We’ve been going to Financial Peace University for 3 weeks now and the rubber is hitting the road. I love the rubber and the road!!! LOVE IT. Dave Ramsey does a lot of comparing and contrasting of what a Nerd and a Free Spirit look like and I am a total nerd.
Like there are butterflies in my belly after completing the written budget forms and I’m GEEKED that we get to download them and keep them forever and ever and ever. Also? Um, numbers and math and hoarding are kind of a hobby of mine.
Some great tips I’ve come across recently are:
Spend a little time or even a couple Google searches looking for a free or DIY project instead. The Internet is very awesome and with Holidays coming up there’s no shortage of creative advertising that makes us want to spend money we might not have allocated (or have at all) on things we don’t REALLY need – you can fight that urge while exercising your creative side as well.
With Halloween coming up – make your own costumes. There’s definitely the urge to let your little princess actually BE a Princess one night a year but (biting my tongue and stepping off my soap box) my personal opinion is that it’s lame. (That was me being nice.) Recycled costumes and hand me downs are an awesome idea, please use them … they’re FREE! But how awesome is it to have a cardboard box and create a costume with your kid? This year we’ll be making two of these costumes: robot, airplane, pinata or train. Out of cardboard. For free. (Putting the words Free and Make Something in the same thought gives me those same butterflies. I might be ill.)
Use a Post It note to block your spending. GOOD TIP! I just picked this one up after reading some blogs this week. So excited. We’re mostly cash spenders but I still carry a debit card once in a while and the weeks I forget to grab the cash for our envelopes (big mistake) I use it more than I should. So now I have a Post It wrapped around my debit card that says “PAY OFF THE CAR!” and every time I pull out my card to buy something I have to confront what’s really important to me. That purchase (usually food, extra-not-planned-on-food) or our goals?
Get on the same page. If you’re not married, get someone to hold you accountable. It literally pays to agree on this subject. Thousands of dollars a year.
Agree to a NO SPEND black out. Again, picked this up from reading around this week but such a great idea. Agreeing to not spend anything for one day a week could very well save a couple hundred dollars a year – maybe even thousands depending on how you spend. That means no coffee in the morning at the drive thru, a brown bagged lunch (or, we give allowances for the week for lunch) but no whipping out the plastic to pay for something for one whole day. We’re going try for 3 days a week. Aaron will spend on lunch those days, he’s not a great brown bagger – but he won’t over spend if he runs out of his lunch money. (Which, I love him, but he tends to do this often.)
A few other food related (and money saving) ideas are:
# Shop at a bulk store. We buy our produce, diapers and meat from Sams Club and the savings is amazing. The business has the membership, so we even save money on the yearly fee as well.
# Commit to eating more rice (a veggie/rice night once a week) or just pasta for one month and see how much farther your other staples go. If you have dietary needs that override this – there might be other options or variations for you that still cut your monthly food bill considerably. We love refried beans – cheap and filling!
# Eat in season. Fall=squash! Eat some, they’re plentiful, affordable and you can do SO many things with them.
# Eat more eggs. So cheap. So easy. Packed with protein and will curb your appetite and sustain you through the mid morning or mid afternoon hunger pains and cravings.
Those are my tips for now. I’ll keep them coming as I come across new ones or implement them in our lives. This is fun, no?? Who’s having a blast? THIS GIRL.