Sunday, September 19, 2010

Do You Eat Out Too Often?

I know we do. Especially during the soccer and lacrosse seasons, which are also big ballet seasons, so we find ourselves in a rush all of the time. Grabbing fast food along the way is so easy, but bad for your heart and your wallet. I have begun using the crockpot a lot more, starting it right after lunch before the afternoon gets crazy. There are a lot of great recipes you can hit for the crockpot. Try!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Buying a Lot Less for Back to School This Year

Given my husband's lack of a job, and the economy still a mess, I am buying considerably less this year in terms of school supplies, clothing and the like. I normally spend at least $500 on all of the above, but this year I am hoping to keep it under $300. No big clothing shopping sprees, for sure!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Buy the Basics First

I got kind of caught up in the coupon game without being more strategic. I was so excited about all of the things I could get for 75% off and more that I spent more money on the "deals" than I did on the important basics this past month. Note to self: buy the basics first (bread, milk, meat, etc) and then use what is left over on the amazing deals, especially on toiletries, condiments, and the like. I have way too many toothpastes and bottles of ketchup right now! I am learning this game, and hope to have it down pat within a few months.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Encouraging our Husbands When They Are Down

My husband, like many out there today, is dealing with unemployment. He looks so sad and tired tonight. He goes to a coffee shop everyday with his laptop and works on finding a job, sending out resumes, emails, and calls people he knows who might have leads. He confided yesterday how bad he feels about putting his family in this position, which of course isn't his fault, but he feels responsible. I just want to hug him and reassure him of our love for him, our faith in him and in God who has all things in His hands. Men need to work. Their self-esteem is so acutely tied to their jobs, and when they can't work, they struggle with the self-worth. My job as his wife is to build him up and remind him that God has a plan, and that his worth is in his identity in Christ, not in what he does.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teaching Our Kids About Credit and Savings

My parents didn't talk much at all with us about personal finance. I didn't have a great grasp of the importance of socking away money in savings every month for emergencies, or of the dangers of credit cards. I do now, unfortunately, but I do not want my kids to learn the hard way like I did. I think we should sit down and have a big heart to heart with each of them, just like we do about saving sex for marriage, to warn them away from debt. How have you helped your kids to be savers and debt-averse?

Monday, August 23, 2010

School Supplies: Stop Up Now!

I have learned that stocking up on school supplies at Target, WalMart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid and other grocery stores, while there are coupons online to be had, combined with amazing deals is the way to go for big savings. Buy as much as you can and it will last all year, at far less than the amount the same things will cost later in the year! Office Max has some great deals as well! I need to get a graphing calculator for one of my middle schoolers and I see that they have some good ones for less than one hundred dollars right now with in store discounts and mail in rebates.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Six Months Worth of Emergency Savings is Now a Must

Before it felt like that was a luxury. We had a little bit of savings here and there, but never felt that we could ever put away enough money to even have one month's salary in the bank. I realize now that we needed to start with a small goal and work up instead of just blowing off the bigger goal entirely. God has always provided, but we are in a pinch now and could really use that emergency fund!! Never again will be live off of everything he makes, but definitely less, by the grace of God, so we can save a whole lot more for unforeseen expenses!