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Budgeting

December 6, 2010

So far the majority of my posts have been related to housekeeping because that is the area I struggle with the most and I’ve decided to work on it first. But there is more to being a wife and mommy than keeping a clean house. I have several other goals that I’m working on, too. A couple of those include saving money and earning money.

Budgeting

I’ve learned that no one can do it all and when it comes to making changes you have to take it one step at a time. I know how to really bargain shop. I can match coupons with sales and stockpile when prices are low, making our grocery bills super low. However, at this time I have added real true bargain shopping to my list of things I’m not doing (also on this list is planning creative learning activities for the girls and meal planning among other things). This doesn’t mean that I don’t keep my eyes out for good deals, but I’m not taking the time to clip coupons, make a pricebook, research sales, or shop at multiple stores. I plan on doing these things in the future, but for now I am focusing on organizing and cleaning the house.

However the past few months, our house has added budgeting back in the list of things we are doing. We have gone through Financial Peace University and want to follow Dave Ramsey’s advice for budgeting. It just really makes sense to us.

If you aren’t familiar with Dave Ramsey let me explain his principles in a very small nustshell. Dave wants everyone to live completely debt-free and pay for things with cash. Delayed gratification reaps greater rewards, so if you can save up and pay cash, you end up paying less and you don’t have to worry about creditors knocking at your door later. Financial Peace University teaches you how to get out of debt, budget your finances, and save for the future. Dave’s motto is “If you will live like no one else, later you can LIVE like no one else.”

So, what are we doing right now to be like Dave? Since October we have created a budget where we allocate every dollar we make. Our budget includes all the basic necessities (like mortgage, utilities, groceries, and gas) and other items (like blow money, childcare, and clothing).

In October, our budget was just done in theory. It was made but not really followed. In November however, we started using the cash envelope system. We had 4 envelopes labeled groceries, clothing/diapers, blow money, and babysitter. Each envelope had a weeks worth of budget (in cash) placed in it. When the money ran out, the money ran out. It’s easier to follow a budget when you are only spending cash.

We did pretty good. A couple of weeks we forgot to pull out the cash so we used our debit cards, but we made sure to stick within the budget. And we did make a few big purchases on credit (like a new-to-us minivan and computer). We justified both of these with different excuses and we know Dave wouldn’t like it, but neither purchases were made on impulse and we are aware of the consequences that come with them (like being in debt longer). I have a feeling December is going to be really tough to stay within budget because of Christmas, but we are going to try. Be sure to ask me in January how we did (a little accountability always helps).

Earning Some Extra Money

In my last post, I briefly mentioned how studying for calculus is helping our budget. Let me explain. It is very important to me to be able to stay home with the girls. (Not to mention that paying for quality childcare for 2 under 2 would cost almost as much as I would probably get paid at any job I could find). So I have been doing some research on ways to make some extra income at home.

I came across a website that hires online tutors. Right now they are only hiring for advanced science and math tutors, and since math has always been my favorite subject, I think I would do well as a math tutor (probably not science though). I took  calculus in high school and again in college and really enjoyed it. Yes, you read that right, I enjoyed calculus. But, that was 8 years ago and I haven’t needed it since, so I’m pretty rusty. I’ve recently started studying calculus to refresh my memory and to become an online tutor.

I’ve also been trying to sell stuff on craigslist. Check out my listings by searching for “km061409101010” on the Springfield, MO page. So far I’ve had lots of people interested, one no-show, and one sold item. So its not going too well, but I plan to add more items and it might pick up during this Christmas shopping season.

I also spent some of my Thanksgiving break making headbands and hairclips for babies, girls, and adults too! My mom and I are going to take them to a Santa’s workshop to sell (but let me know if you want to buy one directly from me).

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There are more ways that I plan on bringing extra income to the family, but again that’s not an area I’m focusing on right now, so these 3 things are it for now. They won’t bring in a lot, but every little bit helps.

What is your financial plan? Do you make and follow a budget? Have any creative ideas for bringing in extra income?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dana permalink
    January 17, 2011 3:44 AM

    Hey the link to the price book is broken.

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