Yesterday I was reading twitter, and saw that J.Money mentioned that he "loved" credit cards. I couldn't get the statement out of my head, so this morning I headed over to Budgets are Sexy and read the blog explaining why that was in fact.
Here was my response:
I am a faithful Dave Ramsey follower, so I have been trained to believe that credit cards are the devil reincarnate. That being said, if I could use them responsibly I can see the “benefits”. I just do not have that control over purchase just yet. For example, when I go to the grocery store with my budgeted $80 cash in my envelope, I know that I can’t spend more then that $80. Plain and simple, otherwise I risk looking like a dork asking the cashier to take items off my order. Now, if I were to take my credit card (which I do not even carry with me — ever) I am way more likely to go over said budgeted amount. Maybe I would only go over $5 or $10, no biggie, I can handle that. But it’s all those “overs” that do a person in. For me it’s a self control issue. Spending cash is way harder then handing over the plastic. I urge you to use cash only for one week, and see how it feels. See if it makes a difference in your budget.
I have mixed emotions on the subject, and while I understand people's logical explanation of why they use and adore credit cards, I just don't think that it would work for our family. Just too much temptation.
Since Jason is so anti-trampoline, I think Ava has talked Daddy into building a sandbox instead. I found this easy step-by-step tutorial, and I think if this weekend it nice, it might be a fun family project.
While I have ZERO complaints about our financial situation, we are credit card debt free, the truck is VERY close to being paid off, and we are only left with some stubborn student loans. Jason makes a good living, and loves his job. I can't ask for much more then that. But as the "home economist" (sounds sassy doesn't it), I know that I can do better then what I have been doing.
Here is what my plans to do better RIGHT NOW include.
Go back to the ol' B... that's right, the budget. Is it fun? Not really. Is it cool? That's subjective. Is it sexy? Some people think so. But in all reality, the bottom line is this: they work. You need to tell your money where to go. Or as my main man Dave Ramsey says, "On paper, on purpose". I have always preferred to construct a weekly budget. I think they are easier to manage, control, and if you screw up, you are mere days away from starting fresh. What works one week won't necessarily work the next, and until you become an old pro, this is a great way to dip your feet in and test the budget waters.
Weekly meal planning, and grocery shopping with purpose and a list. I have been utilizing Super Cook to find new, and easy recipes with the ingreditents I already have. This not only cuts back on the grocery bill, but makes sure what we have is getting used and not going to waste. There is nothing worse then finding out the lettuce has gone bad, the carrots are soggy, and you find some kind of mystery meat in the bottom of the freezer, to me, it's wasteful and inexcusable.
Staying out of the stores. Easier said then done right? Well, in my own personal experience I have found that I cannot go into Target or Wal-Mart for just a few things. I always get side tracked and end up buying something that not only do I not need, but shouldn't be spending the money on it anyways. While I am not saying that you can never go into another store ever again, it is important to make a list, stick to it and get the heck out of there. A little trick I have learned is to tape a little note to myself, such as "do I really need this", "can I afford it" or something of the like. It helps reduce the amount of impulse purchases.
CASH CASH CASH - I MUST start using the envelope system again, if you don't know what this is, be sure to click on the link to read more about it.
It's amazing how much a little tweaking can really save your family's finance. Every little bit helps, and I feel it's my duty and responsibility to maintain a happy home environment. I don't ever what to have finances ruin our family, or cause anyone any stress. Each day, I need to remind myself that I CAN DO BETTER.
Need a quick and easy dinner idea? Take a look at this tasty recipe that I found! I never thought of freezing burritos, but I think I want to give this a try. I will do a follow up post with how they turned out.
Do you have any quick "go to" recipes that freeze well? I find it so much easier to pack Jason leftovers then figure out what to pack on a daily basis, on top of figuring out breakfast, lunch and dinner options for all 6 of us.