Sunday's, my wife makes* me watch TLC's Here Come Honey Boo Boo with her. It's about a rural Georgia family with a very unique and energetic young girl nicknamed Honey Boo Boo. Although the show is controversial for how they depict the family (and, I would agree, it's not too flattering) – they are paid fairly handsomely for each episode (*okay – maybe makes me is too strong of a word. I kinda like it too. Kinda).
I thought it would be fun to cite some of the things “Mama” June does that are of note. And, while she is a bit crass at times, there are some very redeeming qualities to how she conducts her business and handles family affairs.
- Saves for the future. There's no question the family is enjoying a fleeting time of notoriety. And with that comes fame and also some fortune. News reports have indicated the family receives about $20,000 per episode and June puts most of that into trust funds for the kids (they have 4 girls living there and one newborn). Now, the family was never wealthy before the show – and I would venture to say they were probably lower-middle class relative to their community. But when a family comes into fame/fortune as they have unexpectedly – the results can often be very tragic. So, it's refreshing to hear how Mama is setting aside the money for her kids' futures instead of using it for immediate gratification.
- Use those coupons. Several episodes show June and her girls at the grocery store, dolling out orders to get this or that while she reads off various coupons and price tags. And, she is not one of those extreme couponers who do it more for the thrill of paying nothing for a bunch of stuff they'll never use. She's legit. With 7 mouths to feed and a tight budget – her thriftiness is likely a real necessity.
- Don't upgrade your lifestyle. Certainly, with the newfound money and fame, Mama and company could afford to go out and get the latest vehicle, home, and clothes. But, they have essentially remained in their pre-show lifestyle. This really flys in the face of present-day living. When you start making more money – you should start buying more! Right? One thing I tried to keep in my mind as I began to dig myself out of debt was to try and maintain my lifestyle and not upgrade it quickly. I knew that as I began paying off more debt and freeing myself of the burden, I would be tempted to get right back into debt again by spending the “debt” money on other crap. I think this is an important financial habit to try and make a part of our own life: don't keep upgrading to the latest and greatest!
- Try multi-meals. To feed her large family, June has devised ways to mix all sorts of foods into a conglomerated mish-mash that she refers to as “multi-meals”. And, they all seem to love 'em. While I wouldn't recommend her unsanitary practice of putting these meals together (she mixes everything up with her bare hands) – I do like the idea that you don't have to always follow the recipes and sometimes mixed up odds and ends can make a thrifty meal.
- Be creative to have fun. It sometimes feels like you can only have fun today when you are spending money! There's the $12 movies, $6 popcorn, $25 amusement park, and shopping $$ for this and that. June and her girls spend a lot of time at home chilling, playing games, going outside, BBQing – and still seem to be enjoying themselves. Today, it seems like fun has to be bought to be enjoyed. Get creative like Mama!
Have you picked up any noteworthy thrifty ways from Mama June and family?