My Blog Birthday (and a giveaway!)

by Erika Torres

So the head honchos at work have decided they’re going to make me work for my paycheck–the nerve–and have been keeping me ultra busy so all I want to do when I get home is zone out–and not update the blog.  I bet you all didn’t even realize it was my blog anniversary last week, right?

Shame on all of you!

Lucky for you, I am a very forgiving person (actually that’s not true, I’m like an elephant, I never forgive, I mean forget… well I never forget and I sure as heck don’t forgive) so I managed to put together a giveaway in honor of my blog’s birthday.

Our lives have changed a lot in many ways, and only a little in a lot of other ways. Does that make sense? We moved, we both got new jobs, then Eric quit his job, now he’s a full time fire academy student. But one thing has remained constant. We’ve always kept working toward our goal of being debt free.

I wanted to showcase how much our budget has changed. I present the “before and after budget”:

I obviously used numbers from when Eric was still working, because I still haven’t figured out how we’re doing on our new one-income family situation. To increase our take home income right now while Eric is in school, I changed my tax withholdings, and just hope we break even and don’t have to pay any additional taxes next year. And we’re definitely no longer contributing 20% of our income to savings, however I would still like to contribute something. Just haven’t quite figured out the right amount yet.

As you can see from the numbers comparing last August to this August, the biggest changes were our 14% decrease in rent and utilities, our 7% increase in savings and our 11% increase in extra disposable income. Obviously, last year we were on a very strict budget.  By moving into a smaller space, even as hard as it was on me, we’ve been able to free up a lot of income to go toward other things.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the numbers in case you were curious, and because frankly, I wanted to know. Nothing melts a (semi) personal finance blogger’s heart more than a budget before and after.

Back to the giveaway:

In the past year, I have definitely increased my use of coupons. So much so, that I decided to “stockpile” (aka hoard toothpaste and toiletries) so that I wouldn’t have to buy any of these items while Eric was going to school. I like to plan ahead. Me=smart.

However, now that Eric is actually in the academy, I should no longer be spending money on these items, but I find myself unable to stop. I can get toothpaste for free, shampoo and conditioner for $1 or less! It’s so hard to say “no.” It’s a sickness, really. I have slowly been wearning myself off and no longer buy toiletries unless I can get them for 50 cents or less. That’s the rule, because why the heck would I turn down free toothpaste?! I can donate it!

I also thought that it would be an entirely most appropriate thing to celebrate my bloggie birthday by sharing the wealth love of couponing. So of course, I’m hosting a giveaway of items from my stockpile!


too awesome, I know.

I’m willing to give all of this away as long as it all fits into the flat rate shipping box. I think it will.

TWO toothpastes!
one toothbrush
Bic Flex razors
Beggin Strips (my pup loves these!)
Carefree pantiliners
Finesse Shampoo
Dawn Dish Soap
Garnier Fructis Shampoo
Gillette Bodywash
CVS Escape Bodywash
Glade candle
Skintimate Shave cream
Target contact solution

And obvs, if you don’t have a dog or wear contact lenses, let me know so I can remove those items, k?


1. Leave a comment below with your best money saving tip! (or by wishing me a happy blog birthday!)

2. Follow me on twitter (@newlywedsbudget) and tweet about this giveaway!

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. You may only enter twice. Winner will be chosen by and announced sometime in September. I think that’s it. Am I missing anything?


tanya cantrell September 12, 2011 - 1:38 pm

happy blog birthday

stevesgurl26 at yahoo dot com

tanya cantrell September 12, 2011 - 1:37 pm

happy blog birthday

stevesgurl at yahoo dot com

Michelle September 9, 2011 - 10:57 am

My biggest money saving tip is using coupons to get free or nearly free household items like you!

britt@knewlywifed September 9, 2011 - 6:52 am

You go girl! The budget looks great!

And happy blog birthday 🙂

Ryana September 8, 2011 - 6:51 pm

Happy Happy blog birthday!!!!!
ryanac32 at yahoo dot com

Rondah September 7, 2011 - 7:36 pm

Happy Blog Birthday!
rjs682 at yahoo dot com

Jamie Pickle September 6, 2011 - 11:47 am

I JUST started collecting coupons, but am feeling a little overwhelmed!! My best money saving advise is meal planning and cooking at home. We used to go out to dinner at least 4 nights a week, oh the money we could have saved!!!

PS. Happy Blogiversary 🙂

Nicole September 6, 2011 - 8:27 am

Happy Blog Birthday!! I love reading your blog!!

Tanya September 6, 2011 - 7:31 am

I use store reward cards coupled with coupons
tmc480 at yahoo dot com

Michelle September 6, 2011 - 7:13 am

Happy blog Birthday!

Vielka September 6, 2011 - 6:07 am

Happy blog bday! My tip would be to budget! Having everything on paper helps to follow it.

judy September 5, 2011 - 4:48 pm

Happy Birthday


sarah September 4, 2011 - 9:56 pm

HHappy birthday!

Serendipity September 4, 2011 - 9:29 pm

Happy Blog Birthday! My money saving tip? I try to buy items often on sale that usually cost an arm and a leg to buy, like soda, so I don’t really feel like I’m depriving me or Rambo of anything. I also bring my lunch to work and try to keep the gas in my gas tank full since my car gets better gas mileage in the top half of the tank it seems. 🙂

Nikki September 3, 2011 - 7:10 pm

Happy Blog Birthday! My favorite money saving tip is also using coupons and playing “the grocery store game” to get free toothpaste, shampoo, ect. It is very addicting to get it all for free!

Red September 2, 2011 - 10:51 pm Reply
Red September 2, 2011 - 10:47 pm

Happy blog birthday, lady! And way to go on the couponing! I have been very envious of people who can get free toothpaste. I need to work on my coupon skills.

beth September 2, 2011 - 5:25 pm

Hey I LOVE LOVE LOVE saving money!!! I am the same way with toiletries if i can get them for a dollar or less why not!? My husband tells me I have sickness!!! When I get to the grocery register I swear i start like twtitching when they ring the coupons up!!! I have a 14 month old daughter so saving money is def. a staple in our home! My best money saving tipS are couponing, doing surveys online and copying restaurant recipes..why spend $50 plus when I can make the dish at home for 1/3 of the price?!

PS- I love loveeee your blog! you crack me up esp ur bad wife/good wife sections! haha!

Julie K. September 2, 2011 - 4:24 pm

Happy Blog Birthday! My best money saving tip is to move over 40 minutes away from my favorite place to shop. Since I rarely go anymore (mainly because of gas prices) my bank account has never looked better!

nysoonergirl September 2, 2011 - 1:24 pm

Following you on Twitter!

nysoonergirl September 2, 2011 - 1:23 pm

Happy blog birthday!

Randa September 2, 2011 - 1:01 pm

Happy Bloggy Birthday!

Well, my number one tip lately has been to coupon but since you already have it . . . my number two would be to always save for retirement! You can get a loan for ANYTHING else but retirement? You’re on your own!

E September 2, 2011 - 9:23 am

Happy Blog Birthday and THANK YOU for being such a fun and interesting part of my day! xoxo

Nicole September 2, 2011 - 9:18 am

Happy Blog Birthday!!! Best $ saving tip is to pack your lunch!

How is your husband doing in the fire academy?

aubreylaine September 2, 2011 - 8:35 am

My best money saving tip is to enter giveaways 🙂
littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

Jamie M. September 2, 2011 - 7:52 am

Happy Blog Birthday!!

Kellie September 2, 2011 - 7:49 am

Happy Blog Birthday! Stinks that work is working you so hard. They should know that we’ve missed you! You’ve inspired me to be hardcore about my budget as well. My best saving tip: take out cash and distribute it for week groceries/dining out/ gas etc. I never spend more than I have and make the best grocery decisions when I use this method. Really makes you buy what you need and not go crazy!

Nicole September 2, 2011 - 7:44 am

happy birthday! I would definitely say make sure to buy NOTHING you don’t need with coupons unless it’s free. I wouldn’t even spend 50 cents! And make sure if it is indeed free it is donate-able or something you use, otherwise turn it down. It can be hard, but it’s not worth taking up space if you can’t use, donate or give away.

Sarah663 September 2, 2011 - 7:41 am

Happy Blog Birthday! Love reading your updates and money saving ideas!

Couple A Saving September 2, 2011 - 7:15 am

Happy Blog Birthday! Hope Eric is having a great time in the fire academy!

Lesli A. September 2, 2011 - 6:59 am

Happy Blog Birthday!!! My money saving tip: buy what you need, not what you want.

Nichole September 2, 2011 - 6:43 am

I tweeted the contest 🙂

Nichole September 2, 2011 - 6:40 am

Happy Blog Birthday!!!
The biggest money saver I do for my family is plan meals for the week and go shopping only once. That saves a ton of money for us!

Jennifer B. September 2, 2011 - 6:27 am

Happy blogoversary! I was into all of the coupon sites and trying to save money for awhile, but sadly, I’ve gotten away from it, and we’ve been hurting for money lately. Must. make. time. for that!

I do check for online discount codes before I buy anything online. Does that count?

Jan September 2, 2011 - 6:27 am

Happy blog birthday. I think I don’t have tips as I am reading PF blogs to learn how to save!

Jessica September 2, 2011 - 6:23 am

I love reading your blog and find it really helpful as I am also young and married and struggling to save!

Happy Bloggiversary!

Lorena September 1, 2011 - 8:26 pm

Whenever we eliminate a bill I set up an auto transfer to our savings acct. We just cancelled our netflix, so every 8th 11 dollars go into savings automatically, sure, 11 bucks isnt much… but it adds up =-)

Taylor September 1, 2011 - 8:21 pm

Happy belated Blogaversary! (I swear it’s a real word!)

My money saving (and ass-saving) tip is to not buy junkfood I could make myself for cheaper (or healthier). I’m talking cookies, scones, fancy breads. Gives me something to do that is not shopping, and makes my house smell amazing!

Lorena September 1, 2011 - 8:18 pm

Happy Blogiversary!

LBC Teacher September 1, 2011 - 7:58 pm

Happy Blog B-day! You’ve become one of my favorites to read!

Oh, and I don’t have a dog or wear contacts. So you should pick me to make it easier to fit all the stuff in the box. 😉

prettylittlereckless September 1, 2011 - 7:00 pm

I tweeted about it 🙂

prettylittlereckless September 1, 2011 - 6:56 pm

Happy Blog Birthday!!!!
My money saving idea- unsubscribe from store emails and start subscribing to coupon blogs 🙂 My biggest problem for the longest time was getting email alerts to sales and getting store coupons. Yeah you can save with store coupons, but they usually want you to spend $50-75+ to use said coupon. So, no thank you! Instead I challenge myself to see how long I can go without doing laundry by wearing clothes I already have. It forces me to get creative and have “new” outfits from clothes I’ve had for awhile. I get comments asking “oh is that new?” Nope, you just haven’t seen it in forever!

Carol September 1, 2011 - 6:21 pm

happy blog birthday!!

jobo September 1, 2011 - 6:19 pm

happy blog birthday!!! A year already?! I love seeing the progress, throughout the ups and downs of the year, you have done so well! So proud!! Hmm, best money tip? Using the spreadsheet my sister made for me. BEST THING EVER…I feel so much more in contol of my finances than I ever did before. It really is empowering, isn’t it??

Laiken Williams September 1, 2011 - 6:17 pm

Happy Blog Birthday!!! 🙂

Britt T. September 1, 2011 - 6:09 pm

Happy blog b-day!

I save a lot of money by shopping at thrift stores.

Teacher Girl September 1, 2011 - 5:45 pm

I am bad at saving money, but I shop the sales! Happy bloggy birthday! =)

Niki September 1, 2011 - 4:51 pm

Happy Blog Birthday!

My best money saving tip is pay yourself first and automatically.

Jen M September 1, 2011 - 4:40 pm

Happy Belated Blog Birthday! I love reading your posts!!

One money-saving tip I use is to make your own granola bars. You can control what you put in them, so they’re not all chemical-y, and they taste exactly the way you want, and with just a little bit of investment of time (and perhaps ingredients you don’t already have), you have a couple weeks’ worth of granola bars for cheap!


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