Hubs and I have been working on a budget, creating good spending habits, saving, and all that jazz. For the most part, we’ve done well, but we’ve also found our weak spots. I do all of the bills, balancing the checkbook/debit card and allotting money for projects, vacations, outings, etc. He was quite surprised at how much we spend, on everything! He had no idea we pay almost $1,000 a year for nine months of preschool for the four year old man child. We spend about $450 a month, sometimes more, on groceries and he is surprised by this. So we’ve been making little changes that we hope are helping us build up to big changes.
Here are some things we’ve done:
- Downgraded our cable to basic. We couldn’t get rid of it all together because we would miss our Georgia Bulldogs this college football season.
- I was pushed into it, but I got rid of the internet on my phone. I lost my iPhone and decided to go with a regular cell phone, no internet, apps or extras. I’m having withdrawals as I type. I’m not sure how long this will last, but for now it should help.
- We allotted a certain amount of money that goes straight into savings, we never see it in our checking account, it goes directly from his employer to the savings account. My thought on this is “out of sight, out of mind.”
The next money trick I’m going to try is buying from the Goodwill ONLY for the next three months. This will include all non-food items that we buy between September 1, 2010 and November 30, 2010. When I thought about this, I decided to exclude a few things:
- We will ALWAYS buy underwear and socks new, sorry I can’t help myself. The idea of buying used underwear just really creeps me out.
- Of course all personal care items, i.e. toothbrushes, combs, razors, etc. have to come from our grocery.
Why this should help us:
- It’s a way of recycling. We are using items that would otherwise go to a landfill.
- With a limited supply, we will buy only what we need, hopefully.
- Do we REALLY NEED this?
I love the Goodwill. It does lots of good for lots of people. I always find interesting and unique things there. Really, I’ve bought many books, antiques, baskets and other stuff at extremely low prices, always below what they are worth. I’m not sure how much money I’ll save doing this, but if the only stores I go to are the grocery and Goodwill, I’m sure I won’t spend as much. This cuts Walmart and other big name stores out of my life for the next three months, which will be AWESOME! I hate Walmart, I really do. It doesn’t really come down to saving money for us, just not spending as much.
I will keep you updated on how I do by posting some of my finds, problems with this and anything else interesting. In the meantime, what are some ways you save money, NOT including coupons. (Not that I don’t like coupons, I just have read the books and internet stuff and I’m not quite sold on couponing, I’ll save that for another post.)
I also want to encourage you to DONATE and check out Goodwill by clicking on the link on the right hand column of my page.
***Edited to add***
I visited my local Goodwill today and here is what I picked up:
A Columbia Vertex Jacket for $5.30 originally $6.99
A Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Baker for $4.99 Hubs has been asking for a waffle iron and what better day to buy one than on National Waffle Day!
A kid’s book for $.29
A small lamp for the boy’s room for $1.99
Benji picked out a toy truck for $1.49
ALL of that with my 15% military discount!!