Budget blinders finally off!

In our home we are getting ready for the New Year. Last night my husband and I sat down and looked at all our bills and our business bills and put them on to a spreadsheet called a budget. The word budget may make you stressed and overwhelmed. A budget is your families financial life line and helps to get you and your spouse on the right page for future.

  • Gather your bills and financial records
  • I used Excel but there are free worksheets online
  • List all our bills, the amounts and due date. Make sure you are honest about your debt. We divided all our bills by the weeks in the month and I am going to put that amount away each week.

We are going to start to track our spending. We each have a little notebook we will write anything we spend, even a gumball. This way we can see the so called leaks in our budget. We have decided to get a reciept for all our transactions as to not forget to track.

– This week we also started our saving account through ING DIRECT We have finally started an emergency fund. Our goal is to put $10 a week away until we get $1000. Through all our financial struggles I have realized we don’t have at extra and we all need that cushion. I have always thought when we get our debt paid down then I will start saving, well this year my debt doubled due to my husband’s closed business. Another Valuable Lesson; one step at a time, $10 a week.

– Now we have the budget filled out, tracking spending and our saving started now what?  You need to know your total income and subtract your expenses. For us it was negative, Then you look at all the expenses you’ve track and you cut the expenses you can, like eating out, the quick trips to the store that cost you $60. and like my daughter soon became aware of $4 latte.

When you have all your expenses and income tracked you like me will finally have the blinders off. The budget that I was so resistant to have because I thought it was to restricting has made me feel I am finally in charge of my financial future.

Have a blessed day and happy budgeting!

Starting over & renewing of spirits!

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas. This year it wasn’t about the stuff it was just the time with family. Now that the Christmas season is coming to a close and a New Year is upon us I am feeling it is time for fresh starts and a renewing of spirits.
This year started off  a wonderful year our business was booming. The business was Non-emergency medical transportation and home care. We had 15 employees and 6 vehicles 3 were ambulettes and 3 were new minivans. Our average billing for a week was 8-10k, The transportation part of our business had a high over head but we were sailing nicely.
Then came the gas prices, a competitor beat our price and we lost a major contact, our clients weren’t able to pay and our director of home care quit. We may have closed a little before we had too but I didn’t want not to be able to pay our employees, that had worked so hard for us.
When you close your business you have many emotions and I think the biggest for me was failure. Then you have those close to you that have to add their I told you so’s and you heart aches and the darkness sets in.
With the closing of the business we have taken on additional  debt. This is something I have been so ashamed of and haven’t told anyone but I feel I need to get it off my chest and start living and working on the debt. I want to track our progress and see how things work out.

  • We sold 4 of the 6 vehicles so Randy and I have 2 Van Payments, Many say sell one but they are worth less then we owe and we don’t have the extra to put on them to clear the title. So we have been kicking butt to pay on them until we can sell and it will clear the title.
  • 2 credit cards with $8,000.00 (We haven’t had credit cards for years so this is a new experience)
  • Workman’s Comp we owe $500.00 a month for 3 more months.
  • 50,000.00 Business loan
  • 20,000.00 equity loan

Approximately 100,000.00 in debt then there is our own family debt and I have to say it is good we have been frugal.

Our home, utilities, insurance, cable, cell phone. The normal everyday things.

The business is like the elehant in the room but I have decided to eat one bite at a time to eliminate our debt. Please pray and I will update our progress and God willing it will be light and easy.

The calm after the storm!

Wow, Christmas is over and it is the the financial calm after the storm. I will give you some of my frugal tips but, I am always looking for more so if you have a tip or two drop me a line.

  • Learn to live within your means and start living! I think for so long we have had the idea we deserve stuff, that we out of the habit of living in our means. When I ask seniors what advice they would give our younger generation, most answered Learn to live within you means.
  • Try Generic brands Generics are typically cheaper and did you know many generics are produced by brand name companies.Try it you may like it!
  • Eat less meat How about Meatless Mondays.
  • Eat your leftovers We recreate them and I say they are Right Under your nose!
  • Drink more water Don’t buy water bottles. We keep a water pitcher in the fridge and the family is more likely to drink water. This also saves on soft drinks.
  • Stockpile when prices are low
  • Always shop with a list
  • Don’t shop when you are hungry
  • Try not to linger at the grocery store. If you are like me you are more apt to buy more.
  • Go shopping alone You are more likely to spend less without the extra hungry help.
  • Check you receipt Saves money, time and gas!
  • Bring you own green bags In our town there is talk about paying a 5 cent tax on each store bag we use. So I figure I will get used to it and save money and resources.

Here are some of my money saving grocery tips. If you have any you would like to add email me at; Candyh@dealwithitsimply.com

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. As I am writing this my husband said: Hon, I haven’t even made pies yet” We have been very busy this week with the last minute home cleanings. I am not complaining the Lord has blessed us with work. We have 2 to clean today then we are off for 4 days to enjoy time with our families and to make pies!

I hope with this Holiday we remember the reason for the season. We couldn’t have Christmas without Christ. Christmas is a time to remember a gift we all were given over 2000 years ago, wrapped in swaddling clothes.

God’s Blessings on you and your Family this season, Candy

How to mentor frugal frauds!

Ways to mentor frugal frauds on laundry:

  1. Homemade fabric softener; 2 Cups cheap conditioner, 3 cups Vinegar and 6 Cups water. Mix and store in a container and use it just like your regular fabric softener.
  2. Cut fabric softener sheets in half and they can be used more then once.
  3. Only wash full loads of laundry, weather 1 thing or a full load you use the same amount of water.
  4. Learn to use 1 Tablespoon laundry soap
  5. I have been considering the girls doing their own laundry. I bet the multiple changes would diffidently change.
  6. Hang clothes and use the dryer less. We have a solar dryer outside, a clothes line. In the winter I have a rod above my washer to hang clothing. The moisture adds to our home.
  7. Clean the lint trap after each use.
  8. Vinegar also makes a frugal fabric softener.
  9. Take clothes out of the washer right away so you don’t have to rewash them and waste water.
  10. Things that can be worn more then once- Jeans, bras, Pajamas and sweats.
  11. Hang your towel to dry and you can use it again.

All are savings when it comes to Laundry.

Frugal Fraud!

My husband, Randy was doing laundry when he said to me “we are frugal frauds!” For those that know me this was a cut to my heart. I said how can you say that? He showed me how our children cleaned their rooms and threw the clothes we had washed the day before back into the laundry. We have gone to extremes to save water in our home since in two years our water rates have doubled. I’ll give you our water saving tips in my next post. So my husband was ticked that this was their mode of cleaning their room.  In reality they were too lazy to put them away and it is easier for mom or dad  to wash them again.  Being frugal is my walk and it isn’t always my children.

This term Frugal Fraud has stuck in our home. When I forget leftovers and have to throw them away, Stop by a drive thru for a quick meal or wash the clean clothes. In our home we don’t always do things as “frugally” (a word I think needs to be in the dictionary) as we should but we are on the right path. I just have to figure out how to get my children on the path with Randy and I.

The word frugal in the dictionary says avoids waste.

I belong to a group online called Frugal Village I told them our frugal fraud exprience and many have had frugal fraud moments and have decided to try a little harder.

No strings attached!

I think most of are leary when we here the phrase NO STRINGS ATTACHED! In our society we have became suspicious of gimmicks with no stings attached because we have come to know if it sounds to good to be true it probably is! In my life I have received a few gifts with No strings attached and my heart was touched.

Have you every received a gift with no strings attached? A gift that was given without the givers name, wrapped neatly, quietly given? No expectations on the givers part. It was given for no other reason then for you.

This week it happened again! My husband was at church and a person handed him an orange envelope and said “here someone told me to give this to you” My husband said who and she said I don’t remember it was a little while ago.  He thought OK and was carrying it around almost forgot it by the coffee machine, dropped it in the parking lot when a member needed help in to her car, got home set it on the counter and ate lunch. I was cleaning up after lunch and I said “Who’s is this and he said “Oh I forgot someone handed that to me at church” I opened it and a note which read;

All the days and every moment of your life were written by God and laid out before you were born. Psm 139:16

Remember when God takes something from your grasp: He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better.

The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.

May the Lord bless and keep you always.

I won’t tell the amount but it was substantial and we are truly blessed. When we received this gift I thought boy this must be a mistake, why would someone do this for us we aren’t worthy. Are any of us worthy?  This Christmas season I want us to remember a another gift given to us with No Strings Attached, that was given for no other reason then for us. A savior born in a stable, Laying in a manger. No grand entrance, wrapped in swaddling clothes.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.    John 3:16