BUYING GEAR ON A BUDGET + LIVING ON ONE TOO

No body has a pile of cash lying around, right? If you do, let us know and tell us your secrets. ;) Tyler and I live on a budget and for a long time it was a very tight budget with little wiggle room. Tyler and I have chosen to live small, below our means, and to avoid going into to debt... minus our student loans, ha! Jesus has used our student loan debt to teach us to be disciplined about our finances and it sure has worked. 

I wanted to chat a little bit about budgets and camera gear, because camera gear is not cheap, and budgeting is tough too. There have been plenty of times where I thought new camera equipment was out of my reach. But when I look at my journey and take stock of my gear I am in awe of the blessing of gear we have. It didn't all come at once and it didn't come without sacrifice. 

BE INTENTIONAL AND SAVE

Saving for something seems like a no-brainer, right? But the hard part about saving is the waiting. To make your saving count you have to be intentional. You have to make a plan, you have to make sacrifices, and you have to be patient. So what is your plan? Have you picked out the camera you want? Have you determined how much you need to save? Have you made your budget? Have you cut back on frivolous spending? Are you saving with intentionl? 

ON BUDGETING 

Do you think money is as boring as I do? haha! Running a budget and paying bills isn't exciting, but it is important. Tyler and I have friends who use budgets and we have friends who don't use budgets... and we've had plenty of questions about our budget. I thought it might be helpful to share how we do our budget if you're wanting to create your own. 

We use excel for budgeting. It's super simple and does all the calculating. When determining what goes on our budget we outline all the essentials first; our tithe, rent, utilities, student loan payments, groceries, household needs, car needs, ect. After we have outlined all the things we need to live on, we then determine how much cash we have left. With that we decide what "luxuries" we want to pay for. This can include; Netflix, dinner's out, personal spending money, travel money, coffee dates, ect. Tyler and I keep our "luxury" spending very small. After we've done all that, we review our cash balance. Currently, all of our cash balance goes to paying off our student loans. These same principles can go toward saving for a new camera as well. You can take whatever cash balance you have and put that toward savings for your camera. 

BUY USED

I'm a huge fan of buying used. I think it can be incredibility beneficial when living on a budget. All of our camera's have been bought used... every single one. We've also been very patient when buying used as well. Our most recent purchase was our Nikon D700. This one seemed like it fell right into our laps. Long story short, someone at Tyler's work was selling it and because we're consistent in our savings we were able to snag it. We had been wanting to invest in a full frame camera... we weren't sure when the opportunity would come up, but when it did we were grateful. 

Check out these three tips for buying used gear. :) 

Living on a budget can take a lot of disciple, but can be incredibly rewarding as well.  How do you buy camera gear when living on a budget? What are your top tips for living on a budget? xoxo. Samantha