Slow & Steady Savings

• Live below your means. The Foys are definitely advocates of living with as little debt as possible. Aside from their monthly house note, the couple opts for making cash payments upfront. “I think it’s important not to take on too much debt, be it credit cards, department store cards, or car payments,” Devin says. An exorbitant amount of debt adds not just financial pressure but an emotional strain and unnecessary stress on all household members, including children. “It’s all about your priorities,” Devin continues. “You have to look at the bigger picture.”

• Talk about expenses with your spouse. If you want to save money toward your retirement, child’s education, or any other goal, you have to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page. And that requires open and honest communication. Have an ongoing conversation about finances, says LaShonda, adding that they manage everything jointly. In the Foys’ household, Devin says, “Nobody’s spending money behind anyone’s back. There are no secrets. We have one checking account.” The payoff is that they are able to meet their financial goals with very little debt.

• Take advantage of free outings. The Foys have become pretty savvy at cutting expenses where they can. That’s why they generally opt to eat out as a family on Mondays and Tuesdays versus the weekend because many restaurants offer free dining options for children on those days. Although their daughters participate in activities that cost money such as soccer and piano lessons, they do enjoy outings to the park, library, or nature walks. “I think a lot of people don’t take advantage of free activities and events. We enjoy a lot of free outings and activities as a family to conserve our spending,” LaShonda says. Grabbing free opportunities generally requires spending a little time researching and planning ahead of time, something LaShonda says some people may not take the time to do.   

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