So let’s talk budgeting. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I think we probably all do. I absolutely LOVE making a budget. Doesn’t it always look better on paper?! But the part that I have a hard time with is… sticking to it. Can I get an amen?!
In December Travis and I sat down and talked through some dreams and goals we have for our family this upcoming year. Things that will take careful budgeting and discipline to make those dreams and goals a reality. We talked through what worked this past year as far as our budget and what didn’t work. We by NO means of the imagination are masters at it. I think like anything you figure out what works best for your family.
One of the biggest requests I have gotten is for me to start back up our Living Small Series. I think the topic of budgeting and Living Small go hand in hand together. Which is why we’re starting here!
So here are a few of the ways our family is going to cut back and save this upcoming year:
+Adjust your budget monthly: we have found that our budget changes every month. Not drastically. But new needs come up and older ones are eliminated. Kids need new clothes for changing seasons/growth, cars need maintenance, birthdays/holidays. At the beginning of the month we pencil out the needs for that month and adjust our budget accordingly.
+Need or Want: Oh man. This gets me good. We are really doing our best to put on our “Need or Want” mentality any time we are making a purchase. Obviously we’re only a few days into January but I am amazed at how much money we have saved in this short amount of time asking ourselves this simple question. We are working on saying “no” right now so that later on we can say “yes” to some of those dreams!
+Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping Once a Week: Since having a baby in July I had not been meal planning as regularly as I should have. Which meant we ate out a LOT more than we should have. This year my goal is to do a weekly meal plan and get all of our groceries ONCE a week instead of going to the store several times or eating out because we don’t have what we need at the house. Also– I am trying to use up all of our leftovers which is a big deal for me. I hate leftovers haha!
+Amazon Prime: I’ve been utilizing this for the past few months and LOVE it! Thanks to my mom for encouraging me to take advantage of it. 🙂 I am now purchasing our diapers, cleaning supplies, toiletries and all paper products from here. I use the Shop and Save feature which helps to cut down on these costs! Plus I love that I’m not having to get all of these bulky supplies on my grocery runs. Free Shipping for the win!
+Eating Out ONLY Once a Week: We know that realistically we still will want to eat out. Our favorite ways to save eating out are going to restaurants where kids eat free (hellooooo savings for our family haha!). This past week we went out for Mexican and were able to eat for $20 total (4 free kids meals, 2 taco salads and 6 waters!).
These are the biggest things that our family is focusing on this next year as far as budgeting goes. It’s funny how simple it really is if you think about it. The easiest way to save money is to just not spend it! I would love to hear what some of your budgeting tips are that work well for YOUR family!