Monday, May 14, 2012

All about the basics.

Sometimes it is CRUCIAL to go back to the basics. They are "basics" afterall, but sometimes those are the easiest things to forget.

1. Keep track of every dime you spend.

You can do this by using the envelope system, by keeping a notebook with you at ALL times and keeping up with every transcraction, or by using an online site to help keep you on track. Either way, keeping track is ESSENTIAL.

2. Keep lists.

I know that it's fun to make a random stop by the mall, or visit ebay "just to browse", of course, but that can get you in trouble. If you don't keep LISTS, then you will spend unnecessary money. Keep a list of your clothes. Your kids clothes. Your shoes. Your stockpile. ANYTHING that you own... keep track of it. If you don't keep ongoing lists of things you have then you just may stop by the store and end up buying something you ALREADY had. When we have lots of STUFF, we tend to forget what we have. I know I can't possibly be the only one that has been so pumped to get a new black pair of heels only to go home and realize that I already had 3 pair... keep lists!

3. Keep going to your checkups.

Just like when you are sick and the doctor tells you to come back in a week, the same rules apply to finances and our stuff. We HAVE to go back for checkups. We HAVE to take the time to look through our financial statements, our envelopes, our closets, etc. It's not a "one and done" kinda process... it is a PROCESS which means it is ongoing.

Just some tips for a tune-up.

how did you do?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Free months!

I often write about my free months at my other blog....

But I am choosing to write about it here as well. :)

Free months. What are those? Let me explain

It is a month when you spend NO money outside of your already prepared budget.

It is a time for many things. It's a time to save money. (obviously) It's a time to meditate, pray, and ponder on what you REALLY want out of life. It's a time to ponder what your wants/needs REALLY are. It's so easy to think how badly you WANT something when you are walking through the mall. But what if you could NOT go to the mall? Would your wants be less? It's a time to really stop and think about what you want to spend your money on.

It's also a time to learn contentment. It's a time when you KNOW that you cannot spend money so it forces you (in a good way) to be happy with you already have. It's a time to read more. It's a time to journal. It's a time to finish projects around the house because you are NOT going to the store, you are not running to grab a movie. It's a time to be at your house more and focus more on your family. SUCH a refreshing time.

It's also time of purging! When you cannot buy anything you tend to walk around and notice how much stuff you already have! it's a great time to clean out those closets and cabinets. It's a time to clean out your DVR! My goodness, I cannot be the only person on the face of the earth that has 87 things taped on my DVR. Shows and movies that I just HAD to tape, and haven't even watched. Since you won't be going to rent movies or go to the movie theatre it forces you to clean out your DVR!

I am getting ready for round 3 of not spending any money for a month. This means I have to have some things in order. This means that when I say "I'm not going to spend any money outside of my budget", that I have to have a ROCK SOLID BUDGET in ORDER! This is so important. It's important even if you are not having a zero spending month... it's crucial! I need to sit down with my already written budget and do some thinking. Is there anything I have left out of my budget? did I allow for gas? Did I allow enough in my food budget? It's a great time to get things in order.

I encourage everyone to have a FREE MONTH! A ZERO SPENDING MONTH! I think this is so crucial! And, it's fulfilling. i have never ended a free month and thought "WHEW i'm glad that's over!" It's more like when lent is over and you can finally have potatoes (thats what I always give up), I don't rush out to go grab a potatoe. It's just nice to know that i CAN have them if I want them. I promise it would be worth it!! :)

Thanks for reading. Comments, emails, are always welcome.