Comments on "All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances":
- I enjoyed your comments and tips. One thing I suggest is getting rid of credit cards. If you can't go cold turkey, go down to one for emergencies. I do have a debt card that I use in place of credit cards if I need a credit card for one reason or another. It comes right out of my checking account and I never have to worry about how to pay the credit card at the end of the month. We have saved so much money by buying things with cash and saving for things we need. Also, check out freecycle, craigslist and KSL.com free sections. There have been times we have needed things and have gotten them for free off of these sites.
Comments on "Expense Diary":
- I definitely think this is a good idea. $9 a day of non-necessities adds up to just short of $300 a month of wasted money! That's a lot, with $300 a month you could pay for your internet, your cable and your car insurance. Or you can pay off a bit of your CC debt or other debt.
I had about $3000 in CC debt when I got married, so we just cut up the card. We then paid off the debt and closed the account. I can't manage having a CC, so we removed the temptation from our lives and we just live on what we make each month. I think that's very helpful in making sure you live within your means! If you find that you're using your CC a lot to pay for this sort of stuff, leave it at home and don't take it with you.
- Something that I do that really helps us is we use the envelope system. When things got out of hand, we budgeted and then pulled out the cash and dispersed it to different labeled envelopes.It has worked so well for us! I like the challenge of only spending what's in the envelope. I especially love when I have cash left over for the month because that's money I can put towards bills or save for a special occasion. It sounds childish but we have been able to stay on top of our finances because of it!
- This is a good idea! I think I'll try it for sure! This is also something that Dave Ramsey suggests in his book Total Money Makeover. That book is a blessing!!!
- It's amazing how much money is wasted. Did you see Oprah where everyone gasped when Orman told everyone to go a day without spending money? Disgusting to see what is all wasted. We are very tight with our money and can go a long time without buying stuff. In fact, one summary statement from our credit card for 2008 showed only 1 restaurant on it. While I know this won't work for everyone, we find it not necessary to go out to restaurants and a treat is the dollar movies or an ice cream cone when I score a buy one get one free coupon.
Comments on "Menu Planning and Grocery Shopping":
- I have older kids so I send them to the store for that gallon of milk here or pound of butter there. That way I'm not tempted to pick up 4 jars of sketti sauce for $5, a recent copy of some womans magazine $2.49, a bottle of Diet Coke $1.29, package of fruit of the looms $6.99(no time to do wash if you have to run to the store), 10 yogurts for $6.00, OH! red band bananas! Gotta get those so you can make b-bread Hmmmmm, better pick up some walnuts......
- One other thing about menu planning. I'm and organizing junkie hosts "menu planning Monday" every, well, Monday. Its a great place to get ideas if you're not sure where to start, to get recipes for inexpensive meals, or just ideas. There are women who post their cost for their cost-effective meals too. Check her out at http://orgjunkie.com/
- And I have a blog I just started about cheap yummy dinner. Just because I am poor doesn't mean I can't cook good food!!
- I find it helpful to stock up on meat when it is on sale. We freeze it and since we only have meals with meat 1 or 2 times a week we can really make it last. Meat is pricey so if you can get your family to enjoy veggie casseroles and the like you can save a lot of money.
- Also, when we don't have leftovers my husband takes a 39 cent can of soup to work for lunch. That definitely saves us money compared to when he'd get fast food even though he ordered a couple things off the $1 menu.