eat more fast food in one week than you have in almost 2 years.  Spend a fortune, get indigestion.  At this point, your car will probably smell like french fries.

While commuting your 4-year old to preschool (an hour and a half each way), definitely run a little bit late so you are guaranteed a shockingly expensive speeding ticket.  Added bonus: Your son will now announce to your preschool carpool that “My Mom got a speeding ticket because she drives too fast”.

Talk about losing our routine.  Our budget flew out the window for several reasons.  I wasn’t even in the same town as our bank, our money was flip-flopping between two houses, we barely knew how much money we were going to have when the dust was settled, we needed to pick up necessities for the new house.

Why do I share?  Just to let you know that things don’t always go smoothly when you live on a budget.  We have a very strict budget, but it was madness to attempt to stick to it 100% when our lives were so upside down.  What saved us in the end is that we actually HAD a budget to go back to.  We had a good base, so we could afford to be flexible.  We knew that once life got back to (semi) normal, we would be able to sort things out.  A few bumps, a few road blocks, but a solid base to call us home.

I’d love to hear how you stay the course when things get rocky, whether it be with your budget or anything else going on in your life.  Please share with us!

Check out all the other budgeting mistakes we have made along our journey, only if you want to feel better about yourself.

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