At the beginning of the year my hubby and I made a commitment to not let our finances go to pot like we have for many years. It is sad to think of all the money that we have wasted simply by not paying attention or taking the time to keep track of things.
So, I have really dedicated myself to keeping our checkbook balanced and following a written budget plan. (see Dave Ramsey if you need help with budgeting)
It has taken me several attempts and different forms to come up with a budget plan that is simple and easy to use. I tried Larry Burkett's system when we were first married but as soon as kids came along I found it almost impossible to manage, I also tried this plan, and have worked Dave Ramsey's plan as well. But invariably they were all too detailed or for whatever reason I had a hard time sticking with them.
After much trial and error I have come up with a simple one-page monthly budget plan.d
Along these same lines I have run into a problem that will not be solved by adding more money to the budget category. FOOD! This is a major budget buster in our house and I'm totally to blame for it. We hardly ever eat out so that's not the issue but I've been averaging close to $700 a month on groceries for our family of 7!!!!!! I know that I can do better than this without sacrificing our health.
Part of my problem has been that while I make out a grocery list I don't usually have a menu written out as well, so I impulse buy. Also I have a bad habit of borrowing from other envelope categories if I've overspent at one store so that I don't have to cut very much from my list. Very bad idea!
Thankfully there are much more frugal and creative souls out in the blogsphere and internet world that have readily shared winning strategies on saving money and living more frugally, so I wanted to share some posts that have especially hit home for me.
The Simply Dollar - The Happy Minimum
Biblical Womanhood - Frugal Friday Menu planning
Money Saving Mom - 100 Different ways to save $100
Life as Mom
I love this website for really good, simple, cheap recipes as well.
The Family Homestead