I’m going to make a broad sweeping generalization here…..Americans have their priorities wrong. We don’t NEED TV, we don’t NEED our cell phones, however we do NEED food and shelter (with all that includes, heat, electricity and such.) If we are spending every dime paying the cable company and delaying our payments to the gas company then we are doing it wrong.
Mac and I’s priorities are different than most peoples, basic bills first, then our cell phones and then travel (not just vacations but going to see my family too, it all costs money) and our hobbies, things that get us out of the house and moving. Do these things cost too much? Probably, do we stop doing them when the budget is tight? Definitely. But we have decided that we are going to eliminate some of our un needed bills in order to save more so we can continue to afford things that are priorities to us.
An obvious area of over spending was TV, to get the sports channels we ‘needed’ for hockey it was $99 a month…ahem that is $1200.00 a year for TV!! So we called DirecTv and told them we were going to cancel, they gave us a great discount for the remainder of hockey season so we are going to hang on for 3 months and then…bye bye TV. We are going to purchase 2 things (Apple TV or something similer and NHL.com for the 2014-15 season) a this year that will equal 2 months worth of TV so all together for 2014 we are going to pay for 5 months of TV out of 12.
We have also taken a deep look at out budget and found that despite using cash for dining out we were still justifying to many extra times out equaling more than $1,000.00 over our budgeted amount….I can’t believe I just admitted that. I’m proud to say that we have stuck to our cash budget the last few months and its been great, better for our health and our wallets!
Where do you need to re-prioritize your spending?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the reuse part of the 3 R’s lately, not only is it great for the environment but its great for our budgets.
A decent reuseable water bottle (one you can carry around without leaking in your purse) will run between $15-$25 average. Compare that to most bottles of water at the store lets say $1 each and you have broke even in 15-25 bottles and everything after that is saving you $.95 cents or so (figuring the cost of tap water.) Now lets say you buy bottles of water by the case and average about $3 a case anywhere between 5-9 cases you have broke even and are saving money!
How about bags? Specifically Purses and work/daily bags I”m not going to say my particular taste in brands is cheap…its not. There are plenty of high quality bags out there at a decent price and if you find one you love pay a little more and then re use it from year to year. I have a purse for each season so I’m always feeling like I get a ‘new’ one, but really its the same one as last year! I do the same thing with my work bags just keep them rotating.
Buy purchasing clothes or household items of a little higher quality we can use them over and over and in the end save $$ and be a little greener by not needing to replace those items often.
So after 3 1/2 years of marrige we had a revalation this weekend. If something happened to me (hurt, hospital or worse) Mac wouldn’t know how to pay the bills. Not meaning incapable, meaning how, as in what website do I use to pay the mortgage, what is the username and password for our credit card, that kind of stuff.
We talk weekly at least about our budget, where we stand upcoming bills, expenses and such so its not that he is out of the loop. Its just we figured out long ago that its easier for 1 person to make sure everything gets paid so that things don’t get missed.
So yesterday I made a ‘working list’ I made a shareable document in Google Drive that said what bills are paid when and how (ie website, bill pay through the bank and all of that.) Plus we discussed how and where (NOT IN THE SPREEDSHEET PEOPLE!) I would keep a record of my current usernames and passwords for these places so that if something happened he would be able to log in and take care of the bills.
Simple, easy to update and one less worry. Do you have a back up plan for making sure your bills get paid?
I read a post yesterday that really struck a cord with me its not about marriage per sae but I think it applies.
Courtney over at Be More with Less is on a mission to help us all to de stress and simplify our lives. This week she encouraged us to actually feel our pain instead of covering it up with food, shopping, anything we can do too mask our pain instead of dealing with it.
This goes back to my fear about being vulnerable and not wanting to show I’m weak. Shopping is just another way to cover up emotions that really need to be delt with. Our spouses are the person we are supposed to be able to rely on. So do it! Talk to your spouse about how you can deal with pain together instead of any other method of covering it up.
Oh and seriously read this blog post from Be More with Less.
I haven’t had interest in coupons in a while now for various reasons. I don’t get a paper, they normally don’t have the kind of foods or products that we use. They are normally over processed foods and products with lots of chemicals.
That being said we are trying to become very aggressive in our savings, we have a lot we are trying to do over the next few years (kids, paintball trips, vacations, paying off the pathfinder and student loans and triple our savings account.) Between that and the new show “Extreme Couponing” on TLC we (yes we) decided to try couponing.
I’m not extream yet but I’m pretty excited how my first big trip turned out.
Pre-Sale/Coupon Total: $234.05
After Coupons and Sales: $122.45! 48% Savings!!!
Here are some of my best deals:
SunKist Tuna in Water Full Price $1.39 Coupon $1.00 off 2 doubled so $2.00 off 2. Final Price $.39 Cents each. 72% Savings!!
Chicken Breasts on sale for only $1.99/lb I bought two packages and took them home to my food saver and divided them up into packages of 4 and 2.
Full Price $3.29 Coupon (Doubled) $1.00 off each so $2.00 off each final price $1.29 each 61% Savings!!!
Normal Price $2.59 Purchase price 10 for $10.00 so 62% Savings!!
Lastly Brand Name cereal I walked out of the store with 6 boxes for $2.00 each and 5 boxes for $1.00 each!!