Friday, September 19, 2008

Good News, Bad News

The good news is... my husband got paid today. The bad news is...since he is a teacher, they only pay once a month. It's hard enough to go down to one income muchless to only get paid once a month. Last month, we spent more than budgeted for groceries. Now, some of those were great deals that were worth spending a little more over the budget in order to save a lot in the long run.

Since things will be tight this month and it's a huge adjustment for us, we've done several things to help ease this transition. One of the 1st things we did was to put aside a little cash for "ICE" (In case of emergency) expenditures. This could go for gas, food, diapers, etc... that we might need if somehow things get tight before his next paycheck. Secondly, I've got 14 meals planned and will freeze these. Cooking in bulk saves a lot of time and money. If you haven't done this, try it with a few things first. I like to shop/cook the meat on one day. Shop for other items on another day and throw everything together on another day. It's so nice to choose what's for dinner in the morning, put it in the fridge to thaw and not have dinner to worry about in the evening. I also make a list of every meal that I have ingredients for or that are in our big freezer. I like to post this to the side of our fridge so it's easy for me to access it when I'm planning meals. In addition to this, I keep a white board/calendar on our fridge and update that with meals as well. These are just a few things that have helped us to keep better control of our grocery spending when things are tight. I also keep a "staples" list of things like; salad, sandwich meat, cheese, bread, etc... which I purchase almost weekly.

Our next step will be to revise our budget. Now that we know how much we have to work with this month, we need to create our new-est budget for September/October. I hate doing the budget - it depresses me but afterwards, I feel so much more in control of our finances.

What are things that you do to help when things are tight?

1 comment:

Holly said...

Hi! I saw your blog through your Pleo group Debt Free Living. My husband and I have been following Dave's plan for 5 years or so, maybe a little more. We had to make a tough call and instead of getting completely out of debt 2 years ago we decided to move to a better part of town for the school district. This set us back on paying off debt, but we are still plugging along, with only 1 debt remaining in baby step 2. Ah, the budget! That is the MOST important thing - to follow the written budget EVERY month! When you follow it, you will be so less stressed out. Good luck! :)