5.20.2012

Duggar Family - One of my favorite families with Great Budgeting Advice

From one of my favorite large families with great ethics and morals, a tremendous work ethic, intelligence, faith and common sense.  They know how to live well on a budget and we can all learn from them!  I found this a few months ago and copied it down in my files and I wanted to share so others can learn from them.  Our circumstances and amounts are not going to be same as they (unless you also have 19 kids) but the lessons learned carry over into other parts of our lives.


Duggar Family Home Economics 101

1. Get out of debt. Jim Bob says the "Financial Freedom Seminar" by Jim Sammons, which preaches independence and thrift, inspired him and wife Michelle to live debt-free. It took years of lean living, but they were able to completely wipe out their debt and start making the investments that led to Jim Bob's success in commercial real estate. The Duggars don't use credit cards.

2. Buy your home with cash. The Duggars borrowed to purchase their first home—a tiny 900-square foot cottage where they raised five children. It took them seven years of scrimping, but they bought their 2,000-square-foot second house, which they were living in with 17 kids when their reality show began, outright for $65,000. Their current house sits on 20 acres and is 7,000 square feet. The family divides itself over four bedrooms and shares one super-sized family closet.

3. Buy used-everything. The Duggars have never owned a new car. One of their vehicles is a 21-seat bus that once belonged to a hockey team. It cost just over $2,000 at an auction and is worth about $50,000. Mom Michelle shops at garage sales and thrift shops for the kids' clothing and shoes. Jim Bob told MSNBC the family motto is, "Buy used, and save the rest."

4. Buy in bulk. With 21 mouths to feed, the family spends a significant portion of its earnings on food. They do a monthly bulk-shopping run for essentials—such as the 48 boxes of cereal they consume a month. Still, the Duggar family grocery bill is a whopping $3,000 per month.

5. Use energy efficient products. The Duggars outfitted their home with energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.Their monthly bill for water, utilities, and phone is just shy of $700.

6. Make what you can at home. The Duggars make their own laundry soap costing about $2 for 10 gallons, which is significant given that they wash about 35 loads a week. Although they purchase diapers, they make their own wet wipes. They also bake their own bread from 50-pound bags of wheat.

7. Scrutinize your bills. Jim Bob and Michelle ask for all of their bills to be itemized. They once noticed that a hospital had erroneously charged them for 86 bars of soap. "For hospital bills, phone bills, anything—ask for everything to be itemized," Michelle told Parenting.com. She looks over her cell phone bills particularly closely, "They automatically put stuff on. We call and get them to take it off."

8. Trim the budget of "extras." The Duggars give each other haircuts and limit their entertainment budget to $100 per month. On weekends they play broomball (a form of hockey) and take the kids to the playground or a park.