Sunday, July 31, 2011

Balancing a Budget

Have you ever balanced your budget?  Do you know what I mean when I say that?  It is something that is completely simple on paper, but so hard to actually do sometimes.  When you write out all of your bills and compare it with your income which number is bigger?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Budgeting Tools

Well, on my foverever-journey to find "just the right way" to keep my family's expenses (projected and actual) available for viewing at all times I have discovered a few things.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life is HARD!

I know this is kind of a "duh!" statement, but it is so hard being a full-time working, going to school mom.  I think I regret my decision to go back to school almost as many times a day as

Thursday, July 21, 2011

$100,000 house!

One of my "hobbies" is looking at pictures of homes on websites such as Trulia or Realtor just to see what is out there.  I came across a beautiful 2 story colonial style home the other day with hard wood floors, stained glass windows, a kitchen any body would be jealous of, all for just $100,000!!! I was so excited.  The problem came when I discovered I was looking at a...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some Days!

There are some days where I just want to quit.  Quit budgeting, quit watching every.single.dollar,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Car Troubles

Well, we spent  a long weekend with my family and it was great, but on our way out of town our car started making a growling noise and had a terrible burning smell.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Going to see family...

We are packing to leave right now to spend 4 days with my family.  They only live an hour away, so it "shouldn't" be a huge ordeal, but...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What's the cost?

I have read so many articles saying it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise a child to age 18 (not including college costs) and I have to admit that large number scared me.  What if I couldn't come up with that much money?  Would I be a bad mom if I couldn't buy everything my child wanted?  I wonder if the huge cost associated with raising a child deters people from having any kids at all.  Then on the other side of the coin...

Monday, July 11, 2011

2 hours of sleep...

We have sick little one at home so none of us have been sleeping very much lately.  Two nights ago we spent 4 hours in the ER with a 105F fever and last night we spent the whole night up alternating tylenol and motrin, giving luke-warm baths and putting cold towels on Will's head because once again, he was spiking a fever, this time it only got to 104F.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Is there ever a time to not be concerned about money?

I don't know what the answer for you is, but for me I don't worry about money at all when 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Saved money tonight!!!

Hey, I wanted to let everybody know that we just saved about $20 tonight by cooking at home.  I know it sounds simple, but that is because it is.  I just got off of work - a 10 hour day! - and really REALLY didn't feel like cooking.

I love SmartyPig!

I have been trying different ways to manage our sinking funds - money that is not used every month, but is still needed at random times throughout the year for specific things.  We started out with 1 savings account and I just kept track of how much money was set aside for each category in an excel spreadsheet.  That worked okay, but I was constantly having to manually update it and that just took too much time, in my opinion.  So, I have finally found the answer to our sinking fund storage problem...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Grocery Budget Busters

I have been trying to lower my grocery bill each month and I finally have it to an acceptable amount (for us) but there are still things that will bust my grocery budget every time if I let them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How do I make a budget!?!

I have been asked that question a few times now.  It really is not a hard thing to do.  It takes a little time, and if you're like me, a little bit of "getting over the guilt" of wasting money by not making a budget sooner.  Anyways, I've written down the steps I follow for making a family budget.  I hope they help.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thats a "No Touch"

If you read my last post about chasing Will all over you'll remember we use the phrase "no touch!" a lot.  That really got me to thinking about these baby steps; actually, I'm always thinking about the baby steps, I have to admit I have a nerdy financial addiction going on.  Anyway, I started thinking about baby step #3, the fully funded emergency fund (FFEF from now on - it is much shorter) and how hard it is to save up all of that money for no real goal.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Train up a child

Okay, so this isn't really a finance post, but I just have to say that being a parent is hard work.  Chris and I thought we were geniuses with "baby proofing" our living room.  We have a fairly small space with very large furniture, so we arranged it in a way where Will was blocked in on all sides by either a wall or a sofa and he had his own safe fortress to play in.  Well, in this toy fortress he was allowed to touch, pull on, and play with...

Gazelle Intensity

Dave Ramsey, the man behind the baby steps, coined the phrase "gazelle intense" when talking about how you approach tackling your debt.

When a gazelle is being chased down by a lion they are laser focused on the task at hand; it is much the same way while you're working on getting out of debt.  Everything you do needs to be geared towards moving to a better financial life for you and your family.  Some people are more "gazelle" than others; you have to pick a level that works for you.  I just wanted to give some suggestions of things that you can do to help lower expenses to free up more money each month to get you out of debt faster.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Baby Steps

What are the baby steps?  These are Dave Ramsey's suggested steps to debt freedom.

1)  Save $1000 emergency fund 

2)  Pay off all non-mortgage debt in order of smallest to largest

3)  Save 3-6 months of expenses (Fully Funded Emergency Fund)

4)  Save for retirement

5)  Save for children's college (if you choose to do so)

6)  Pay off mortgage early

7)  Live like no one else!  Give, save, invest, travel, etc...  You have NO more debt!  You're free!

They're called baby steps; they're easy to understand; there are only 7 of them.  How hard could this be?  Famous last words.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer vacation: on a budget.

We are planning a couple of trips this summer, and since living on a budget affects every aspect of our lives, this is definitely no exception.  My husband is a big dreamer. He wants to go to Hawaii, on a cruise, to Disney World and to the grand canyon, but the fact is that we don't have the money (yet) to do those things.  So, what are we doing?  We are doing things closer to home that we can do relatively inexpensively.

I know my family is not the only one who doesn't have the money for a huge getaway this year, so I have put together a list of some practical tips to vacationing on  a budget.