Budgeting, Blogging, Splurging, and more! (Live Q&A 8/14/14)

Live Q&A with frugal living expert and blogger

Tonight we enjoyed another fabulous LIVE Q&A! (To see how these work and to see past Q&A's click HERE). I got a HUGE flood of incredible questions tonight that covered everything from how much to spend on Christmas gifts, anniversary gifts, and babysitting, to paying off debt, budgeting for daycare, and how to afford having more kids…and much, much more.

Click and watch the video below (or online HERE) and scroll down to see what questions were asked/answered (as well as any helpful posts that go along with it). Enjoy!

1:49 Nicole: My question was about your envelope system. I was wondering if it just simply second nature to you now? If it is second nature, how long did it take to become second nature? Or do you still find it hard work or loose track as the month goes along?

7:01  Andrea from Facebook “Would you say you've always been Fun, Cheap, or Free savvy before you had kids, in the beginning of your marriage? Or did you come by that over the years? Was there a reason or motivation that spurred you to live by that lifestyle?”

11:01 Jennifer from Facebook “So you know the new Walmart Savings Catcher feature on the app, does that eliminate the need to price match groceries at Walmart or do it not do that great of a job? I haven't tried it yet.”

Also answered:

Hi Jordan… I love the website dealstomeals.com BUT they don't do anything in Virginia. Do you know of any websites out there that will help me get good deals on my groceries out here in good old VA??

15:18 Shawna from Facebook “Wondering how you set a budget with 2 little ones. Both in daycare and one is on formula and wears diapers? Our daycare payment is over $1400 month for the two of them. Also, how did you guys pay off your debt? Did you have a payoff schedule or just plucked them one by one.”

23:37 Alysia from Facebook “What types of things do you “splurge” on?”

To answer this more: Just FYI…I would also say that I splurge on CHEAP THINGS! It's never a matter of spending a lot for something, for me it's being able to say NO to a good deal! Haha! Our house is busting at the seams with stuff because I have a hard time saying no. #CheapskateProblems

26:47  Amanda “When you cut your spending on extras to pay off debt, what did you do for entertainment and not feel like you had nothing to do.”

30:39 Lauren “your envelope system literally saves me hundreds of dollars every month  THANK YOU. there are some things i like to buy in bulk, but when I do that i usually exceed the weekly budget. how do you suggest buying in bulk while using the envelope system?”

35:22  Bri from Facebook “My husband and I just moved to Chicago and I am now getting paid on the 16th of the month (i used to get paid on the 1st). How would you suggest creating a monthly budget for this mid-month paycheck? I was doing so well with the paycheck on the 1st – now I am struggling to tackle updating the budget with my new salary!”

40:02 Christine from Facebook “Hi! LOVE your blog. My husband and I are considering having another baby. I am currently a stay at home mom to a young boy and a girl. We are already on a really TIGHT budget, our health plan has a high deductible so adding another baby would be a huge medical expense too. Any advice for a Mom looking to grow her family? Do you notice major financial changes with each child you have?”

  • Gave my insurance guy's contact info: Marc Roethel with Life1010: 801-898-5604. Tell him Jordan sent you so he's not confused as to how you got his number, haha!

46:10  Annie from Facebook “Have you been going to yard sales this summer? Found any great finds?”

47:40 Sophie from Facebook “How long did it take your blog to REALLY gain a following? My friend and I just started a lifestyle blog and we're doing everything we can on social media and all that jazz. I'm just curious as to how long it took your blog to REALLY take off and make you so successful? We just love hearing from others with any tips or tricks! “

53:30 Natalie from Facebook “ How do you handle Christmas presents for extended family? My immediate family has grown to 17 people with marriages and kids. We have agreed to draw names this year for the first time, but my husband only has 4 other family members with his two siblings being 20 and 17 years old. Do we buy everyone in his family a gift and only whoever we draw in my family? Is it fair to not get my sisters something but his siblings are included in the Christmas budget? Btw, his family is out of state and not spending Christmas with us.

57:47 Ashley from Facebook “How much do you and Bubba spend on anniversary/bday gifts to each other?”

Thanks for watching, hope you enjoyed!!


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  1. Thank you so for much for responding to my question regarding having more kids and the costs associated. I really appreciate all the helpful info you provided! 🙂

  2. Hi! I absolutely love your blog and I’m getting ready to start implementing your wonderful systems. I also just started a blog a few months ago and I would LOVE a whole video on blogging!! Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback!!! It would be fun to do a blogging Q&A so I’ll put one on the schedule 😉 XOXO

  3. Looking forward to watching! I submitted a question thru the Dropbox- maybe there wasn’t time (or it didn’t go through), but I would love to see a post about your chore system for kids! 🙂 we are moving next week and have 4 kids (9 mo to 15yrs) and I want to implement a chore/incentive system for each that is age-appropriate (well, maybe not the 9month old yet). 😉

    • April – funny story, I actually saw your question! I didn’t have time to answer it but I had it highlighted to get to if not enough live questions came through. Did you leave the question on FB too? Because I answered someone’s there that asked a very similar question as yours. So go through the comments in that FB post and you’ll see what I told them. Regardless, tune in to the next Q&A so I can be sure to answer it for you!! best of luck with the move!

  4. I used the envelope system a couple years back and then it sort of fell apart after I birthed the twins and life got crazy. I want to give it a go again and stick with it this time 🙂 I have a question. On your “how much should I spend” post, the handy chart says you should spend about $100 on Christmas gift for your immediate family members. I know that birthday gifts are a part of “other” budget so are Christmas gifts also “other” and if so, how do you go about planning that since buying one gift could potentially make you go over the “other” budget limit for one week. I hope I’m explaining this ok.

  5. I’m so glad I watched this! I have been following your blog for a couple of months now, even bought the virtual frugality bootcamp! I love your blog, and actually kind of adore you. I’ve been halfway confused on a few of your concepts, but they have all be cleared up with this Q&A. I’m super excited to get things back on track with my life. I haven’t been able to stick to a budget since i discovered you. I have the right tools now, and the motivation! Thanks for the time you put into helping so many people out there! You Rock!

    • Best comment ever, Magan! So glad you got my virtual Boot Camp, and I’m even happier that your questions were cleared up. I promise to do the Q&A’s more frequently, so if other questions pop up don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks again! XOXO

  6. HI, Jordan! I am the other half of yourclassygals.com with Sophie. Due to some family things I have been nonstop and not anywhere near my computer since before your Q&A started, and am just able to read and watch the video! SO SAD. We are so grateful you answered our question and have taken the advice you gave to heart! You’re the best! Your responses to everyones questions were fabulous. Just so you know, you really are the expert and I think all your followers rely on and trust in you. Just wanted to say thanks!!!!

    • Thanks for taking the time to ask it!! Would you guys ever be interested in a blogging Q&A sesh? I think it would be fun, just not sure how helpful it would be for other bloggers. Let me know what you think! XOXO

  7. Love this Q&A video! Super helpful, as always. 🙂 Just a tip, I work at an eco-friendly laundromat where we sell soaps among other laundry things, and I learned from my coworkers who learned from internet research that Tide detergent is 70% filler! It’s just there to make a lot of suds and to make you feel like you got a lot of soap for your money. Don’t you love how big industries like to trick us? Ugh. Loved the video though! I’m going into my second year of college next year and my first year having my own apartment–and therefore monthly rent. Budgeting is about to get super tight for me! Gotta love that college lifestyle.

    • Yay I’m so glad you watched it, thanks for reading…especially since you’re in college! Totally impressed. Thanks for the Tide tip! Funny thing is I actually knew that about the filler. Regardless, I’ve tried just about every other detergent on the planet and it just plain cleans my kids clothes the best without fading. So whatever filler they use, I’m a sucker for! haha! Thanks for being part of the family 🙂 XOXO

    • Yes! I hope to do them regularly once school starts and my schedule somewhat normalizes! But I promise to do them more often 🙂

  8. So , I am a late but very interested member of this site and I have a question that may have been addressed elsewhere but I haven’t seen. I am starting the envelope system today because today is payday and only get paid once a month! I have never used a budget and definitely see the need for one. I understand the envelope system but wonder how you actually pay off debt. Do you just use all the money you have left over at the end of the week or month and apply it towards your debt? Any advice that could steer me in the right direction would be appreciated!

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