Confessions Of a Terrible No Good Budgeter Determined To Save Money

I am always trying to save money. ALWAYS. My biggest problem is that the money I do manage to save always seems to get used. I find myself dipping into the savings way too much and ignoring my own budget plans. I need to find ways to stick to a budget once and for all.


simple tips to start saving money today



Full disclosure: Really. Bad. Budget. Person. Here.

The fact that I go into the savings that I do manage to build up tells me several things:

1. We need to bring in more income.

2. I need to be stronger in order to stay away from 'piggy.'  Better yet, I need to move money into another bank account just for savings. 

4. I need to get more creative and serious about being frugal.

Yesterday I tried something new for us. It was hard, but it worked.

We had a No Spend Day.

Not one penny was spent yesterday. Nada.

I usually check our pantry and refrigerator every morning, and pretty much immediately decide we need more groceries. And off to the store I will go.

Not yesterday. I didn't go. ANYWHERE.

Not even ice skating when my son asked if we could go.

We didn't go. And believe me, telling him we couldn't go was the hardest part of the day. But we have gone to the ice rink almost everyday this summer. So I kept reminding myself that one day of skipping ice skating was really not making me a mean parent.

And he was okay.

So we stayed home, ate what was already in the kitchen, and survived just fine.

And saved money.

I started realizing that my weakness (well, one of my weaknesses) is that I spend money too easily. Even when we can't afford it. I rationalize.

This is how I often find myself spending money when I shouldn't be. For example, on any given night the kids may ask me to order pizza for dinner. I tell myself I am tired anyway, and really do not feel like making the spaghetti I had planned to make. (Budget? What budget?).

More rationalizing: 'the whole family is already complaining about having pasta AGAIN anyway, so why bother making it if no one wants to eat it?'

So I order the pizza. Spending money instead of saving money.

Rationalize. Spend. Regret.

That is my pattern.

So I am once again pulling up my big girl pants, determined to slay the spending monster.

I am going to get started by going back to my tried and true simple tips to save money.

1.Menu planning. I used to shop for the whole week's dinner menus. For some reason I stopped doing that, which inevitably leads to 'impulse' dinners like take-out.

But I am going to keep Friday as our free day - where the kids can pick what they want to eat, and I will take a break from cooking. I hope that will keep me motivated to stay on track the rest of the week.

2. Play the Grocery Shopping Game. I used to use this little trick when I went grocery shopping, and now it is time for me to use it again. With a little twist. Right before I hit the check out line, I would look in my grocery cart and find at least one or two items I could put back.

There is always something that is not really needed.

3. Saving Dimes. Every dime you have goes into a jar everyday. Dimes add up quickly, and it makes saving change a bit more fun somehow.

Wish I had kept this one up. I would have a great little Christmas savings by now.

4. Shop alone. At least whenever possible. And this is a big thing. During the summer it is always harder to do, but when the kids are in school, I can manage solo trips to the store much easier. No husband, no kids. Just me.

5. I am going to plan ahead each month for those miscellaneous expenses like  birthdays, events, parties, and such that I know are coming up. And I will put money aside for those things in an envelope, or try to purchase what I need asap so as to avoid my weak self dipping into the savings for those events.

6. Paying bills on time. I actually am not too bad in this area. Amazing. But there is room for improvement. Nasty late fees do come up sometimes, and those are true budget busters for me. What helps me most is scheduling automatic withdrawals for some of our regular monthly bills.

7. And I am going to continue to work on increasing income. I realize this is probably where I need to focus more. I am hoping to increase my work from home income streams. I do work part time outside the house as well, but between that income and my husband's, we definitely still need more money if we really want a good solid emergency fund and savings account.

Yesterday was a good start. And yep, I plan on throwing in more 'No Spend ' days now and then. They motivate me, we spend time together as a family right at home, and we save money! So yes, there will be more of those days for sure.

I'll post updates. The good, the bad and the ugly ones.

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