Sunday, September 28, 2008

Money Management

Well, I have been wondering for the longest time how we do it on one income...I can't say that it is easy and had we not saved up some funds before I quit working, we couldn't do it now. So, my dilema....we currently overspend by about $400 a month. I know one thing that I really need to cut is our eating out...and coffee treats...but seriously .... We spend a lot of money on groceries ( I think )..but you have to eat, and my husband works a labor job, so he eats a lot during the day and we purchase him protein bars at Costco...yes, they are spendy, but I think worth it. This last month we spend more money on eating out/coffee than usual....about 1/3 of the 400 was dining/coffee. I know-its aweful! Other stuff...well, there isn't too much to do here in town, so I frequent the Wally world and try to find deals, etc and I know that gets us into trouble...also if I run to the BIG town and hit Target....not a great idea....seriously went yesterday for NO GOOD REASON and spent $20. Granted this $20 was on kids protein zone bars and some snack bars for me...still didn't NEED them.

We have a car payment (4WD SUV) that if we didn't have anymore, our financial lives would be so much easier, but we are stuck with it for another 4 years....YIKES...and in today's economy, we can't sell it for a profit or even break even. So, it sits in our driveway most days and I might drive it to Wallyworld or a playdate...

We opt to pay for life insurance and of coarse have car insurance, etc...the nessecitriees.....we have 2 things that are probably not necessities, but we have them anyway (a bugman and a satelite tv...oh, and I suppose DSL is considered not NEEDED...)we rarely use our home phone, but it is nice to have it...I don't use or have long distance and that saves money.

So, I stay home....and wonder how long our funds will last...sometimes we get a good bonus, and that we put back in our "fund" for overages of the month..but we don't depend upon, how do you all do it? Anybody have more words of wisdom?

I think I am going to try to go on a no buying wally trips unless it is strickly on the list (no lurking in the baby isles or the toy isles)...and maybe we can try to bring our lunch when we go shopping (oh, we live about an hour from a big town, so that is why we tend to eat out there)...

Any other ideas?


the mama said...

when you figure it out, let me know.

i've heard many people swear by the cash system. you pull out all of your money when you (or hubby) gets paid and when it's gone, it's gone.

we did this for a time and it worked amazingly well. we didn't even feel deprived because we knew where we were spending our money.

i'm currently thinking that i'm going to spend the $40 for the computer program that manages your finances. not looking forward to entering receipts, but i think it will be good to know where our money goes. i think the program will also sync with online banking (if you do that).

one thing that i've found helps us pinch pennies is to buy virtually no processed food. it's more work but i love being in the kitchen anyway. plus, it's healthier. someone once told me that if you lived the way your great grandmother did and only had the food in your cabinets that she would have, your pocket book will thank you and you'll have a healthier family.

i'm interested to hear what everyone else has to say....

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Jason, Donna and KIDS! said...

Sell stuff on ebay.... We cut out the dining! BIG difference. We just go once a week! The total money makeover book is good too!

the wallys said...

We are feeling strapped too because we are a one income family as well. My husband works hard and he makes enough to cover the bills. It is the "extra" money coming in that gets spent or put towards the credit card. I really do think that the price of gas, although it is going down, really hurt us and most everyone. We too live about 40 minutes away from a BIG town so try to stay in our little town as much as possible. One thing I am going to try is the cash system. I think that will help and also cutting down the "treat coffee" to once a week. That way it will feel like a treat. It is a scary time especially for one income families but you know we can do it. Erik and I pray about our financial situation everyday and know He has us in His hands. That book that was mentioned about the Total Money Makeover sounds like a book I would like to read as well. Good luck. Things will get better!