January: Get serious about your budget.
After having a few mild panic attacks in December (ok, possibly not mild) over money, I decided this NEEDS to be my first task of the year. I attempted this during the summer, and kept having numerous things that threw me wildly off track.
This time, it is happening for sure. I updated a spreadsheet that someone helped me with this summer. I also made another tab, showing all of my current debts. I am going to do the snowball method to help get this under control. The snowball method is working on paying off the smallest debts first, and then move towards the bigger ones. The idea is that you feel a sense of accomplishment by paying off the small amounts. Once I get a small debt paid off, I will add that amount towards the next smallest debt.
I have also tracked all of my bills that must be paid each month (mortgage, daycare, utilities, etc). My left-over amount is $60/week. Holy crap.
That means, anything extra that comes up will be coming out of that $60/week. I am sticking to this by getting cash out, putting it in envelopes, and then leaving debit card/credit card at home. I am really nervous to set this in action. $60/week is not going to cover much. I am hoping that by planning out meals a bit more, I am able to keep the weekly grocery bill down. I also will have to look for more coupons and discounts.
Basically, the only shopping I will be doing is going to be on gift cards I currently have (which isn’t much), and looks like I won’t be going out to eat unless I can find some “kids eat free” deals.
If there is something extra I need, I will try and come up with the money by selling things we no longer use, working harder at getting sponsors for the blog, etc. Any suggestions on how to make a bit of extra money?