Day two of our week-long series! If you missed Part One, make sure to check it out.
- I just don’t know where to start? Soooo, where do I start? 🙂 Where did you start? Are you following any sort of program or did you develop you own thing. Yep, when I read your post I sang it–This is how we dooOOooo it…
You should start – at the beginning! 😀 Barry and I started on Day 1. We went on our honeymoon with our budget in hand….but we’re weird geeks like that. So, start with your next paycheck. Make a budget. See how much money you actually have to work with. That will let you know if you DO have enough money and you’re just not behaving – or it will let you know you have an income problem and you should try to find a better job/extra work. We follow/followed Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps plan the entire time – we’re still following it. Check out the link to see all the steps. If you need help setting up a budget, just sign up to get Barry’s free budgeting eBook by signing up for the email on the right side of the screen.
- I am REALLY interested in this series!! Thank you for doing this. I am mostly interested in your grocery budget, what you buy, where you shop and how you store bulk and your cooking routines since you follow a real food plan…Our groceries seem to be our most out of control expense and meal planning is where I need the most help. I love to cook, but I can never make a good plan and it seems like food is sooo expensive here in Southern California… Thank you again…
I hope you’ll still be interested at the end of the series. Ha! Well, I’ll just tell you that my grocery budget varies each month. It’s usually between $300-350 – and there are three of us currently in our household. The reason it varies is because some months I might need to stock up on meat (venison processing, organic chicken sale) or other bulk purchases. We just discuss it before the month begins and add that extra $50 if we need it. As for exactly what I buy in bulk, where I get it, and how much I pay you might want to check out this post I recently wrote for Modern Alternative Mama called Stacy’s Price List – I list all my major purchases there. Every week I post our meal plan so you can get a general idea of how I cook and I put those up on Monday. For an idea about how I meal plan, see my Meal Planning post. Bulk storage is a favorite topic of mine – so I won’t post too much here in order to avoid putting you into a coma and increasing your medical bills. Here I post about storing in bulk and you can see all my pretty containers….I like jars. No, I LOVE jars. Jars rock. Get jars. Lots of jars. Big jars and little jars. And in response to your comment about your out of control grocery bill, try getting your grocery money out in CASH each month – it’s hard to spend too much when you don’t have any money. Ha! 😆
- What was your first step? How did you set your budget up and decide how much to pay to who? What did you find to be the hardest change you made financially? Any advice on how to deal with those changes for people starting a new budget/financial plan?
Great, GREAT question! Our first step was to set up a budget immediately. If you need help with that, make sure to sign up for Barry’s free eBook and that will get you started. You’ll decide who gets what by writing all your bills down and seeing how far your paycheck will go towards paying those bills. If you have enough money, great. If you don’t, you need more money. That’s a given, right? How much do you pay to whom? You pay what you have to the people you owe – and if you don’t have enough, then you have to prioritize. Pay the most important bills first – housing, electricity, food, etc. If you’re low on money, then the credit card bills can wait. Yes, I said that. You should always EAT and you should always attempt to pay for your home – otherwise, you’re on the street.
Our hardest change wasn’t really hard….because we’re used to being weird. But, cutting your budget to the bare bones and doing without will make others look at you funny. Sometimes our family has a hard time understanding why Barry and I say no to extravagant vacations and fancy cars. They’re just not important to us – we’d rather be debt free and save up money for later. To avoid this problem, and to avoid spending like The Jones, you must make sure you are RESOVLED in this new life – so that mean and snide comments won’t bother you and deter you from your goal. You can do this….you’re on the right path. STAY STRONG! And please let me know if I can help.
*This post is linked at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable.
For all the posts in this series, see links below: