Friday, November 4, 2011


Recently I tracked how much we were spending to get a sense of where we need to make changes and what kind of budget is realistic.  Even typing that I just recently did this is somewhat embarrassing.  I know tracking and budgeting is money 101- but being comfortable as a DINK (Double Income No Kids) meant we didn't have to watch every penny.  Obviously with me not working and having L- our situation is way different.

So what did I learn after tracking our spending?  We need a major overhaul- it was BAD!  Way too much on going out to eat, random shopping trips to Target, home improvement projects, and our groceries in general.  It was nice that it gave us a baseline so we can get started with budgeting and ultimately saving- but it was also a little depressing.  After the initial shock of our materialistic expensive ways wore off- I made a plan.

1. Get quotes on car and home insurance
2. Switch to cheaper health insurance plans (Wont be able to change L's till January- damn open enrollment billing cycle drama)
3. Decrease going out for food (restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, etc)
4. Make more mindful grocery choices
5.  Use what's in the pantry (this is hard with a kid- he is picky sometimes and then he is a terror when he doesn't eat)
6. Utilize the library (more)
7. Obey the budget! Within reason...
8. Eliminate debt
9. Eliminate stuff (garage sale, ebay, craigslist)
10. Search for cheapest places to buy products we use regularly- possibly buy in bulk

A disappointing realization was that couponing isn't really for us.  Yes it's popular now, saves some people A LOT of money, and gets a little obsessive (extreme couponing soon to be part of a DSM diagnosis?!?!).  But have you looked at what coupons are for?  Boxed, unhealthy, processed, even toxic products.  Basically, I could coupon but I would be sacrificing the quality of foods and products we use.  I have found a few organic, healthy coupons here and there- but it's almost a waste of time looking (time=money sorta).

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with you in regards to coupons being boxed, processed FOODS. However, I've found that if I only clip coupons for household items, I save around $50-$100 a month. My LO is still in diapers and I usually save about half off. Items like shampoo, razors, medicines, first aid, vitamins, soap, dish detergent, loadry detergent, trash and ziploc bags, toliet paper, paper towels, tooth brushes and toothpaste...I usually ALWAYS get these for half off to completely free. It takes some work but if you are looking for areas to improve your budget, I completely recommend it. I follow Southern, which makes it easy.