When I first married The Dave, I was young, in love and eager to please. So, when he asked me to wash plastic bags because “buying new ones was so expensive,” I did my darnest. Young wives, be ye not so foolish. That lasted 6 months, before I was like, “GOD WANTS ME TO LITTER THEM!” And I had to explain, quite frequently, how washing plastic bags makes me a crazy person and a visit to a psychiatric hospital would cost more than buying a million plastic bags and The Dave responded, “But would it cost more IN THE LONG RUN?”
My husband is Dave Ramsey’s Dave Ramsey. When we got married he gave me $5 a month for shampoo, make-up and hair cuts. And when I laughed, he calmly explained it was supposed to “accumulate” so I should go out spending like a crazy person.
In those first few years we had a lot of conversations that went something like, “What did you get for $10 at Target!?”
Don’t worry. We’ve been married for 6 years and in that time I managed to make a case for a small coffee allowance (but only to cultivate friendships by meeting friends for coffee). I actually tried to get it upped so I could pay for my friends coffee and Dave laughed. “You’ll just use it to buy yourself more coffee!” He was right.
In fact, I’ve started listening to Dave Ramsey on my way home from teaching class (yes, I do that sometimes). Mostly because I have a sick addiction to NPR, but Steve Inskeep’s sexy voice is silenced at 9pm. So what male dulcet tones will I listen to? The first time I heard “The Dave Ramsey Show” I immediately became addicted. It’s like Maury got good at math and got on the radio. Have you heard some of the stories people tell? It’s the crazy people hour. I heard a guy call in to ask Dave Ramsey to tell his wife to sell her car, even though it was paid for because he wanted his wife to “sacrifice.” WHAT! I also heard some guy call in about how his dad and step-mom mortgaged their house to give him a down payment, but now he was in default and his parents were divorced and he was fighting with his step-mom. People, at the center of every financial problem is some crazy family drama.
So, every time I hear Dave Ramsey, I scurry home and tell Dave. And let me tell you, Dave is CHEAPER than Dave Ramsey. CHEAPER. I’m not kidding. I heard Dave Ramsey tell someone to stop paying into their 401k so they could make bigger payments on the debt. And The Dave was all, “Pay on the 401k and the debt and stop buying things like booze and plastic bags.” The Dave makes Dave Ramsey look like he be popping Cristal at the clubs and thrownin’ down Gs for his homies.
And while sometimes, spending 2 hours explaining why going out to buy $15 worth of Chinese food makes fiscal sense because I was going to shoot someone if I had to cook one more meal and fighting a murder one charge would be expensive than that delicious Chinese food…(Dave’s response: “We wouldn’t fight it. You’re guilty.”) Having a frugal husband has made life manageable as I’ve been freelancing and trying to balance part-time work with this…
Those cheeks be a full time job.
Also, we are well on our way to paying down our debt. Actually, its my school debt. Because of Dave’s excellent planning, besides our mortgage that’s all we have.
But despite schooling from The Dave. I’m not always the best at the budget. In fact, my clothing budget looks like the national debt. At this point, Ellis will be paying it off, which is fine because she’s the one who did this to my hips, which made them no longer fit into normal pants. But the area that needs the most work on our budget is the groceries. Mostly because I don’t plan meals. Oh sure, I used to. I used to even roll my own tortillas on the floor of the kitchen (Note: I am not kidding). But um, then I went to grad school and then I had a baby and then I realized, I’d rather spend my free time reading books and drinking booze (by which I mean read the internet and drinking booze), so that’s gone out the window.
I know there are women who work full time, take care of children and plan meals with aplomb. I hope they die in a fire. I couldn’t do it to save my life. I’ve tried lists, but I usually forget things and at 5pm on a Monday night I have to go to the grocery store to find eggs because I forgot to put them on the list. And sure, I come back with eggs and also donuts. But I do want more money for coffee (and I guess the baby needs stuff too, whatever, needy baby). So, it’s time to get that under control.
How do you keep your grocery bill under control?
Tomorrow, I’ll have a post on how I got my grocery bill down to $55.03 this week.
Update: Here is the post on how to save money on your grocery bill and here is an awesome giveaway of a 3 month subscription of E-Mealz. Enter before Sept 8, 2011.