Hello Tuesday! Today I'm linking up with the lovely Andrea for her fun Show and Tell Tuesday series. Today's topic is Steal and Splurge: How your family saves and what you feel is worth the splurge.
Steal: No cable
We canceled our cable and our beloved DVR this past summer to save money and work toward our financial goals. I rarely watched TV live anyway, but I would record shows on the DVR to come back and watch later. And I loved getting to fast forward through commercials! After we canceled it I really didn't miss it much until this past Christmas season. I'm being completely serious when I tell you it was a major bummer not to be able to DVR all of the Hallmark Christmas movies. hahaha I LOVE happy Christmas movies. But I survived and watched the ones I could find online. I think my hubby is missing watching a lot of the sports games as well. We purchased an inexpensive digital antenna so we do get a few channels.
Steal: Old phones
Michael and I have older smart phones. We save over $50 a month on our cell phone bill just by not upgrading them. My phone is actually still the same phone I got when I first got a smart phone probably about four years ago. I think we were late to the smart phone party to begin with just to save money as well. I will say it is a bit of a sacrifice though because the camera on my phone is pretty poor quality and if you know me at all then you know that's not cool. But I usually just bring my big camera with if I know I'll be wanting to take pictures. And Michael's phone was obviously dropped without the case on it, but hey, it still works. We're riding them till the wheels fall off.
Steal: No car payment
Speaking of wheels! We paid off our previous car several years ago, but when I was pregnant with Emma we knew we were wanting to sell it and get a van. We were determined not to take a car payment on though! So we pretty much only looked at what we could afford to pay cash for and ended up finding a basic Honda Odessey for sale in our little town. We are loving the extra room that vans offer! It doesn't have a lot of "bells and whistles," but it gets us safely from point A to point B. Totally worth not having a car payment! This is not our actual van (grabbed this picture online), but it pretty much looks like this one.
Splurge: Family pictures
We definitely place a high value on having our family pictures taken annually. Pictures are super important to me in general, but I'm usually the one behind the camera documenting the special moments. Having our picture taken by a photographer allows us all to be in some pictures together and the quality of the pictures usually far exceed my own photography skills. We've gotten more pictures taken during the first year of each of our children's lives as I always buy a maternity to 1 year package. Babies change so much that first year and I love having their sweetness captured along the way. I cherish these pictures so so much!
Side note: I have my pictures backed up on an external hard drive, but I don't have them on any sort of cloud service. Does anyone have any recommendations for one? I have a Mac if that matters.
I love birthdays! I love celebrating my loved ones and making them feel extra special and loved on the day they were born. Planning birthday parties is fun for me and I love pulling a theme together. I've had Emma's 1st birthday party theme picked out since she was seriously like a few weeks old. It's just the way my brain works. Michael has a milestone birthday this fall and I've already been brainstorming some big ideas to celebrate him. Birthdays are just my thing. So a special experience, a gift and a party always make the budget cut at our house.
Splurge: Erin Condren Planner
This was my third year in a row to purchase an Erin Condren LifePlanner and I couldn't love them more! First of all, I for sure prefer an actual physical planner over using my phone to stay organized. I need to write things down to keep our family's schedule straight and I love making a good to do list. I love that I am able to customize the cover with all of my favorite pictures and it seriously brightens my day all year long. The 7 inch x 9 inch size is perfect. They include monthly and weekly layouts. The colors are so cheerful and it is filled with inspirational quotes and encouragement. I'm using the included stickers for the first time this year to highlight important dates and events. I love that it has a double pocket folder and a resealable pouch. And I also make good use of the blank note pages toward the back of the planner. Erin Condren has awesome sales sometimes, so I try to order my planner while they're on sale.
Well that was good to think about. What are some ways you save and some things you splurge on? Here are the Show and Tell Tuesday topics for the rest of the year. Thanks for the fun link up Andrea. Have a great day everyone!