Branch manager Lisa Breithaupt will be presenting her program “Simple Living” on January 23 at the Amelia Branch. I asked Lisa some of her tips for living more frugally.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge families face when creating a budget?
A: The biggest challenge that families face when creating a budget is for everyone to be on the same page. Oftentimes, you will have different members of the family that have different priorities with regards to budgeting. It’s important for families to sit down together and agree on where budgets are going to be trimmed.
Q: What’s the one area that most of us need to work on to improve our frugality?
A: I believe that most families could drastically alter their spending and trim their budget if they were to eat at home more often than they eat out. My husband and I have been living a frugal life for 4 years now. We immediately knew that if we stopped eating out and began to meal plan and shop we could trim a lot of excess spending.
Q:The resource you use the most?
A: I continually return to the Dave Ramsey book: The Total Money Makeover. Several years ago I caught Dave Ramsey on his nationally syndicated radio program. I began listening to him and he made sense. He hadn’t invented a new way to save money. He just compiled all of the good, logical, facts about being frugal into a format that is easily understood and applicable. A few months later my husband and I signed up for his program, Financial Peace University. Soon after the course my husband was laid off. We immediately put into practice the things that we had learned at the class. Basically, the financial peace plan is comprised of 7 “baby steps”. We’re only on number 3 after 4 years but that is why they are called “baby steps”.
Q: Is there anything children can do to help live simply?
A: Our children have a very good grasp on the concept of “needs” and “wants”. We practice this anytime they want something. They understand that if it isn’t a near a birthday or holiday they will need to figure out a way to raise the money needed to buy the item themselves. They offer to do chores for compensation. Then when they raise the amount we sit down and have another discussion to ensure this is something that they really want to spend their money on. they also know that they can each throw one extra item into the shopping basket when we go shopping but that’s it so when they ask early on if they can have something I remind them that this is the one item that will be considered their “extra” item. Much of the time they will change their mind for something else in the store. This has also stopped them from asking for something every aisle in the store.