Shifting to one income Part 2

I am still thinking how to live on 1 income. We discussed about budgeting and food saving ideas.  If you missed part 1

Cutting out convenience- If you were to ask a group of us what is a convenience?  I bet we would all have different ideas.  This is sometimes a hard thing to do, but if you do you will save your budget some cash.

  • Quit using credit cards– The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7  When we use credit cards and can’t pay them back at the end of the month. We are Living beyond our means.
  • Live within your means! Save for what you want! Anything worth having is worth waiting for!
  • Look for thing you can do without. The usual things like newspaper and eating out, but how can you push it a little and really save. Maybe the cable or consolidating to one car.
  • Use less– Shampoo, laundry soap is a great place to start, but how about water. Shower take less water then a bath. Only wash full loads of laundry, full loads in the dishwasher and we only fill one of the soap cups and our dishes come out great.
  • Hair cuts– I have always done our own hair cuts but now my boys like their hair a little longer so it is getting harder. We receive coupons from a local hair salon for $6. Then I can keep it up for a while and save.
  • Barter–  Goods and services we are all looking for ways to save and this is a great way. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
  • Car pool– to work, shopping and errands and it is better to be with a friend.
  • Bulk club membership– like Sam’s or Costco go with a friend and split the fee. I can’t say I always find the best deals at my club, but it doesn’t hurt to look and you will find them.

What are some convenience you are doing without I would love to hear. Have a great night, Candy

Shifting to one income Part 1

I have heard  more of my friends and relatives say they are out of work. I was thinking about Shifting to one income…can it be done? Yes, it can and want to talk about how we can do it.You can be an income saver. There has been a shift back to the days when family and community are more important than the stuff!

I was never a budget person, but I have found now I see where my money is going. Here are a few tips to help you plug a few leaks out of your budget.

  1. Track your spending for a few weeks. Keep you receipts, statements and checkbook register you will must likely have a few whoa moments seeing it right in front of you where your money is going.  This will start you on the right track.
  2. When Randy and I first sat down to do a budget it was great to communicated. It is funny when you have it all written out you can actually see where your money is going.
  3. The first few times we sat down to pay bills together we were excited and wished we had more money to pay more. Don’t get discouraged.

One of the biggest way for your family to cut back is food.

  1. Beans and rice diet– Dave Ramsey is always talking about beans and rice. This is his expression to remind us to get back to the basics. Cook at home, plan those meals and save!
  2. Angel food Ministry and Great Food for all are both organization that work through a host site which are usually churches or senior centers. You receive a box for $30 and each month there is a different menu and you can buy additional items for different fees. Checkout their sites for locations in your area.
  3. Skim the fat – While shopping I sometimes pick up snacks or convenience foods. If you cut back on this buying then you will skim some off your budget  and save on our health.
  4. Make sure working extra isn’t sucking the life out of your budget! I noticed when Randy were so busy working an extra job we were accepting of spending the money to eat out. I was tired and had that we deserve attitude again. I think any extra money we did make I spent on convenience. It just wasn’t worth it.
  5. Coupons– First, I want to say I used to hate coupons. I could never find the coupon I needed when I needed it. I had to get organized and I have to say you will spend time looking for deals, but you will save money and find items you may not have tried before!  I learned a lot here is our WTOL video to show you what we do.
  6. Pantry/stockpile– I have said it before, but want to again. Take an inventory of what you have in your pantry, freezer and cupboards. You will be surprised what you find and you will save money not buying what you already have. Challenge yourself to use what you have shop your own home and save!

Have a blessed day, Candy

Keeping up with how the Joneses appear!

On Saturdays we like to watch keeping up appearances on PBS.  It is like “Keeping up with the Joneses”  (coined by Arthur “Pop”  R. Momand a cartoonist in the above picture). The main character Hyacinth Bucket which she pronounces Bouquet. Always has to keep up the appearance she is better, richer and more important than those around her. She stresses must days over hosting candle light suppers and let those now how expensive her Blue periwinkle dishes are while you are using them. Frivolous Things!

I was thinking how many time I compare what I am doing to what others are doing or appear to be doing. I sometimes think and feel others are living their life better making better decisions and doing more than we, but maybe those around are just an average Joe or Jones trying to keep up appearances.

If you ever get the chance to talk with your neighbors you may find they are struggling, maybe not doing as well as things have appeared. I read somewhere “Why keep up with the Joneses because they are broke!” My husband Randy once told me perception is reality…What people perceive is real to them. Perception my be how things appear, but may not be how things really are. I guess this is my food for thought. Don’t compare to how things appear!

For our family being frugal has been a journey…frugal doing tough and frugal during good. I want to do the best with what the Lord has entrusted to me. Being a good steward and a role model.

God’s Blessings on you day, Candy

Do Without! Series Part 4

Have you ever really thought about what you could do without? I could think of some easy things and then the ones that would be hard.

Do Without….

  • Cable- This is something we have toyed with for the last few weeks. We bought a digital antenna and are working on getting it hooked up. I do love my lifetime movies, but I have found many shows are on the computer. I will let you know in the coming weeks.
  • TV? I have to tell you I use my TV watching to unwind. I think of what is on and it is all about murder, death and sex. I just had a thought of the song ;Slow Fade by, Casting Crowns.    I really want to find something more worthy of my time.
  • Daily Newspaper? One thing I have noticed is our Toledo Blade is getting smaller and smaller. The Sunday paper is really what I like for the coupons, but I could just get those from friends. Another thing to think about.
  • Cell Phones- We have 6 which was a decision we thought would connect us to our children, because of their various activities. Our youngest, Ben told us he is the only one of his friends that didn’t have one and watching the children walking out of school I would agree with him. Now I am thinking he could have always borrowed one from a friend and saved me $10 a month.

What are you going without? I would love to hear. Have a blessed day, Candy

Make it do… Series Part 3

Make it do or like many of us say make do. When Randy and I were first married we had a well we deserve it attitude to justify buying out of our means. Now that we are older and have had our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace classes behind us we are learning. Making it do is a great way for us to add to our budget and live within our means.

Make it do…

  • Shop in the fridge, cabinets and freezer- I am surprised what I find when I look. Take an inventory of what you have and save buying more. When we are the most broke we eat the best because I plan better.
  • sweeper bag full and you are out?  I have been known to unroll the top of bag, empty and re-staple and ready to go!
  • Live on less- Living on less is hard, but once you get used to it you need to keep it up when things get better.
  • We keep our thermostat at 62° and where sweaters or cover with a blanket while lying around. We are used to it now and don’t really have to do anything different.  Lower temperature, do it gradual and it isn’t such a shock.

I found a great website called Making it Do Calli is the blogger and she is a mom of 3 children. She came up with the blog title for her grandmother that made do and she is  “taking a lemon and making lemonade.” I spent my whole evening looking at all the wonderful things she is doing and I feel like I know her. Checkout her site I am sure you will love it!

Making it do is a great way to be a good steward. See how you can make do and stretch. I would love to hear what you are doing. God’s blessings, Candy

Wear it out! Series part 2

Wear it out….

  • When I got thinking about this subject the first thing I should wear out is my Bible. I heard a saying once “The owner of a Bible falling apart usually isn’t!’ My food for thought this morning.

For me wear it out is about caring, repairing and loving what you have. Take care of what you have so it last and you won’t have the added cost and this will surely add to our budgets.

  • Our body– This is something we don’t want falling apart. Have you ever thought we only have one body? We need to care for that one body.
  • Use things until you can’t use them anymore and save! Example: We have had the same tv for 21 years until this year, why? Our children would wake up and say can’t you hear that? Randy and I would say No… It was a high pitch noise that when you are over 30 you can’t hear.I guess it is something good about aging. We kept that TV until it wouldn’t work.We wore it out!
  • If you can no longer use something or it is not your style…Donate it and don’t throw it away! In our area we have Freecycle This is in different areas and people post what they are giving away or what they are looking for. Check it out. I also belong to Plantcycle where we trade plant starts and bulbs.
  • When I was a kid if you had jeans with a hole in the knee you would patch it, now it is in style to wear them like that. My Nephew Patrick bought jeans for $100 all ripped up and I told him “why not go to the Good Will and find some” he didn’t want anything to did with it, but he could save the money and buy something that would last!

What do you wear out? Let me know and have a blessed day, Candy

Use it up! Series Part 1

Yesterday, I told you about a saying that was used during the Great Depression that was “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Do without.”

In my Series of being a good steward today is Use it up!

What are some things that help us to use it up?

  • I think the biggest thing is using up leftovers. When I forget the leftovers and they go bad I feel terrible. I need to see them in the fridge, I don’t like to have them covered in foil or in containers I can’t see what is in them because I will forget them. Leftovers add to you grocery saving and add more to your budget!

Leftover meat– use it in wok I remember on time my husband saying “I would have never thought about leftover meatloaf in wok, but it works!”

Leftover vegetables– I have a container in my freezer and all little bits of leftover vegetables I put in the container and when I make soup I add those veggies.

  • Shampoo and conditioner is as simple as turning the bottle upside down.
  • In our home it always seems we have you had a bit of chips, crackers or cereal left in the bag or box no one seems to finish? I love to crunch them up and use them in a meatloaf.
  • Little pieces of soap… you can mold it to a bigger bar of soap or put the little piece in your hand soap dispenser with a little water and make hand soap. My children don’t always like it , bit it works!
  • Laundry soap turning it upside down is one way, but I also rinse it out and squeak out another load.
  • Butter wrappers– When you open a new stick of butter put the wrapper in a plastic bag and save it for buttering a pan are dish for baking or cooking.
  • Envelopes you receive with offers- Use them as scrap paper to write your shopping or to do list. I also Like to cut a corner of and envelope and use it as a bookmark a great think for the kids to make. you can have them make it into a mouse.
  • We seem to always mess up when printing something in the printer. If you do flip it over and reuse that paper if it is something the kids don’t need to turn in for school or use it as scratch paper… you can leave the notes for each other on it. I fold it into 4th and cut and stack and staple in the corner. This works for quick notes to the kids.

Maybe we need a Use it up challenge… I would love it hear what you are using up. Let me know, Candy