Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 18 - of 30 Days to a Simplier Life

I thought I would jump back over to finances today because I am going to start the envelope system today. It's a little scary, kinda like the first day of a diet. I am just a bit excited though to see how well it works. Hubby is beyond excited that I am even considering it and thinking about saving money. :) This is not one of my strong points.

One thing I've been reflecting on lately as I've been doing this blog and probably just from living life for as long as I have is that we need to be open to doing things differently than we have for years and years. True growth and maturity is being open to change, even those things that have always been "who you are". If those things are not productive, or healthy or just immature than it is time to evaluate what changes need to be made.

I guess the reason I'm saying this in this particular blog is because I have always said, "I'm just a spender" "Or I hate the "B" word. (budget) and I just keep doing the same thing getting the same result. I always love the statement I heard that Alcoholics Anonymous says, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over thinking you will get different results". I am ready to get some different results in some areas of my life so I am ready to do some things differently.

There are alot of these so I will do half today and half tomorrow:
  1. Cook at home often: The more often you can cook at home instead of going out the more money you will save plus it will be a much healthy meal in most cases. We limit our eating out to usually just Friday night as that is usually our date night. If we eat out on Saturday it is usually a very low cost meal. We use coupons, go to early bird specials and share big meals.

  2. Make your own coffee: I am a true coffee drinker. I drink at least 4 -5 cups a day and I love both Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. I "could" buy one everyday but I do consciously try to limit it to 3 or 4 xs a week. I mostly get DnD unless I have a gift card. Also, if you take your own container to Dunkin it will cost you less.

  3. Make a list before going shopping: They call it impulse buying for a reason. Humans simply have a very tough time resisting the temptation to purchase extras while shopping. Without a list you will buy items that you simply do not need. Even worse is when your forget to purchase the actual item you came to the store for in the first place. If you plan on cooking at home, pre-plan a rough menu and make a list before you go grocery shopping. Getting all that you need in one trip can help avoid another unnecessary trip and temptation.

  4. Watch out for expiration dates on perishable goods: This one seems like a no brainer but I confess I have often bought an item, especially meats and after one day it's not looking good or smelling good and I then have to go back and by another. You don't want to get a gallon of milk that is going to turn sour with a couple of days.

  5. Use grocery store bags to line trash cans: This may not work if you use a big trash can but we use a small sized one for which the grocery bags are a perfect fit.

  6. Instead of buying books, get your books from the library: The card to your public library is free and the libraries are generally well stocked. You can go online to and look through the catalog, have books sent to your closest library, download e-books or audio books and probably a ton of other things I don't even know about.

  7. If you have to buy books, check if you can buy it used: You can go to many sights to do this but i use You can get books for as low as 1.00 or less but you do have to pay the shipping which is usually 4.99 but that is still alot less than a regular priced book.
  8. Tax your family: Now this one may sound strange but you can see how it could work. Everyday every family member puts $1. or whatever amount you agree to in a jar - As a family you agree what it will be used for: vacation, Christmas or whatever. You do this for starting now til end of year and you could have at least $700. if not more by Christmas.
I'll stop there and finish the rest tomorrow. Happy Saving!

"Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise; Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer." ~ Proverbs 30: 24-25


betty said...

Hey! I do ALL of these things, except number eight, allready! Been doing them for quite a while. Every once in a while I get careless and end up with sour milk, which, when your on a very tight budget, is huge! These are very good suggestions, Kathy! :)

Beverly Walters Whaley said...

OK.......Let the challenge begin.....I will be CAUGHT up with some straggling things in my finances.....BUT eager to see how another Walters takes the envelope challenge! I was hoping you would try it first! So I am behind you.......will be your accountibility partner...but I know you have John! LOL A beaver is better then a fellow Otter GOOD LUCK!

CoachK said...

Good for you Bettsy, I do too. I am starting number 8 this year.

CoachK said...

Thanks Bev. John's involvement in this is very low. I told him I'm doing it but that I am doing it on my own without outside "beaver" help. :)
I don't want pressure. He's just happy I'm doing something to try to save.