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Wife to Adam, mommy to Alexa & Adlee Grace, Christ follower, owner at NewSpring Church, lover of Clemson football, and all things monogrammed. Looking for ways to simplify, serve, and teach my girls what life is all about.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Home Economist

As most of you know, I am a single mom, and I am doing my best to use everything God has blessed me with to the best of my abilities. My most recent endeavor thanks to Money Saving Mom is becoming a home economist. I have recently set up a budget after starting a study by Joe Sangl. My home group at NewSpring is participating in a 6 week by Joe on getting our money in order so we can live the life we were born to live. This is where my journey began...

After looking at my budget (and realizing just how TIGHT it is) I decided it was time to take action. My first step was to start the envelope system Joe recommends. The premise behind this is one my dad has always told me works...if you don't have the cash, you don't get to buy it! I think one problem the credit card, (or even debit card for that matter) creates is making spending easier. I don't know about you, but for me it is much easier to swipe my card than it is to break a $20 bill! Anything larger than a $20 I can pretty much hold onto forever. Ok, not FOREVER, but you know what I mean. I think twice about the frappe I want at Starbucks when I know I am actually going to part with the cash. This is where the rubber meets the road!

Since I started my budget on 10-31, I have only spent $$ on gas!! Just as an aside...can I say how thankful I am that gas prices are dropping so much! Ok, back on point...the best way I have of being accountable to myself for what I spend is by writing it down. I have my budget broken down into categories, and some stay in the bank (if I pay them online) and others come out into envelopes. When I spend $$ from an envelope, I write on it the amount I spent, and the date. Now, for the gas envelope I don't write down what it was for, but other categories that are a bit broader I do. Otherwise I look back at the end of the month and think, where did my money go??!! This way I have no excuse, I can see it in black and white. For someone like me, this is very helpful.

The next step I am looking into thanks to Money Saving Mom, is coupons, and bargain shopping. Crystal is beyond amazing! She feeds a family of 4, 3 meals a day plus snacks on $40 a week. Yep, you heard me right...and she doesn't only feed them ramen noodles either. If you need some ideas for how to save money I would definitely recommend heading over to her site...I was amazed by everything I learned. I have also started clipping coupons...so if you take the paper and don't use yours, PLEASE save them for me.

My budget is definitely helping me save my money because I can physically see where it is going. I know this might seem silly to some, but although I could see my spending online, it wasn't real like cash is. Spending my money on paper before I have it definitely opened my eyes, and now I am equipped to make the most of my money. So, after budgeting, envelopes, and coupons I am looking for other ways to stretch my $$. What do you do to stretch your $$? I would love to hear some ideas from other moms trying to take on the job of home economizing!


Jodi said...

oh yeah - envelopes all the way! good for you! :)

Anonymous said...

Your dad gives excellent financial advice! Is he interested at all in politics?????
BTW, the envelope system has been our most successful system of managing our money and saving ahead for things like property taxes, tires,new cars, vacations, and Christmas.

Joseph sangl said...

Way to go!!! You can do this!

Mimi said...

Hopefully we are all going to do a little better being home economists!