How Do They Do That: How Do The Jones Do It


Up first is moi, Jayleen of How Do The Jones Do It. You’re next!

Friends are heading to Disneyland yet again and your gal pals attend lunch dates every week. Have you caught yourself asking 'How do they do that' ?

How Do They Do That?

Let’s explore some of the areas where choice is a factor:

1) What about retirement? Are you saving?

Yes! We save for retirement through a 403B. 10% of our income automatically goes into our 403B. Blake is vested in his state pension and we also each have a Roth IRA. We don’t, however, contribute as much as we would like. The hubster has it under control and is certain we will be ready! Read more about it: Invest Now! (This is Blake’s first ever blog post. I’m so proud;0)

2) How often do you vacation? Where does the money come from?

We don’t go on vacation too often. The last big trip we took was the summer of 2012. It was a 21 day road trip and it was a blast! That year we used our tax return and the money from the sell of my car. Okay, okay, we charged a lot too. It’s all good now though. Some how, some way we got it paid off. I certainly can’t endorse that strategy though.

Cars Land

3) Are you planning for college?

Fail! We haven’t saved for college. We do hope to help our kids with their college as much as we possibly can. We also tell them they will need to be looking out for scholarships and possibly hold part time jobs, preferably NOT as a bikini barista or ‘pharmacist’.


4) Do you have a car payment?

A whopper of a car payment. At $958.96 a month, we are looking forward to getting it paid off. We have a little over two years left to pay on that puppy and then the hubby is hoping for a new car for himself. Hopefully, his car will have a much smaller payment.

Car Payments

5) Are you house poor? What’s that mortgage/rent like?

We own a lovely modest home and pay a mortgage of $1576/month. That amount includes taxes and insurance. Not a bad mortgage payment, if you ask me. Of course, it would be awesome to be mortgage free! Just 10 more years if we hang out here that long.

Home Mortgage

6) How do you fund Christmas?

Somehow Christmas sneaks up on us every year;0) We do not have a special savings for Christmas and tend to wing it or charge it. We try to get creative and have been playing Dirty Santa with the extended family. That helps a lot! We do like to spoil our kids though.


7) Let’s talk home improvements?

Home improvements are done very slowly around this place. Last year we were able to landscape our front yard using our tax refund. There is a lot more to do like roof maintenance, exterior paint, flooring, etc. Does it ever end?

Landscaping Transformation

8) Do you save for school clothes?

Nope. This is another one we don’t save for. We do streamline our school clothes and only buy what’s necessary after taking inventory. Those jeans that fit perfectly in September will be high waters by December so we don’t buy too many.

School Clothes

9) Do you deal with college debt?

Thankfully, the hubster had a football scholarship and later used the GI bill to finish up. We took a LOC out on the house when he went back for his Administrator credentials. We knew it would pay off but that twenty large on the mortgage would be nice too.

10) Is your emergency fund where it should be?

We are working on this. It currently stands at a mere $700. I would love to have at least $15,000 in an emergency fund. Looks like we have a ways to go!

11) Do you carry credit card debt?

Ugh! This seems to go in rounds for us. We pay it off every month and then things get out of control. Before you know it, we have $8,000 in credit card debt. I’ve been busy selling on eBay and trying not to charge more.

12) How often do you eat out?

We rarely eat out. Now that the kids are eating off the regular menu instead of the kids’ menu, it aint cheap. We might eat out once every two months or so. I prefer to eat at home anyway!

Eating Out

13) Do you mow your own lawn and clean your own house?

Before our landscape transformation and after the hubster’s hip surgery, we hired a company to mow our difficult hill. But NOW we get to mow our own stinkin’ lawn and I’ve never had a house cleaner. Now, not saying you’re awful if you hire services, it just might make sense for you.

Mowing Lawn

14) Name a Frugal Fail?

Every time I go for an eye check up, I end up purchasing new glasses. Even though we have excellent insurance, my out of pocket expense is usually over $100. THIS time I was determined to save. I didn’t order new frames, just the lenses. I was so super proud of myself for getting out of there for a mere $15! Guess what? The lenses aren’t right and I am still waiting for an appointment to correct them. Yep. I really wish I had my old prescription until we can get this figured out.  It would have been worth the $100.

15) Your Question: Do you get an allowance?

This was a life changer for us! No longer do I have to stress about the wants of all. We each get an allowance and I worry no more. Check out these posts: Allowances: They aren’t Just for Kids, Kids and Allowances, and Meet Bob. (Those first two were at the very beginning of my blogging career so be patient;0) Can you tell I REALLY like allowances?!

Allowances ... They aren't Just for Kids

Overall, I think we do pretty good. We could definitely do better in some areas.

How do YOU do that?! Inquiring minds want to know about the choices you make.

Brave souls, willing to bare it all, click below:

How Do They Do That: It’s Your Turn!


 Want to read more?

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How Do They Do That: How Do The Jones Do It
27 comments… add one
  • Alexis @Fitnancials Mar 10, 2015, 10:56 am

    Cutting entertainment expenses such as drinks/restaurant dinners have saved me a ton of money. I prefer trying out new recipes at home and it also gets the family together.

    • How Do The Jones Do It Mar 12, 2015, 11:29 am

      I hear ya! Now that the kids are ordering off the adult menu, going out is a fast $50 for us. I’d rather eat at home any day!

  • Abigail @ipickuppennies Mar 10, 2015, 1:06 pm

    With our health problems, my husband keeps petitioning for house cleaners. He’s getting less and less able to do much around here, and I have chronic fatigue. I told him I would consider it after we deal with some major medical bills later this year. Consider it.

    Which doesn’t bode well. We just got water delivery service (you *can’t* drink from the tap in Phoenix) after 5 years of him nagging me.

    • How Do The Jones Do It Mar 12, 2015, 11:35 am

      Patience is the key. It just might make sense for you to hire out housework for now. I am learning to live with Hashimoto’s so I can sympathize with you.

      Water delivery is nice to have!

  • kay ~ Mar 10, 2015, 2:31 pm

    What a fun series Jayleen! I’m not sure I could participate. What could I say? We definitely sort of kind of most emphatically live like hippies in a way,, so to speak. See how vague and weird that sentence was? Okay, seriously though, I’m going to do it. You know me, I fight it at first, then I give in. Order the syrup, cuz I’m definitely a waffler! 😛

    • How Do The Jones Do It Mar 12, 2015, 11:36 am

      Lol! You crack me up Kay! I can’t wait to see what you have to say and I know it will be great!

      • kay ~ Mar 12, 2015, 1:42 pm

        HA! Same thing I said to Jay about you! 😀

  • Elroy Mar 11, 2015, 7:27 am

    Cool, I’ll send you an email later this week. Looks like fun!

  • Karen | Joyful Dinners Mar 11, 2015, 10:37 am

    I have sooooo much to say on this subject! Look for a lengthy email soon!

  • Nichole @Budget Loving Military Wife Mar 12, 2015, 8:30 am

    My husband and I definitely have the above discussion from time to time. It starts the same way too… “I wonder how so-and-so affords to ______” We then remind ourselves of our priorities and come to the conclusion that their priorities just must be different. LOL. I’m glad we aren’t the only ones who think these things. LOL. Thanks for sharing!

    • How Do The Jones Do It Mar 12, 2015, 11:40 am

      Not a chance you’re the only ones that think that way! I hear that phrase quite often and speak it myself;0) It’s so true, the priorities and choices we make vary so widely. I would love to have you write a post Nichole!

  • Rosemarie Groner Mar 12, 2015, 11:32 am

    I loved this! I wish all bloggers did this. I couldn’t agree more about the allowances! My husband loves his!

    • How Do The Jones Do It Mar 12, 2015, 11:42 am

      I just put it all out there, didn’t I?!

      I’m so glad to hear you do the allowance thing too! It was a life changer for us!

      Will you be joining the line up, Rosemarie?! I’d love to have you!

  • Sarah @ little bus on the prairie Mar 12, 2015, 12:42 pm

    This is great, Jayleen! I love taking a peek at others’ finances!

  • Lauren Mar 12, 2015, 8:18 pm

    These are great questions! I find myself wondering how people afford the things they do, usually thanks to good old facebook. Of course, everyone wants to show off the good stuff there- nobody’s posting about their debt! ha.

    • How Do The Jones Do It Mar 13, 2015, 4:52 pm

      Should we start a Facebook knock-off?! What would we call it? How about ‘Debtbook’ Lol! We could post pictures of everything putting us in debt;0)

  • Sherry @ The Simple Hive Mar 13, 2015, 11:33 am

    This makes me feel much better when I see the Facebook highlight reels of my friends’ lives. To know that so many other people live like I do is a mood-lifter. Thank you for your transparency on the touchy subject of money!

    • How Do The Jones Do It Mar 13, 2015, 4:47 pm

      Ah yes, the highlight reels. They can sometimes make our lives seem so boring. I did kind of put it all out there, didn’t I?!

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods Mar 15, 2015, 6:09 am

    This is such a great idea for a series! How fun! It’s definitely all about trade offs for everyone (unless you’re a billionaire or a dog–dogs have it made ;)!).

    We’re very much in the DIY camp like you and don’t hire people to clean or do home repair/improvement work for us. Since we’re physically able to do the work, we’re happy to do it ourselves and save the money. Plus, we’re always learning how to do new things that way!

    • How Do The Jones Do It Mar 15, 2015, 9:18 am

      Dogs do have it made! They do have to be patient with us humans who may not always know what they want though;0)

      I felt very accomplished power washing the other day! I just saw a Groupon for power washing and figuring I saved at least $300 doing it myself! I’ll admit, I’m getting ready to hire someone to get the moss off the roof though. That’s dangerous territory!

  • Sharon Rowe Mar 22, 2015, 3:23 pm

    What a great post and a beautiful home! Thanks for sharing on Monday Madness link party 🙂

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