Thursday, July 25, 2013

Eye on the prize: Making ourselves financially aware

The Hubs and I have been working really hard lately to pay down what life seems to charge up. Not credit cards, but infamous student loans, car payments, and just daily living.

We really want to see more in savings and feel the rewards of not spending a lot. Not to mention I really want to buy a golf cart for around town (yes I admitted that) or even a fantastic vacation abroad to Ireland or Scotland next year for our ten year anniversary. Scaling back makes me appreciate a new lip gloss, a new book or Starbucks's Tea so much more. Which at the end of the day translates to smaller things making me happier than the big things. We have been cutting back a lot since coming home from our Bahama's vacation. No useless trips into town or unnecessary Target adventures...which can be quite dangerous...am I right ladies or am I right?! We have been keeping our eating out to a minimum and setting aside a set food budget each week that I like to divvy up between groceries, pizza from our local brick oven joint, and our weekly trip to the farmer's market. A few years ago when we lived in Baltimore we were huge Dave Ramsey fans and followers. However, we have adapted his plan a little bit to better suit our family. We have been implementing the cash system again. However, I am only taking money for household items, food & gas out at pay day because I don't want to keep a lot of cash on me.

The biggest most successful change we have made has been actually writing down how much we spend every day to hold ourselves accountable. It is funny how quickly a croissant from the bakery and new magazine can add up, especially when you weren't counting a prescription you picked up earlier or the gas you put in the car. So to see the number we write down every day is really rewarding. The days that you see $0 you feel like you are super human and can fight crime. True story, involving some farm animals. But I digress. In order to keep the cash straight as well as the receipts I have been using a really cool "coupon" filer. I actually stocked up on these chic looking bad boys from the Target dollar section where I got them on sale for .30 cents a piece. Score, right?!




They fit easily in my purse or sometimes I just take it in hand around town. I am not going to lie...I LOVE opening it up to see a lot of money filled inside which helps me to hold on to more of it. Whatever is left over at the end of the month half gets put back into savings and the other half gets redivided up for a little extra in the new months allotted budgets. It really has made me feel empowered this summer to name every dollar we are spending and just knowing where it all goes. I hope this will make our new year start off right and feeling quite accomplished.

How do you guys save money or keep track of your monthly spending and budgets? I am always up for some tips. I have to be flexible because I never know how much income the blog will bring in each month so making a plan helps me not to worry and to be excited when I make extra. Thanks for letting me talk a bit about the green stuff today. I know it can be a bit uncomfortable but sharing helps me to stay focused.

See you lovelies tomorrow.

4 comments:

  1. Yes to Dave Ramsey! We love his program, although we tweaked it a little bit too when we did it a few years ago- we focused more on getting our emergency savings up since the only debt we had was student loans and a car payment (which we no longer have), since the economy was so shaky when we went through. It seemed more important to have a couple months emergency fund then only holding onto $1000 and paying off all the rest of your debt like he recommends. We're going back to cash too, to help stock up our savings now that we are finishing our basement.

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  2. Good for you! My husband and I did Dave Ramsey when first married and were able to pay off all of our debt and become serious about saving. And, oh man, trips to target...they would not make Dave Ramsey very happy ;)

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  3. love this post. very important to keep track of your money, debt, and savings. we focus on savings/retirement as directed. we focus on emergency fund. my wife in a CPA, so she runs the budget...but in addition to the budget she runs actuals against it to see if the budget needs to be updated for the following month.
    yo hubs!!!!

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  4. thanks for sharing this post. My fiance and I are close to closing on a house and moving in together. That will mean for the first time in 33 years I'll be paying Rent/Mortgage and Utilities. UGH!! I already know that I need to learn to budget better and not shop as much but its a hard habit to break. I don't like Starbucks but I sure do love my $1 McDonald's diet cokes!! Luckily the "hubs" is a LOT better at $$ then me. Hopefully we'll grow together!

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