What a busy week. Sorry for the long break in posts.
We are talking at church about budget, and thinking inside your box, working with what you have, rather than hoping for that raise, or wating for that income tax return, etc. I honestly did not know this series was coming, and a little over a month ago I decided to see if I just changed a few habits, how much money could I save? Here are a few things I did:
Stop grabbing lunch with the kids while I'm running errands-be sure to eat before we leave the house.
Stop eating at work-even though I get 50% off, if I eat there every shift I work, it adds up.
No more Mcflurry's for Amber 2x a week after school-we have frozen yogurt in the freezer, and it's better for her anyway.
Clip coupons and check weekly circulars for sales-I am not very good at this. But I am trying to do better.
Accepting that we don't have to eat steak, poultry or shrimp every night of the week. It's okay to make a grilled cheese or eggs for dinner here and there and we will all survive just fine.
STAY OUT OF THE STORES. Unless I need something-no browsing. Make a list-and only get what is on it.
I vowed to live off of the restaurant money only. All other income (unemployment and child support) is untouchable. When the restaurant money is gone, that's it. I know this is not a 'budget' per say, but now that I have the resources I need to make a budget thanks to my church, that will be my next goal. To fine tune what I started.
Things I just can't cheap out on:
Laundry detergent. I used to buy Purex, and when I complained that my clothes never smelled fresh, my sister would say........."Well why don't you buy detergent that doesn't cost $3.00 if you want your clothes to smell fresh?" So even though it hurts my feelings, I pay $11 or so dollars for laundry detergent. Sniff...sniff...
Paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, and tissues. I can not sub one out for the other, I can not use 1-ply toilet paper, I can not sub out paper towels for a dish towel, I can not sub toilet paper out for tissues(of course I have, but not as a conscious decision.)
Lysol-can't do no frills. It just doesn't smell the same. I know it's almost $5.00, but it brings me an unexplainable joy. Ask my kids-they choke on it.
Meat/Poultry-no mystery meat in this house just because it's on sale. Sorry.
Bottled water-I haven't had a drink of water from the faucet in ages.
Perfume-GUCCI RUSH only. Hence, right now I have no perfume.
Things I CAN cheap out on:
Make-Up-I don't wear face make-up of any kind. Maybe some blush when I am pale, but that's it. Thank you Lord for great skin. So I only dress my eyes up with some mascara, and eyeliner-maybe some eye shadow-but I can't do too much because it looks funny with my glasses. Therefore-I buy whatever is on sale-in Walmart. No MAC, No Sephoria, a splurge would be Almay!
All groceries that are boxed-Walmart.
I am not afraid of hair color in the box.
Since living here in Charlotte, I do my own nails/toes. If I go to the salon 2x a year, it's a splurge. It's waaaayyyy to expensive. Do you know you can get a mani/pedi in New York for $16.00?
I now tweeze my eyebrows, rather than waxing. It lasts longer too.
Things I HATE to buy-stamps and gas. hate hate hate it........
Clothing advice-Buy quality clothes, and take care of them. Most of my clothes are from 2004 when I refurbished my wardrobe. Go for timeless looks. Buy what you like, and have them tailored. Dry clean them. The majority of my clothes are from Express, Guess, NY & Co., and The Loft. A few pieces from BEBE. They still look brand new, and yes, I may have paid $80.00 for a pair of pinstriped black dress pants, but they still look great and if you do the math, that's no different than buying a $20.00 pair of pants once a year that fall apart in the wash. Shoes too. Quality shoes only. I have the same pair of boots in black and brown since 2004. They were $150.00 each. I have them polished I would say 3 times a season, and have new pads put on them. They still look awesome. The math there-$37.50 a year if I had gone to payless and bought a pair that would last one season, it would work out the same. I just have to work on buying things that are on sale, not the beautifully put together outfit on the mannequin that's screaming my name.
I'm thinking that some readers are saying-is this girl serious? But everyone has their own budget and all families are different.