Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Budget Back on Track

Sticking to a budget down to the penney is difficult.  I am not detail oriented, but relate more to the big picture, and round numbers!  I have a friend who knows (down to the penney!) what they spend in every single area of their finances, and I am inspired.  And tired.  I do, however, know what my budget is for groceries, and have recently gotten a little grocery happy, to be honest.  I mean, that bottle of wine and chevre looked perfect for a summer evening (ok, and it was worth it.)  BUT, now it's time to tighten the belt once more.  And I have a few new budgeting tactics I'd love to share. 

First Order of Business:
For everything that I can't get locally/weekly, I am going to shop for once a month instead of once week.  We've had this discussion before: how easy it is to spend way more on BOGO's and other great deals (that, um, you actually didn't need) but felt like it was too good of a deal to pass up.  I love a great deal, too, but every time I go to the grocery store, I get things that are great to have, but not on my list. I am hoping that it will be easier to save money if I can go once a month, really plan and cut coupons, and not to mention, save on time and gas during the rest of the month!

Second Order of business: A sub category to the grocery shopping is to go ALONE.  SANS CHILDREN.  One, it is very difficult to concentrate, add up my bill as I go, take my time, etc. when two children keep getting out of the cart to grab shiny objects!!  After all, the grocery store (flying solo!) is a mini vacay!  Thanks for watching the kids, honey!

Third Order of Business:  After stewing over our budget, there was nothing obvious to cut besides groceries, but then it dawned on me.  I budget a certain amount for gas because that is how much I use.  Well, that is me letting my life dictate my budget instead of my INCOME determining my budget.  BIG MISTAKE.  I quickly decided that I have to give myself a gas budget within my means, and once it's gone, it's gone.  Hence, why cutting my grocery trips down is a great way to also help with strategy number three.  I am planning on getting $50 worth of gas at a time as well instead of filling up all the way, so it makes budgeting that much simpler and easier to track. 

I hope these three budgeting tips help you and your family save a few bucks going into the new school year!  I am REALLY excited to take even more control of my finances while my family works towards financial freedom!


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