how we save ALL THE MONEY.

I married a very financially savvy guy. Though we got married young, both had student debt, worked low-paying jobs, and lived in the city, we did some things in the early years to really secure our finances. Otherwise known as being cheap as heck.

This is what our first year of marriage looked like:

Getting paid. Tithing. Paying rent. Spending around $300/month on groceries. Paying for internet. Then saving the rest.

No car, thus no gas or insurance. No cable TV or phone plans with data. No date nights out, unless it was with restaurant gift cards from Christmas. No buying clothes, period. No lunches out after church, though everyone else was going. No alcohol. No treats at groceries. No expensive cuts of meat. No eating out, ever. No cafe visits unless it was with gift cards. No buying books unless we could reimburse them through work. No gifts for each other (birthdays, valentines day, Christmas, included!). Basically, no nothing.

It was hard and I was miserable. But not because it wasn't wise, but because my heart was idolatrous to buying things and having much. I liked to treat myself, not deny myself. This was major denying, but it was SO good for me. And because of this hardcore frugality, we were able to pay off our student loans in 2 years and save up for a down payment for our condo.

The best part about living so frugally those first couple years of marriage, is that now I feel utterly rich because we've lifted some of those restrictions. Visiting cafes occasionally, having a car, shopping the clearance rack at Old Navy... this is the stuff of dreams! It's made me appreciate our lifestyle so much, even though by most people's standards we are still extremely frugal. I feel like we have so much, even though we get by with less.

Over the next few weeks I'll delve a bit deeper into ways we save money. And I trust that you'll keep in mind that what works for us may not work for you, this is just one family, in one city, getting by on one modest income, not for everyone, everywhere. I hope it will be helpful!


  1. Anonymous13.7.15

    I love this and your last few posts on minimalism, etc.. I especially love how you tie it all to the Word. Thank you! Looking forward to reading more!


  2. Anonymous13.7.15

    I'm intrigued. We were similar as newlyweds and also now. Though I'm curious about the groceries- $300/ week seems like a LOT! Do you mean per month? We spend $300/month now for a family of four living in a major city in the Canadian Maritimes.
    - Sarah

  3. Haha! Yes I meant $300/MONTH not week!! That was a typo, I've corrected it :-)