Budgets and etc.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

This morning as I rounded a bend on my walk with Banana, in the clear sunrise-ready heavens, what did I see but two perfect thin lines of parallel clouds. I am obviously not even near the end of this cycle yet, but I just had to laugh out loud. REALLY? This is just ridiculous!!!

I am having more headaches this cycle already, but luckily they are mild. Thanks for your comments about the IUI- I think (unless the doc says otherwise), we'll do it Saturday morning and just adjust the time of the trigger accordingly (Thursday night). I guess this time I won't be able to have the NP mix the trigger for me- I hope I can manage!! The follistim shots themselves are still going really smoothly!!

Went to the grocery store this morning!! We follow Dave Rams.ey's budget concepts, using cash only for living expenses. Mr. A picked up one of his books at my parents' house last Christmas and was instantly hooked. We didn't have any credit card balances at that point, but we were spending way more than necessary using our debit cards, i.e. not saving as much as we could. Mr. A set us up a budget last January (2009) that allowed us to rapidly increase our savings and pay down our mortgage at the same time. It does take a little time to set up the budget, but it is so worth it. We have about 15 categories we use cash for, and we have sacrificed the most on our restaurant budget ($25 per month), but we have also cut back on every other category, including our monthly grocery costs ($300), personal "whatever" money ($15 each), and clothing ($13). Mr. A goes to the bank on the first of each month, withdraws the cash, and we separate it into our envelopes. When there is no more cash in the envelope, that is it for whatever the envelope is for, until the next month!! I think last year I was spending so much more than I needed to on groceries; the cash only system makes me be a super shopper- today I saved $63 with store and coupon specials!!! One time I saved a little over $100, no joke! The other cool thing is that we've been "feeding" our Christmas envelope all year, so it is almost stocked and ready to be used on gifts!! No extra spending necessary!!!

It may seem a little odd to use cash-only in such a plastic world, and making (and sticking) to a budget might take some personal sacrifice/discipline, but it has really been a blessing to us!! When Mr. A was telling me how it worked, I thought there was no way we were spending too much- it's not like we had to use credit cards- but even if you use your debit card only, there is no objective limit to how much you can spend on groceries, or latte's, or....!!! I definitely recommend Ramse.y's strategies to anyone, especially if you want to start saving in a big way!!!

7 comments:

callmemama said...

LOL at the cloud shapes! Too funny :).

That's great about your budget - we set up an ING savings account last fall and just starting shoveling money into it. We stalled a bit around my surgery, but haven't touched anything in the account, which is great.

Dea.nna said...

You are my hero!!! We went through Dave Ra.msey's bible study (which is just basically financial planning with a church group) earlier this year. It takes such discipline to spend only what is in each envelope. We used to charge everything to a credit card (bc we get points!) and pay it off each month. Eventually, the card became nearly maxed bc we couldn't afford to pay it off each month. Now we spend on the debit card bc we're less likely to overspend. We're slowly working toward cash only spending. I think you're inspiring me further!!!

JC said...

That is great! That's the way to do it. I'm the one who would need to put the smack down though, if it were up to my hubby we wouldn't even balance our checkbook let alone have a budget. Mabye I'll start thinking of how to implement that for us.

A baby for Al? said...

Wow, cash only! that's pretty much amazing. We only use debit cards - no credit cards. We don't overspend, but I think we could do a little bit better at controlling costs. Good for u guys!

Hillary said...

That's awesome! I read his book, too, and we live by the main principals (no debt other than mortgage, emergency savings, planning ahead, etc), but don't go all the way to the cash only point. Way to go!

Praying for Hope said...

Interesting concept. That's wonderful that it works. We still use cash back credit cards but we pay them off every month. I know we've cut back, but I really need to track my spending more.

Thankful said...

Very interesting! DH and I love our once-a-month "money dates" where we divvy out everything. We don't use envelopes/cash, but we do have pre-set goals to achieve each month. We also use a cash-back credit card and pay it off each month. I wonder how much more we could save with this method? And, seriously, $13 a month for clothes!?! Wow!