Author Topic: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]  (Read 5507 times)

Charger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« on: August 16, 2016, 09:11:50 AM »
Life Situation: Northwest Arkansas. Together for 16 years, married almost 10. Children ages 5 & 7
Wife: College graduate working for same employer for 8 years.
Husband (me): No college. Left the same company after 8 years to be with the kids.

Gross Salary/Wages: 2015 Filings $60,670
Pre-Tax Deductions: 401k w/ Company matched 6% (max)
Adjusted Gross Income: $58,000
Taxes (Federal): $29,570 Taxable Income. $1449 in Federal Tax after Payments/Credits
Taxes: (State): $53,770 Taxable Income. $2811 in State Tax after payments/Credits

Current Expenses:




We also have the usual household bills that range from Internet to groceries. A number of those have seen and will see further changes over the next 90 days so I donít have accurate numbers for where they will settle at going forward. Variables that include employee discounts havenít been finalized for us as of this writing. Including utilities this averages around $600/m

We currently have two vehicles in our names. One is fully paid for, the other has three months remaining on the lease @ $236/m


Assets:

I have a 401(k) through my previous employer whom I left back in 2009. It was my first real job after graduating high school. That sits at $7800 as of 8/15/2016. I have not contributed or ďmanagedĒ it since leaving in November of Ď09. It has a YTD increase of 10.9% but is right where it was in Q1 2015.

My wife has her 401k/Profit Sharing through the same company although at completely different employment windows. She has a large amount of restricted stock (current value: $19,200) that will become available in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Current 401(k) value: $12,800

No outstanding medical bills or other expenses in default. No missed and/or late payments on credit cards in the last 7 years. We keep $2500 aside for lifeís random curveballs.

Background

First off, hello everyone! Iíve lurker (stalked?) around the MMM community for a little while now. Didnít think Iíd ever get to the point where I sought out some clarity on things but here I am. I am not greedy. While having more financial freedom would be welcome I am able to go to sleep and wake up each day with a roof over my head and a smile on my face.

To shed some light on where my family is as well as where we would like to be I will point out a few details that may be relevant.
We have moved a whopping five (5!) times over the last 10 years. These moves have taken us from city to city,and as of 2014 a new state. We purchased our first & only home in Michigan back in 2012. All of our savings had gone into that house with the goal of having it be our forever home. Work and family were in the same city and our path in life was clear.
Life had other plans and my wife took a promotion that would see us relocate 1,000 miles away. We now rent for $850/m

It took us eight months after listing our house to finally get it sold. In August of 2014 we ďstarted overĒ on a clean slate.
In the past we had been victims of identity theft when a family member made some bad decisions.

The goals I have been working towards over the last 24 months are primarily centered around becoming ďdebt freeĒ in regards to student loans and our credit cards. They had been used far too much as we transitioned from one stage of life to the next.
The table above is a snippet from my balance sheet that Iíve been using from Vertex42. Iím using the Snowball method (lowest balance first) in hopes of clearing everything out before 2021 when the previously mentioned stock becomes unrestricted.
My previous plan of attack was going to take me almost 140 months - 12 years. My current setup requires a brutal amount of precision but should do the job in half that time. That means sticking to nearly $1000 each month to the obligations listed above. 


Questions

I have picked up The Simple Path to Wealth (JL Collins) and plan to educate myself as best I can.

My requests for comment and guidance center around a few key aspects of my financial life.
I have a 401(k) that I no longer contribute to. I donít add any value to it and itís entirely at the mercy of the market. Iíve already owned a home so I donít believe I could use that towards the down payment of another in the future. I know very little about how market operates and even less about the varying IRA options and rollover techniques. I am very much interested in what these avenues have to offer. I don't see myself as some brute force day trader but I'm not against attempting to make a little bill paying money while learning how things work. There is no immediate plan for me to return to the workforce outside of the home. My wife and I made this decision together after some personal tragedy. Things could always change down the road though.

So we currently have around $46,000 in outstanding debt when we factor in student loans. I have a 401(k) that I have no clue what to do with, another that wonít be unrestricted until 2021 and a portfolio that doesnít exist.
I canít relate to Liam Neeson from Taken in that I have a particular set of skills. What I do have is an amazing family, a wife with a steady income and a solid future. Outside of my kids schooling and various walks with the dog I have a copious amount of free time at night. We arenít against changing tactics or broadening our investment options. While I would certainly love to be a homeowner once again I understand there may not be a path down that road available at this time.


Thanks to anyone who gives this a look, and a bigger thanks to anyone who offers advice and/or criticism. I understand this community is about financial freedom so Iím open to having the rug ripped out from under me.

RWD

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3669
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 10:15:18 AM »
I plugged your debt numbers into unbury.us for calculations: LINK

You won't see much difference between the snowball and avalanche methods unless you're paying $2,000+ per month (including minimum payments). If you can manage to up your total monthly payments from $1000 to $1500 you'll cut the time until you're debt free by almost two years and approximately halve the amount of interest you'll pay, saving ~$4,000.

If you post a list of your other non-debt monthly expenses we will be able to help figure out how to free up some more money.


As for your 401k, I'd highly recommend rolling it over into a Vanguard IRA. Just dump it into their low cost index funds (per JL Collins) and you'll do fine.

Charger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 02:35:06 PM »
Yeah I had toyed around with the various payoff methods based on a few numbers, most didn't make a large enough difference to warrant one over the other but I'm sure there's ups and downs to both.

I will give the Vanguard IRA option some solid attention this week. As an adult I almost wished more of my youth education had been focused on things like this as opposed to just a single year of business and econ.

Is there any data around moving credit card balances into various 0% offers and how it can affect your credit score? The cards I had listed above have all had at one point or another a 12-18/m 0% APR offer on balance transfers and it's been great for me so far - but not having any direct income myself I'm not sure how lenders look at something like this long term. Google searches have shown me both sides of the argument but I have no real world scenarios to react to.

tonysemail

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 725
  • Location: San Jose, CA
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 02:59:28 PM »
Hi, welcome to the forums!

The 25% APR is just atrocious.  The balance is so small.  Buckle down and pay that one off asap!

I'm skeptical that it will be worth your time to balance transfer for 0% offers and usually 3% fees.
But AFAIK, chase slate was the card to get for those purposes.
You can read the fine print to see whether spouse's income can be included when you apply.
This post gave me some hope that it would work-
http://millionmilesecrets.com/2014/01/09/stay-at-home-partners-can-get-credit-cards-again/

The other tactic is you can try to call the credit card companies and negotiate a lower APR.
This works better if you have a high credit score.

You should read about how FICO works and make sure you and your wife do things to keep high FICO scores.
I feel like this was a pretty good explanation-
https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/wiki/credit_score

if you want better feedback, then you'll probably want to post a full case study with expenses itemized.

Charger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 03:16:54 PM »
Hi, welcome to the forums!

The 25% APR is just atrocious.  The balance is so small.  Buckle down and pay that one off asap!

I'm skeptical that it will be worth your time to balance transfer for 0% offers and usually 3% fees.
But AFAIK, chase slate was the card to get for those purposes.
You can read the fine print to see whether spouse's income can be included when you apply.
This post gave me some hope that it would work-
http://millionmilesecrets.com/2014/01/09/stay-at-home-partners-can-get-credit-cards-again/

The other tactic is you can try to call the credit card companies and negotiate a lower APR.
This works better if you have a high credit score.

You should read about how FICO works and make sure you and your wife do things to keep high FICO scores.
I feel like this was a pretty good explanation-
https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/wiki/credit_score

if you want better feedback, then you'll probably want to post a full case study with expenses itemized.

Thanks for the reply!

I agree, the 25% is horrible. I simply took a snapshot of my current expenses at this very moment so that I could be as honest about them as I could. It was from a trip out of state just a week ago and is slated to be the first thing paid off.


Credit score hasn't been much of an issue up to this point. When we closed on our house in 8/2012 I had a combined average among the three of 764. It's settled around the 750 mark and given that I have no income coming in I'll count my blessings there.

In regards to the balance transfers, the Slate is in fact one that I have! Good call! The current 0% offer I'm using is through discover. The methodology that I've taken the last two years has been to transfer the card balance that will take the longest to pay off onto one of my current open and balance free cards that offers at least a 12 month option. The most recent offer I had received had a 5% (five!!!) fee on the transfer but had a max cap of $149 - that's less than 2% if my math is correct. I've not taken the offer yet but it's something I will certainly consider.

I certainly didn't mean to NOT include all relevant information into my expense list, some things just seem like they won't budge. Internet and Phone/data are a requirement through my wife's work and are discounted through them. Groceries are the biggest variable but with both of my kids going back to school this week I have no real history of what it will cost per month/week/etc. I will certainly go over the stuff I've got right now and edit the original posting.

Kansas Terri

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 04:15:17 PM »
To a SAH from a SAHM: The easiest and most profitable way  have found to save money is through the kitchen.

Most of our meats are loss-leader meats and most of our most commonly bought foods were bought on sale. I have a small pantry, and when something we eat a lot of comes on sale I buy enough of it to last us for about 3 months, at which time they usually go on sale again. Also, if there is an Aldi's close by they are often much cheaper for some foods (but more expensive on some things, keep your eyes open)! For example, their name brand mac n cheese is excellent, and it costs 35 cents a box. My kids love it, so when I hit Aldi's once a month to stock up I try to make sure there are a dozen boxes in the pantry.

I like to make pizza out of leftovers. I use Ragu spaghetti sauce for pizza sauce, I make bread dough for the crust, I top it with whatever leftovers look good, and then I scatter a handful of grated cheese across the top. My family really likes it.

In my area the thrift shops sell like new bread machines for $10, and that is what I use to make the pizza dough.

The recipes you like are the ones you should use, but I never throw away leftovers as I consider it a free nights dinner.

Also, think ethnic. Most ethnic recipes came out of poverty, and are pretty inexpensive.

Have you decided what to do when your lease for the car runs out?

Also, since you have been regular on your payments, it is possible they will lower the interest rates on the credit cards if you ask them to. I have done this. Half the time they say yes and half the time they say no. At any rate, it costs nothing to make a phone call, and it could save you a good bit in interest payments.

I, too, have a credit card debt on a 0% interest loan, and it cost a 2% transfer fee. Your credit score is good and your payment history is good and  there is no way I would pay a 5% transfer fee until I had called around!  I think they can offer you much more than that! Why don't you call the place that has your current 0% loan and ask if you can do a second transfer? If you can lower the transfer fee to 2% it would save you over $200 just for making a call and asking them for it. And, $200 savings for a phone call is a phone call worth making.

I am a beginning mustache, and other people may have better ideas than I do: I mostly came here to learn, and because my old car will not last much longer and I have not yet paid down my 0% credit card. I got the others credit cards paid off, but juggling car payments and CC payments is a challenge for me. So, I also am looking to improve my money handling skills.


Charger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 05:01:50 PM »
To a SAH from a SAHM: The easiest and most profitable way  have found to save money is through the kitchen.

Most of our meats are loss-leader meats and most of our most commonly bought foods were bought on sale. I have a small pantry, and when something we eat a lot of comes on sale I buy enough of it to last us for about 3 months, at which time they usually go on sale again. Also, if there is an Aldi's close by they are often much cheaper for some foods (but more expensive on some things, keep your eyes open)! For example, their name brand mac n cheese is excellent, and it costs 35 cents a box. My kids love it, so when I hit Aldi's once a month to stock up I try to make sure there are a dozen boxes in the pantry.

I like to make pizza out of leftovers. I use Ragu spaghetti sauce for pizza sauce, I make bread dough for the crust, I top it with whatever leftovers look good, and then I scatter a handful of grated cheese across the top. My family really likes it.

In my area the thrift shops sell like new bread machines for $10, and that is what I use to make the pizza dough.

The recipes you like are the ones you should use, but I never throw away leftovers as I consider it a free nights dinner.

Also, think ethnic. Most ethnic recipes came out of poverty, and are pretty inexpensive.

Have you decided what to do when your lease for the car runs out?

Also, since you have been regular on your payments, it is possible they will lower the interest rates on the credit cards if you ask them to. I have done this. Half the time they say yes and half the time they say no. At any rate, it costs nothing to make a phone call, and it could save you a good bit in interest payments.

I, too, have a credit card debt on a 0% interest loan, and it cost a 2% transfer fee. Your credit score is good and your payment history is good and  there is no way I would pay a 5% transfer fee until I had called around!  I think they can offer you much more than that! Why don't you call the place that has your current 0% loan and ask if you can do a second transfer? If you can lower the transfer fee to 2% it would save you over $200 just for making a call and asking them for it. And, $200 savings for a phone call is a phone call worth making.

I am a beginning mustache, and other people may have better ideas than I do: I mostly came here to learn, and because my old car will not last much longer and I have not yet paid down my 0% credit card. I got the others credit cards paid off, but juggling car payments and CC payments is a challenge for me. So, I also am looking to improve my money handling skills.

My wife is going to wave the proverbial "I told you so" finger at me when she reads your post. Cooking is the one thing I've always promised her I'd do, but still can't seem to get it down. There are no Aldi's in the city I am in, but I will take a look in the neighboring areas. I happen to live just minutes from Wal*Mart/Sams and Tyson Headquarters so there's often some fantastic options a few times a year. Although people will certainly have their own opinions about various retail and food outlets we have an incredibly diverse population down here with some wonderful ethnic food centers.

Do you have a separate deep freezer or something larger than the fridge  to store things?

Just out of curiosity, do you happen to know when you spend per month on groceries and how many people that feeds? My wife works pretty close to home and perhaps cooking her lunch will serve as both together time and a chance to try some stuff before my kids unload on me.

Kansas Terri

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 05:52:50 PM »
I am going to GUESS $85 a week for 2, but that includes cleaning supplies, kitty litter, and other things we do not eat. And, I have a vegetable garden.

Yes, we have a separate freezer, though before that I always had a couple of meals of cheap meat in the small freezer in the fridge.  I still do, in fact, as the freezer is downstairs and it spares me from climbing stairs.

My kids are now grown. 10 years ago $100 fed my family of 5 for a week, cleaning products included. The government says there is no inflation: the government lies.

For me, the trick to cooking dinner is to decide what you are going to fix first thing in the morning. Even before you eat your breakfast. Then immediately set the meat out to thaw. Because at 4 PM if you look at a frozen block of meat there is no way to get it done.

catccc

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1684
  • Location: SE PA
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 07:45:31 AM »
I feed my family of 4 (same age kids, actually) very well on about $450/month.  All good, healthy, real foods, maybe 50% organic and 50% conventional.  edit: this includes things like dish soap, TP, toothpaste.

I suggest you post your expenses, there is probably more room for improvement than you realize or are willing to admit.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 08:32:33 AM by catccc »

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1645
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2016, 10:51:33 AM »
By my rough calculations, you are paying $321 per month just in interest, or about $3800 per year.  I would deem this a "hair on fire" emergency.  As others have suggested, if you present a case study you will get some great suggestions from this group.  I am not sure from your post if you are homeschooling or not.  If not, perhaps you could do some part time work while the kids are at school.  Another option would be to work one weekend day, or to work just during the holiday season.  All that you earn could go toward the highest interest debts.  On the cost saving side of the equation, can you manage as a one car family when the lease is up?  Think creatively about this.  Evaluate every expense. Unless your wife's job is paying 100% of Internet and phone, evaluate those. It may be cheaper for you to have a separate low cost phone.  You can only know if you evaluate it. I recently read that the average summer electric bill for a house my size in my city is $300/ month.  Mine is $100, despite my living in an old house, because I keep the thermostat at 78.  There are so many possibilities for savings and you'll find most of them on MMM. As far as your old 401(k), you can roll it over to a Vanguard IRA.  I would put it in a total stock market index fund if you do not plan to use that money until retirement. If you call them, they will talk you through the paperwork.

MDM

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9713
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2016, 12:05:59 PM »
Pre-Tax Deductions: 401k w/ Company matched 6% (max)
Consider increasing this, to the full $18K if doable.  It appears you end up with a good cumulative tax savings due to various credits.  See the case study spreadsheet if you'd like to verify.




Quote
Current Expenses:
Nice work finding the Vertex42 application!  Might as well do highest interest first, even if it is "only" a few hundred dollars difference.

Quote
I have a 401(k) that I no longer contribute to. I donít add any value to it and itís entirely at the mercy of the market.
That's not a bad thing, particularly if you have indeed invested in a total stock market index - have you?

Quote
...I'm not against attempting to make a little bill paying money while learning how things work.
People who do this full time for a living usually do worse than the overall market results.  Probably not worth trying to "beat the market".

Quote
What I do have is an amazing family, a wife with a steady income and a solid future.
That's pretty good!

Charger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2016, 12:19:14 PM »
By my rough calculations, you are paying $321 per month just in interest, or about $3800 per year.  I would deem this a "hair on fire" emergency.  As others have suggested, if you present a case study you will get some great suggestions from this group.  I am not sure from your post if you are homeschooling or not.  If not, perhaps you could do some part time work while the kids are at school.  Another option would be to work one weekend day, or to work just during the holiday season.  All that you earn could go toward the highest interest debts.  On the cost saving side of the equation, can you manage as a one car family when the lease is up?  Think creatively about this.  Evaluate every expense. Unless your wife's job is paying 100% of Internet and phone, evaluate those. It may be cheaper for you to have a separate low cost phone.  You can only know if you evaluate it. I recently read that the average summer electric bill for a house my size in my city is $300/ month.  Mine is $100, despite my living in an old house, because I keep the thermostat at 78.  There are so many possibilities for savings and you'll find most of them on MMM. As far as your old 401(k), you can roll it over to a Vanguard IRA.  I would put it in a total stock market index fund if you do not plan to use that money until retirement. If you call them, they will talk you through the paperwork.

Some good thoughts in your reply, thanks.

The one car route isn't an option, sadly. Work will at times take my wife into Missouri and Oklahoma ( We live somewhat close to both state lines ). This is one of the reasons why it hasn't been viable for me to go back into the work force. Coming from Michigan where bad weather is commonplace, down here the schools can get shutdown if there's even the threat of a storm, and sadly we have no family within 1000 miles to get the kids in the event of an emergency. I'm currently looking into options from home though with an outside supplier that could fit withing the school schedule. It also gives me time to volunteer and attend the field trips.

I have an updated listing of monthly expenses (sans groceries) that I will edit into my original post later tonight when I can pick my wife's brain about food/misc/HBA.

The utility bill I have not only covers electric, but water/sewer and garbage/recycling collection. There's not much room for improvement at the moment but I have a friend with an old NEST unit I will see if I'm legally allowed to install in this rental. Certainly worth looking into.

I agree that the interest rate per month is high. I really should have included bonus and incentives in the original posting which is often use to remove large chunks on the balance sheet. The difficult part about planning ahead has always been what the future salary will be. It has ranged from 2.7% - 18% (Promotion) over the last few years and we typically put a large portion of the bonus towards the student loans. It's just not a consistent amount so I tend not to plug it into my sheets.

With This Herring

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1208
  • Location: New York STATE, not city
  • TANSTAAFL!
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2016, 08:21:45 AM »
*snip*
The difficult part about planning ahead has always been what the future salary will be. It has ranged from 2.7% - 18% (Promotion) over the last few years and we typically put a large portion of the bonus towards the student loans. It's just not a consistent amount so I tend not to plug it into my sheets.

This is a good choice, to only rely on the base salary.  The bonus should be put toward your highest-interest debt, though, which is currently those credit cards (but it may have been student loans in the past, if the credit cards were on 0% and you thought they'd be paid off before that term ended).

*snip*
I have an updated listing of monthly expenses (sans groceries) that I will edit into my original post later tonight when I can pick my wife's brain about food/misc/HBA.

I would strongly recommend that you start tracking all of your family's spending and finances now and continue for the rest of your life.  When you have accumulated at least a month or two of data, it will be much easier to see some surprisingly large expenses that you had assumed were trivial.  This includes cash spending, though it will require more effort to track than the expenses that run through your checking account and credit cards.

Some software that people on this forum like the following (you may already be familiar with these, but I'm getting the info down for future reference):
  • YNAB (You Need A Budget) - New, monthly version will automatically download transactions from most of your online financial accounts.  Allows you to allocate income received into buckets to plan for future expenses so that you don't spend a lot this month and be unable to pay cash for a trip in four months.  It is a virtual version of the "envelope" method of budgeting.  Their current version is a paid, monthly subscription.  They used to have a one-time purchase desktop version which required manual entry of transactions.  I do not know if you could get a copy of that used if it is your preference.
  • Mint - Will automatically download transactions from most of your online financial accounts.  This will just track your spending and net worth.  It is free to use (all online), but it is supported through extensive advertising.
  • Quicken - Will automatically download transactions from most of your online financial accounts.  This will just track your spending and net worth.  It has some pretty charts.  It is a one-time purchase and is used on your computer.  Quicken is owned by Intuit, the same company that makes TurboTax.
  • Gnucash - You may be able to get it to download transactions from some of your financial accounts if you are tech savvy.  You may be able to download transactions to CSV or another file format and import them to Gnucash if you are tech savvy.  This program functions similarly to Quicken, but it is open-source software and free to own and use.  It is used on your computer.  (This is the one I now use, after many years of just tracking in spreadsheets.)
  • Excel, Sheets, Google Sheets, or another spreadsheet program - You can download CSV or XLS files from most of your financial companies and paste them into your finances spreadsheet.  I recommend making your sheet calculate balances of your assets and liabilities (in addition to your income and expenses) to provide a check that nothing is being missed.  There are a lot of good templates out there, which may be easier than building your own sheet.

seemsright

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2016, 10:06:49 AM »
I am a SAHM and I can tell you I have cut our food bill by 1/2 (it is still high though) by cooking.

I am currently working on getting it even lower.  By changing how we eat.

The number one thing you can do is learn how to cook! You have the internet and a library that has cooking books. It is time to figure it out.

I can make a batch of egg noodles for less than 40 cents. Instead of buying them at the store for a couple of dollars. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/11991/egg-noodles/

Start with one or two recipes master them and then move on. I suggest learning how to make a pasta, and a rice and bean dish.


Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1641
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2016, 10:23:29 AM »

The number one thing you can do is learn how to cook! You have the internet and a library that has cooking books. It is time to figure it out.


Yes. When I was trying to lower our grocery bill, I looked for cookbooks and blogs that were specifically about cooking on the cheap. For instance - $5 Dinner Mom (which I think was a recipe blog first, then a cookbook). The bonus of these types of budget cookbooks/blogs is that the recipes are rarely complicated. The blogs often have a lot of cooking-in-process photos, too.

Saying you don't know how to cook is an excuse. You don't need any special skills or smarts to learn how to cook. A recipe and a little bit of common sense is all that makes a cook. And to put it in perspective - for most of human history, cooks have been illiterate and had no internet. You've got a headstart already.

Charger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2016, 10:46:49 AM »

The number one thing you can do is learn how to cook! You have the internet and a library that has cooking books. It is time to figure it out.



Saying you don't know how to cook is an excuse. You don't need any special skills or smarts to learn how to cook. A recipe and a little bit of common sense is all that makes a cook. And to put it in perspective - for most of human history, cooks have been illiterate and had no internet. You've got a headstart already.

Now I shall be cooking in shame. :P

With This Herring

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1208
  • Location: New York STATE, not city
  • TANSTAAFL!
Re: SAH Husband + Father of two [Case Study]
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2016, 03:03:55 PM »

The number one thing you can do is learn how to cook! You have the internet and a library that has cooking books. It is time to figure it out.


Yes. When I was trying to lower our grocery bill, I looked for cookbooks and blogs that were specifically about cooking on the cheap. For instance - $5 Dinner Mom (which I think was a recipe blog first, then a cookbook). The bonus of these types of budget cookbooks/blogs is that the recipes are rarely complicated. The blogs often have a lot of cooking-in-process photos, too.

Saying you don't know how to cook is an excuse. You don't need any special skills or smarts to learn how to cook. A recipe and a little bit of common sense is all that makes a cook. And to put it in perspective - for most of human history, cooks have been illiterate and had no internet. You've got a headstart already.

Oh yes!  www.BudgetBytes.com is oft recommended here, and with good reason.  Her recipes are cheap, easy, and consistently tasty.