Monday, March 30, 2009

Living within a Budget

So many times over the year I have attempted to live within a budget. I have done the math. I add up the expenses and add up the income. I have done the math trying to figure away to pay down the debt. Always looks good on paper but so hard to follow thru for me. This has been going on for over 10 years and here we are still living pay check to pay check. Nothing in the bank and the pay checks never go far enough.
Once again I have added up our income. This can be different month to month due to self employment on the internet which is lower than a year ago. Bottom line is expenses are more than any income that comes in. I go thru the expense column and try to cut it down. Gift giving is very small. Giving to charity is no where near what I would like it to be. Clothing budget is nil we rarely buy anything new. We have basic cable but we want some kind of entertainment. No movie channels just basic. We have given up the land line. Internet and cell phone costs a bit but that is part of the business. We do not drink or smoke any more so no expense there. The one bad habit I have is going out to eat. When we go out to eat we choose to eat at places that cost less than $10.00 each and then eat very little for breakfast and dinner. I do try to use coupons when we go out to eat.
I have been reading Mary Hunt's Cheapskate Monthly paperback that I found at a thrift store. She says there are three ways to change the numbers on your monthly plan.
Increase your income
Sell your assets
Decrease your expenses
As I have shared we are moving to Texas. Not only will this bring us closer to family but I will be working with family which will increase our income. I have been busy trying to get rid of the excess items we have on ebay or garage sale. I live in an apartment so can not have a lot of garage sales.
The only way I know that we can cut expenses is to stop going out to eat. That is what I will work on the month of April. Hope to get the food budget between groceries and eating out smaller than the month of March.
What is the normal for 2 adults a month for food? At one time I had a site that gave out the average for a family of 2, 4 and so on and the amounts for Frugal, Average and above average. I have misplaced this information. If anyone has it I would love for you to comment. I would love to hear how others are cutting their budgets in these tough times.
I know times are tough for us but then I look around and see those that are losing their jobs, those that have lost their homes and are on the street and shelters. No matter how bad things are for us at this time we have some steady income every month and for that I am grateful.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Never To Late to Start continues

Well I have been blogging for almost a month. This has been a tough month for us financially. We are living basically on cash only. No charging on credit cards for the first time in awhile.
We have also been busy trying to sell some of our items so we can move to Texas. So much stuff. I am a pack rat. Sales have been slow at my internet site and at my part time job. I would like to have a sale but our apartment is so small and there is so much stuff hard it is hard to think of having anyone come here. It all seems so over whelming.
We found an apartment in Texas which requires a deposit plus they want a fee of $125.00 called an Administrative fee. Basically paying to have them prepare the paper work. What a gimmick to get more money from us. To top it off they want money immediately to save the apartment. To do this you need to pay on line at their site, oh by the way that is a cost of $19.95 every time you do that. Not once to set it up but every time you pay. Well of course I complained that this is throwing money down the toliet. I have done a lot wrong financially but I rarely used ATM's and I surely to not want to pay this $19.95 fee. After some complaining they agreed to waive it this time for us. The ladies at the leasing office shared that some tenants do this a lot. Hey guys, if you pay your rent every month this way because you do not want to walk to the office that is $239.40 a year.
So much to do before we move at end of April.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Make Meals for Under $10.00

Here is a great site on AOL for meals under $10.00. Let me know in the comments any you have tried that you found enjoyable

http://food.aol.com/frugal-feasts?ncid=emlcntusfood00000002

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Time to work on our Financial Future

This evening I was searching different blogs on finances, budgeting, money saving tips. This was one I found and thought I would share with you.

http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2005/05/09/dave-ramsey-is-bad-at-math/

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

18 Money Saving Grocery Shopping Tips

These are some great tips on saving at the grocery store. Follow this link to read. While there you can search many other money saving ideas.


http://www.tiphero.com/tips_441_18-money-saving-grocery-shopping-tips.html

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Never to late to start

I believe it is never to late to start over. I am the mother of 2 sons, the step mother of 2 stepsons and 1 step daughter and to overwhelming pride the grandmother of 13 fantastic grandchildren. I have been married to a great guy for almost 20 years. We have had many wonderful adventures during those 20 years. We have had our good times and our hard times.

We are now going thru another difficult time. This year has been really tough for us. My internet business is down so income is down. Then to make matters even worse our landlords raised our rent an extra $110.00 a month.

Off and on I have kept a record of grocery spending and coupon use. No sooner will I start ,then I will quit doing it on a regular basis. I find myself doing the CVS game but not following thru. I will go to grocery store and use coupons, buy store brands and sale items. But I never seen to walk out spending very little money like I hear others doing. Lately I have been surfing the web and looking at different blogs where they are sharing how they save. They have a goal to spend only $25.00 to $35.00 a week. Then to top it off they are a family of 3 or 4. How do they do it? Here it is only myself, my DH and Spooky our cat. I wonder how can they do it. In February we spent almost $250.00 on groceries and that does not include the cats' special diet food. I don't even want to get into what we spent going out to eat in February, but it more than what we spent at grocery store.

Here we are in the first week of March and my goal is to be smarter with our food money and to eat out less often.

At the end of April we will be moving to Texas from California to be nearer family. We need to start spending less now since that will be costly move.
I would love to put money in a savings account. The experts say that we should have 6 months living expense in the bank. We do not even have a savings account let alone any money in it.

Every year we try to give some of our income to a church and to a shelter to help feed the hungry. This year we gave very little, not only were times tough but we spent foolishly.

Now is the time to start over. We are moving to Texas where I will help my nephew in his business. Not only will this bring in some income to us, I hope to be an asset in growing his business on the internet. I pray our own internet business will improve.

We will be closer to Minnesota and our children and grandchildren
My goals are to spend less money every month.
Start sharing what we have with the needy.
And start a savings account.

As I start on my journey, I hope that you will join me with your prayers, your ideas and maybe even some of your goals and desires for this year