Ugh...Can I just be honest and say that I don't do this well!? If we need to save, we certainly can focus and make it happen, but other than that we get a feel for what we can afford and just live that lifestyle. We don't live lavishly. We don't WANT much. When we do want something we typically get it, because it's not commonplace for us to spend money on a lot of things. Our weakness is eating out. Our strengths are planning and paying for things upfront if at all possible. I like to alleviate as much of the day to day budgeting requirements as possible, by thinking long term and being consistent. Here are some things that we do for our finances:
1. Meal planning: On our good days, we create a weekly meal plan. We make our grocery list based on that meal plan and we eat in! We cook, have leftovers, and save a lot by doing so. We get into ruts, however, where we get tired or think we don't have time to do our weekly planning- this is when we start spending too much. It is our number one weakness! Eating out seems to be a minimum of $30 for the family unless you go fast food. When we cook, we save. It is always our goal to do better on this.
2. Bills: I like to do 2 things with our bills.
- We pay for things upfront. If we have to make a large purchase, we only buy it if we have the money. We don't finance these items, we just pay for them (aside from our mortgage or cars LOL). But you get what I mean- if we have to buy a refrigerator, we buy it and pay for it all upfront. If we can't afford it, we don't buy it or we get something less expensive.
- Eliminate bills. We like to pay extra on our bills when we can, so that they disappear as soon as possible. I had a car payment that was over $300/month. We traded that car in and got an amazing deal on a newer car. The new payment was only $150/month. Guess what? We still made the old payment of $300+. As a result, we are almost done with the payment a couple of years later. This will soon mean an extra 300 dollars each month!
Today is Pinterest Day for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network and the ladies in the group are covering anything to do with budgeting and finances. Be sure and check out our Pinterest Page and check out the other posts today!