The McDonald’s Budget

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If you came here thinking I am going to tell you that The McDonald’s Budget is about eating McDonald’s every day, you’re wrong.

I am married to one of the most frugal men on the planet. I tease him and say he has the serial numbers memorized on every dollar bill in his pocket. He knows money, he knows budgeting and he knows how to negotiate a deal.

Recently we shared in our podcast  How to Save Thousands of Dollars Every Year. One way that we do this is by living on a McDonald’s Budget, a term my husband uses all the time.

The McDonald's Budget is all about living big by living small. Focus on necessity and not living paycheck to paycheck!

My husband is a very frugal man and always has been. He learned this from his father who learned it from his parents (Lenny’s grandparents). This has been ingrained in them.

Our budgeting process is very simple every month. We live below our means and have zero credit card debt. Our budget includes: utilities, groceries, mortgage, car insurance, tithing, the basics. The very basics. And it does not change.

You see my husband is self-employed and I am a stay at home mom homeschooling children. Tomorrow our business could be gone.

When he worked in corporate America, same thing. You see large corporations laying employees off in the news regularly. You see businesses going bankrupt more and more. And it has been this way for a while. You likely personally know someone this has happened to. When going in to bankruptcy, you might want to read this article explaining how to eliminate medical bills and debt with bankruptcy.

Tomorrow your employment could change and this is beyond your control. If you lose your job tomorrow can you sustain life? Can you survive working at McDonald’s for $9.00 an hour until you find a job making more money?

Obviously my husband’s goal is not to make $9.00 an hour, he is very resourceful and is very entrepreneurial minded. That said, we see professionals all the time who had very nice paying careers and with the economy in the position it is in they are now unemployed and struggling to find work that will pay their monster size debt. One of the keys is to remove and prevent this monster size debt from your budget.

See, if you spend what you make and every penny you earn goes to someone else, how will you sustain life if something changes tomorrow? If this is how you’re living, it is risky! 

 The McDonald’s Budget

  • You should not live paycheck to paycheck.
  • You should live big by living small.
  • You should not spend every penny you make.
  • You should not try to keep up with the Jones’
  • You should not live beyond your means.

You see, we live this way happily and comfortably on very little money. My priorities are to be here with my children raising them and enjoying this season of life. Our bills and budget are the basics and the rest is saved. Does this mean we never go anywhere? Not at all. Does this mean we never go out to eat? Not at all. Does this mean we never spend a penny outside of necessities? Not at all.

does every penny you make belong to someone else

This means we can afford our lifestyle. If we want to go out to eat it does not require robbing money from the grocery budget to do it. If we want to take the kids to the zoo we are not paying utilities late.

The McDonald’s budget allows you to save what you make and live comfortably with the necessities needed in life while creating a nest egg and savings because there is money leftover every month. But that money belongs to us- not credit collectors. We live in a home that likely costs what a 1 bedroom apartment costs in your community.

Being here with my kids means more to me than driving a $50,000 car. Having a marriage where I see my husband every day means more to me than living in a house with a mortgage payment that is more than all of our bills combined.

Does this mean we will never own a fancier home? No.

This means when we are ready to make that leap, we will own the home we live in. Not the bank.  Let me tell you, we drive cash cars and there is no tow truck that will come and take them away because we have over-extended ourselves.

Start living big by living small. Stop being a slave to money. See the bigger picture and change the way you’re spending and saving our money. Get things in order now. It is never too late to start!

More Way to Save Money at Home

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  1. We are the VERY same way! I totally agree with all the above. 🙂

  2. We just started going through Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. Unfortunately my husband and I brought a lot of student loan debt into our marriage. We did quite well for a while, when both of us were working. But, when I stopped working after our first baby was born, we forgot to stop living like we still had two incomes. Now we are finally getting back in control.

    1. Student loans can be hard. We’ve never taken the Dave Ramsey class nor have we read any of his books, but we’ve heard great things about him from others who have.
      Sounds like you’re on the right track.

  3. Kim Idell says:

    In this day and time, it is very hard to not try to keep up with the latest and greatest gadgets. We are guilty of buying our kids phones and electronics and more than they need. What they really want is our time, not things.

    It is never too late to change your relationship with money, so I’m going to go over our budget with you guys in mind.

    1. Kim, it is hard. And it is ok to buy if you have the cash and savings to do so.
      You’re so right, it is never too late to change your relationship with money.

  4. Frugal living is the way to go. You and Lenny have it right, and at such a young age! You will not regret it when you are older and want to retire and still live comfortably. And it makes sense. I “Just Can’t” when someone talks about getting everything with “plastic.” Oh my.

  5. I try to spend as little as I can, but I need a new system with my husband. We are all over the place right now. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Stopping by from Wake Up Wednesday. I hope you’re having a great week.

  6. trying to do many ways just to have money set aside is hard thanks for the ideas love the concept mcdonalds budget have a great day

  7. I love this! My husband and I just started our personal finance journey and we love it. It’s hard but we know it will all be worth it. Budgeting is one of the things that totally changed our lives for the better. Contrary to what other people think that budgeting is depriving, it is actually freeing. Great tips!

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