help me save money

Dannielle - posted on 10/04/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am having trouble bugdeting where the money goes every time we get money it seems to disapear very quick. cause a day or 2 before we get paid again we need milk and bread but have no money to get. plaese can someone please help me figure out a way to save a little bit of money

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[deleted account]

The first thing that you need to do is assess your spending. For one month just write everything down, keep all your receipts, keep a record of all your spending, including all your bills. Everything. Where all your money is going. Once you have done that for one month, you can sit down and put each item into a category (food, entertainment, household bills, insurance, etc). If you do this you will see where your money is going and it will be easier to manage it. We did this with our finances, it is surprising where the money is going sometimes. You do not even realize how much you are spending on things sometimes. Once we did this we re-evaluated what we really needed and what we were spending money on. There were actually several set bills that we got rid of or decreased. Cable, for instance, we were paying over $60.00/month for something we never or rarely used. We canceled this and now watch whatever we want when we want on the internet. Banking fees, we switched banks and re-organized our banking and saved ourselves another $20 to $30/month. There are a lot of things you can do to re-arrange how you are spending money, once you do this and simplify things and only have things that you actually use or need, you will find you have much more money to save.

Lisa - posted on 10/28/2010

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We are currently digging ourselves out the that hole too. The other replies are great, but the most important thing is to be really consistant. I mean every day right down how much you spent and balance your check book. If you find yourself avoiding doing this it may be because you know you may have overspent somewhere (I was in denial). If you force yourself to do it everyday it will be less stressfull and you will always be thinking before you spend. I hope this helps. Disregard if it doesn't apply. :)

[deleted account]

1) make a balance sheet--write down all the money coming in in one column and money going out in the other column so you know what you're spending
2) circle the expenses that are absolutely necessary (ie. rent/mortgage, electricity, heat, food)
3) plan meals at least one week in advance and make a list before you go shopping. hillbillyhousewife.com has a wonderful food budget tool and cheap recipes
4) ask for lower interest rates on CCs
5) stop eating take-away/fast food, take prepackaged lunches
6) cut out unnecessary things like cable (or just stick with basic), movie rentals, internet (god forbid!!) or subscriptions from magazines, newspapers, etc.
7) stick all your change at the end of the day every day in a jar and save that for a "rainy day" ie. when you run out of milk and have no more money
8) and specifically about the bread...buy a months worth of bread or something and stick it in the deep freeze and keep track of how much you eat during the month so you don't run out; or keep supplies to make your own when you don't have the money to buy bread.

Hope you get on top of things! :)

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Sarah - posted on 10/23/2010

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have you ever tried to shop at a different store? it's an online store. if you're interested, i can send you more information. please just let me know.

Erin - posted on 10/19/2010

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Go to Gail-vaz Oxlade's website. Under her "amazing articles" there is one called "money jars" and in there there is an online budgeting tool. You enter in all of you info and it breaks it down painlessly. Try it. But definitely sit down with your hubby while doing it. He'll be able to see where everything is going too and you can both tweek the budget and compromise.

Jane - posted on 10/17/2010

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Read all the other comments, especially the writing the list of where you spend your money for the week/month. If your paid monthly work out your bills, rent power telephone etc then divide the rest and lastly put some money, $20 for the end of the week/month for bread and milk. and if you don't spend it save it for another bill

Heather - posted on 10/15/2010

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I agree with Nadia - my husband was spending about $500 just on fast food while on his lunch break when i first started going through our finances. For us it was easier to use our debit cards only, and print our statements at the end of the month, but it really is an eye opener - especially to see what each person's weaknesses are. We have three accounts - his, mine and a joint. We each contribute enough to the joint account to cover our bills (everything from mortgage to the internet - if we both use it or it is for the household, it is a joint bill). I take care of the groceries because I make a little more money,and the rest goes into our own accounts to pay our seperate bills (car, gym, cell if it is seperate, etc.) My husband's account has overdraft protection, which is dangerous for him because he ends up borrwing fom his savings account, but mine doesn't and once the money is gone, that's it. I have to wait until payday. I have one credit card for emergencies only (with a $500 limit that I refuse to let the company make bigger) and if I do use it I pay it off as soon as I get paid.
Once you see where all your money is disappearing to you can start to change your habits. For me it was the random trips to target to "pick something up". I'm quite certain I didn't need half of what I got, and i was very pround last month to spend a whopping $2.49 on miscellaneous stuff. My husband relapsed a little and spent a whole $35 dollars on various stops at fast food places. Quite a difference from the hundreds that we were spending onle a few short months ago.

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