Sunday, January 3, 2010


Everyone seems to be posting their New Year's Resolutions. I don't have any this year. Yes, I'd like to eat healthier. Yes, I'd like to exercise more. Yes, I'd like to spend more quality time with the kids (not yelling, scolding or potty training). Blah, blah, blah. I say the same things year after year and while I do work on them, repeating them yet again makes me feel a bit like a broken record (sadly, I've recently discovered that this is a metaphor that my six year old will never understand, but that's neither here nor there), so I will not repeat them this year.

Instead, Ryan and I have a goal to work on our finances this year. We're not in dire straights by any means, but we'd like to be more organized. Our church is offering Dave Ramsey's money management course this spring so I think we'll take advantage of that just to raise our financial IQ a bit.

We've also decided to cut some expenses by doing things ourselves this year. We already do quite a few things that a lot of other middle class Americans pay others to do: clean our house, mow our lawn, fix our food (we only eat out once a month or so). I paint my own toenails. Ryan cuts his own hair (a buzz cut on a balding man is not all that hard). We do our own laundry and ironing. When our carpet needs cleaning, we rent a machine and do it ourselves. You get the picture.

But we've decided to take it even further. Yesterday, Ryan changed the oil in our cars. He's always known how to do this, but we've become accustomed to taking them in for oil changes. At $40 a pop, though? No, thank you - we'll do it ourselves. We also cut the boys' hair ourselves yesterday. I've watched the lady at the salon do it and since we have all the equipment (see above regarding Ryan cutting his own hair), I decided that we could save about $15 a kid by doing it ourselves. It turned out a bit shorter than we like, but it'll grow back and we'll know how to do it better next time, right? Besides, the boys' friends aren't the kind that are going to make fun of them for having their hair cut at home. Not yet, anyway.

We've decided that when our satellite contract is up in a few months, we're going to cancel it and go back to good 'ole antenna TV. We might get a Netflix subscription to supplement, but that's still a heck of a lot cheaper than the $100 a month we're currently spending to stare at a screen.

Oh sure, there are things that we absolutely need to have done by someone else. We haven't quite figured out how to trim the trees in our yard or completely rid our kitchen of the ants that call it home, but I can honestly say we've tried. And when I figure out how to teach my daughter gymnastics or piano, I'll let you know. But I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

So, anyone have some more money saving tips for us? Anything you've found that you can do just as good as the professionals? I'd love to hear about them!


  1. Wow, wow, wow! Good for you, Lozado's! Read the blog of my friend Kris (linked on my blog). She is all over this already. It is amazing to me how she can make her money stretch!


  2. It sounds like you guys are really on the right track--great job! For what it's worth (because I think, and could be wrong--that Ramsey's classes cost money) we just read Ramsey's book. ACTUALLY...Kevin read it and then preached the gospel to me. I've said it a million times, but-- it's changed our lives. In fact, after 2 years of living an almost cash-only exsitence, Kevin proposed the idea that maybe we're ready to go back to using credit cards (in moderation) and I said NO! I'm so used to using cash now and I really like being able to physically see how much money we have left to spend each month. And, you're a brave woman for giving up cable. Kevin has tried and tried to get me to give it up, but, sadly, we're a twee bit addicted to Nick Jr. around these parts. ;-(