Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Idea to stop spending money

I kept pretty good track of my spending this past month.  Boy, what an eye opener!  I was able to see exactly where my money went. I've got to pull in the reigns on my spending a bit tighter.

I discovered through tracking my expenses last month that I use my debit card way too often.This throws my budget off because I use the envelope method for certain categories such as food, dental, auto tuneups, year end accounting, gifts, etc. When I use my debit card instead of the assigned envelope money then I'm taking money that is designated to other bills.

So, I've come up with a plan. I took my debit card and all but one credit card out of my purse. (The credit card I kept is used for my gasoline purchases.) I'll carry a week's worth of my budgeted amount for groceries. When the money is gone then the spending must stop.

I'm hoping this will work. Time will tell.

How do you curb spending?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Living WITHIN our means: Spouse Allowance

I shared on my other blog that my income had dropped since we moved into our new little home. My dear Alice fell not long after I moved and has been in rehab. I'm still helping her with laundry and a few other duties which gives me enough money to 'almost' pay my insurance. I'm not sure if I will have a part time job after a few months so I'm practicing how to live on only my husband's disability check. (I just found out that she will be coming home for a 'trial' run to see how she does. I'm still going to try and live on my husband's check and put the rest towards upgrading our electrical so I can have a dryer for my clothes.)

I made a budget before we bought our new home. I wanted to make sure that we could live on only one salary because I knew the day would come when I might not be working (hopefully). If my Alice does not come home I hope I won't have to work permanently again.

So, I need a plan.

I've revised my budget. It will be tight but we can make it. I've cut back on a few areas (food, gift giving). I'm not sure if I can reach my goal for the food ($200)  but I'm going to try.

Even though I've had to cut back in these areas,  there are a few I hope to not touch. 

First and foremost, I plan to continue giving to the Lord's work.... cheerfully!

Secondly,  I've learned  it's important to include an allowance in our budget. Years ago, before our 10 plus years of prosperity, I fought resentment because I never had money to spend on small little things (gift giving, lunch with a friend).  My attitude was sinful and I suffered discontentment but it also taught me a good lesson that I've carried with me all these years.   I am handling the finances now I don't want to tempt my husband to resent me. So, each of us will still receive a small allowance to spend on what we wish. 

The third thing I don't want to cut is a small amount designated to our savings. It's not huge but $50 a month over a period of a year ends up being a hefty $600. That small savings would purchase a new washing machine if mine decides to 'give up the ghost'. *smile* It's WAY over 10 years old. I'm already having the bank take $25 automatically each month and put it into a Christmas gift account for the grandchildren.

But, as always, I want to keep in mind that # 2 & #3 are not 'God given rights' and prepare myself to give these up  if needs or necessities come our way.

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. 

 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Next time I hope to share what I'm doing daily to keep expenses low in our home.