Yesterday I posted about my written budget.
I listed the categories that I use.
You have to personalize your budget to your own lifestyle.
My biggest expenses are my equity loan payment and my horse's board.
I can't do much about either one of those.
I don't have a house payment.
The things I could think about changing are these:
I could get rid of my land phone which I think I will do.
My cable is my mobile phone and my computer service also so I can't get rid of cable.
My TV is satellite.
I have very minimum basic so I don't want to get rid of TV altogether if I don't have to.
I cannot get rid of my lawn care or snow plowing because I can't do those myself.
My handyman is also a necessity now as he does things or helps me do things around outside in the summer that I cannot do myself.
I can possibly get rid of my cleaning service. I only have them come once a month mostly to clean my hardwood floors. But I could cut that if necessary, which would save about $80./mo.
I was getting a massage twice a month and foot reflexology every week but I have cut those for the past 2 months which is a savings of $177./mo.
I decided not to buy or lease a new car so I am keeping my 2003 Honda.
So I have no car payment.
Maintenance has been minimal so far.
I don't drive far so gas is also minimal even when the price was higher.
As I've gotten older, especially the last couple years, my medical expenses have been higher.
I have good coverage and drug coverage but there's still things that you have to pay out yourself.
I have upped the deductible on all my insurances.
I have unsubscribed to all magazines and newspaper.
I have no automatic payments going out to charities anymore.
I will always have vet bills because I will always have pets!
Unfortunately, I am still over budget every month!
A lot of it is from those expenses that come once or twice a year that I haven't set aside a fund for.
I have to figure out how to do that.
I think I will try to call my utility, cable and satellite companies and try to get my fees reduced.
I heard you should try that!
I also know I can get my grocery bill for the month down.
That's something I can work on right now.
Cook at home. Don't eat out.
When possible use what you already have in your freezer and pantry.
Menu plan and buy only things from the list you take to the store.
Don't ever forget your list and try to wing it!
Don't shop when you're hungry.
If you have Aldi, shop there!
It's amazing how much less you'll pay and their brands are just as good.
Buy fruits and vegetables in season.
Don't scrimp on quality.
I buy organic when possible and I won't stop that. So look for sales and the best prices elsewhere if Aldi doesn't have it.
Go meatless at least twice a week.
These are the things I know will work.
The thing I am having trouble with is my willingness to give up some things
how I am distributing the money in my envelopes at the beginning of the month.
I don't think the answer is robbing from other envelopes to buy groceries I want.
The answer has to be to reduce the money in the other envelopes because obviously I've put too much in them!
And CUT DOWN MY GROCERY SHOPPING!!
How will I do that????
The first thing I am trying is menu planning.
Also, ONLY SHOPPING AT ALDI!
I'll let you know how that goes.
if any of you have any ideas about any of this, please leave me a comment!