When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a place where I could share all the tips/hints/treasures/ideas ...you get it, right?....that I come up with in my day to day life. Things that are especially interesting to me are things like finance tips, marriage tips....and fun craft and cooking ideas!
I know some of you just hissed and booed (boo'd? bood?...erm) at the first two, 'cause seriously, who wants to read that kind of stuff......besides me eek! But I really think that there is a wealth of information out there that could potentially help a lot of people move toward the life they've always wanted. I said "move toward" not "create" because no amount of budgeting and counselling will give you a perfect, stressfree, money-tree in the back yard lifestyle......
Ok, for serious now.
Budgets. I'm sure a few people just ran away screaming ....
They're not so bad. For real
Ok, I take that back. The first time hubby and I sat down and made a budget....we were so far in the red it was sick. I cried. That's pretty bad. But since then we've been working together, making some changes in our spending habits and things are starting to look up! I'd like to share with you a few easy ideas to start working toward making a budget. More like tips on how to live within your means...so your budget doesn't make you cry.
1. Baby steps, baby steps. You can't cut EVERY extra expense out of your life and expect it to work for more than...a week. If you eat out a lot, try cutting it down by one or two meals. Even just one "nice'ish" dinner for two costs about $50....you could save TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH....just by staying at home for one night.
2. Now if you have trouble with the idea of eating at home. Let me share with you a little secret. It's a site called Saving Dinner. Check it. Seriously. Leanne has created this lovely thing called the Menu Mailer! Every week you get a menu mailed to you with recipes for each day and a grocery list. You can get them in Vegetarian, Low Carb, Gluten Free, you name it! You never have to wonder what's for dinner AGAIN!
She also has a lot of other really cool menu solutions on the site too...I highly recommend.
3. On the same line, if your cooking for one or two, the Menu Mailers might not be the right solution. BUT, it is SO easy to make a meal plan for the week. Even if it consists of KD, hot dogs and freezer dinners, jot a meal down for each day of the week and then transfer the ingredients you need for each onto your grocery list. NEVER SHOP WITHOUT A GROCERY LIST. I always seem to come home with food I don't need when I don't have my list with me.
4. Check your phone/internet bills. Just the other day hubby called our phone company on account of our reeeeediculously high phone/internet bill. He told them he could get the same service with another company for half the price of what we were paying (yes he did his homework...boo...but it seriously took like two minutes). They knocked $30 off our bill! Sawweeeeeet! A simple phone call saved us $360 over the year.
5. Gas is painfully expensive these days....so drive less. Instead of making fourteen million trips around town in a week, take a moment to check your schedule and try to bundle things together. This works for the grocery store too. If you make a list and a menu you won't find yourself going to the grocery store every other day. Saves on gas, saves the environment and saves your sanity! Win win situation!
These are just a few things to get started and I'm going to get down and dirty with doing a real budget in a later post. Give these ideas a try!