Adventures in Budgeting Part 1

Over the last few weeks I’ve decided that our little family was going to go on a pretty strict budget. When I first had my surgery I got into a bad habit of seeing something that I wanted and then just buying it. No reasons other than “I want it.” I was talking to my husband about this and I told him that I think it was because I was so anxious about my own life that I had a void and just tried to fill it with things.

I can honestly tell you that “things” do not make you happy. I tried. Trust me… it doesn’t work. Each week I would have package after package sent to the house but it was never enough.

While recovering from my radiation treatment, I was in a room in our house that literally had a blow up mattress, my old tv from when I was in undergrad, and a package of water bottles. For an entire week I sat in this empty room. I was miserable because I felt horrible. I wasn’t miserable because I didn’t have anything in that room with me. My life felt uncluttered at the moment and that’s how I liked it. It felt less chaotic.

So over the weekend Daniel and I went through a mass purge. I cleaned out our pantry and donated a bunch of food that we would never eat. We cleaned out our closests and donated a whole CX 5 with the back seats folded down TRUNK FULL of clothes (winter jackets, business wear, casual clothes, shoes purses, and bags) to A Better Way. As well as a bunch of books, DVDs, and kitchen stuff. It felt good to lessen the load.

I can’t help thinking of how I got into the mindset of things over experiences. Things over enjoying life. Things to create happiness.

This begins our journey into budgeting so we can experience LIFE rather than having a closet full of things.

One of my friends added me into a Dave Ramsey group and I’ve already been learning a lot and I’ve realized new ways to cut costs.
We have started a $50 dollar a week amount for grocery shopping which we managed to go UNDER this week. If you haven’t tried Click List out by Kroger then you really should. It makes it super easy to stay within your limits as you see the amount you’re spending in your cart.
Last week was also the first week that we didn’t have any food waste! Before I was buying so much that every Saturday we would clean the fridge out and just throw away food that went bad. Talk about a complete waste of money…
I had two gym memberships? I made sure the cancel the one that I never use because I hate the gym. Like, seriously… you have a membership that you’re not even using!
I buy $70 worth of contacts EVERY month because I wear dailies (yay for calcium build up). I invested in a pair of frames that are lightweight and don’t bother the bridge of my nose so that I can extend the one pack out for two months. This saves $35! 
I’ve also started packing my breakfast AND my lunch. I was spending about $8 for breakfast and the same for lunch which is around $20 a day on something that you could have brought from home.
It’s amazing how much you spend when you don’t pay attention to what you’re spending. It’s almost fusterating in a sense that you want to just shake yourself for spending $8 on a smoothie! To see what I was spending, I printed out all my transaction history and highlighted in different colors to what I was spending. Pink for food, green for clothes, yellow for gas, etc etc. You’ll be completely amazed at how much money you just waste!

What are some tips you’ve been doing?

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