Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Budget Time!

Recently I have discovered how much we have been digging into our savings, mainly because of Christmas and mainly because Hubby came home and wanted to buy things, which is fine and all, but concidering we are PCS'ing in March to Fort Bragg, NC...we need to be keeping money in our savings account for a deposit on a home.
We've never ever lived in a house! We lived in a fourplex in our first home and now we live in a duplex. Because my husband is a Staff Sergent we do qualify for a 3 bedroom home on post at Bragg, and majority of the homes (at least on the site) are single homes. But after doing some research thanks to an AMAZING blogger and facebook friend, we found houses off post we really like, and are within our BAH range.
We are pretty excited about the homes we have found..I actually found my dream home but because its avalible right now, theres no way it will be avalible in March. But renting a home costs alot of money, which means the down payments are high too!
So here we go going into major budget time.

I decided that after December we will be putting at least $250 or more in savings a month, or at least a paycheck. I have started coming along on finding some deals, and trying to find different ways to budget around.

I finished Christmas shopping for Evelyn and Hubby so I have no more worries about that next month. We have R&R for a week in California which is going to cost us some money, but hopefully we can stick to it. I'd love for us not to dip into savings at all during our trip. But with my MIL, I seriously doubt she'll let us walk off without giving her money. end rant.
These are one of the times I am super glad we never owned a credit card, or have any debt! We bought a car and thats the only debt we have at the moment.
Because I think Grocery Shopping is the biggest money sucker, I decided that this payday (tomorrow) we will stock our freezer with meat! I made a menu for everyday of the month, for the time we are here and excluding Christmas, New Years and our Anniversary, so I know how much meat I need to buy. Therefore freeing up next payday for that major chunk of change. I already have steaks and hamburger meats from when they were on sale. Seriously the Hyvee Meat Counter is my friend. Then I will be buying all the things that will not go bad while we are away this pay period too! Saving us another chunk of change for next payday. Next paydays, after vacation grocery list is done and that has the items that can go bad on us while we are away. Not too much for the bill that payday.
I have to admit my plan is not full proof...I dont actually know how well this is going to work. I plan to not drive anywhere unless I have to, to save some gas money. No eating out. I am buying Evelyn more diapers and more formula so hopefully no more buying those for the rest of the month. I will be couponing at the store, since Hyvee has them plastered all over! But I am no expert. Also I dont make my husband lunch, he can make a sandwhich or something of that nature.
If anyone has any ideas on how to help me budget, please feel free to let me know! None of our meals are super expensive, we have hamburger helper on the menu for a few nights as well since thats so much cheaper to make. But I'm always looking for ways to save money and I think we could all use a little extra cash!
I'll let you know how my plan goes! Hopefully if it works in my favor we will be able to do it for a long time! It would be nice to only do one huge grocery shopping trip once a month!


Lou said...

please share any other budget ideas you come up with...we are digging into ours also.

Natalie and Remington said...

I know what you're going through with budgeting and all. We are saving up for a down payment on a house and we hope to be out of our basement apt by the end of march, when our lease is up. It is nice not owing any money to anybody though! No car payment, no student loans, no nothing! So, we thought it would be best to get in a house around now. I hope we can stick to our plan and just work our butt off and finally get our reward. Hopefully it will happen around then or we may need to ask the landlords to stay for a month or too more. Which I don't wanna do.

Cassidy said...

I've been following for a short time, but have become engrosed in your blog. That and I like to follow other military wives. I'm a ARMY wife on Ft. Hood, and my husband is deployed currently. Feel free to follow me if you'd like. I saw you're open to suggestions on saving. I hope you don't mind my input.

*Coupons at the Commissary. With my husband being home I spend no more than $100 per pay period. Set a limit.

* Saving is great: I save $500 per hubby pacheck and $500 per month of my paycheck.
* Lunchmeat, Soups and Bread I buy in bulk. I freeze the loafs of bread I don't use and soup and sandwhiches make just as good of a dinner as lunch.
* Packed lunch. I always pack a lunch for my hubby while he's home. This cuts down on gas I use to take him lunch and he doesn't eat out.
* I never eat out (maybe once a month during deployments). Save Save Save.
* Make larger dinners. Extras are great for lunches and dinners for the next day or 3. I do chili, soups w/ rice, hamburger helper with veggies added (larger), pastas with chicken and sauce, and spaghetti with meat. Those are some ideas. Roast can be great for left overs too with veggies or as a sandwhich. Stock on these.
* I drink a lot of water so I bought a Brita pitcher. No sodas, and rare on juices. This will cut down cost on extra liquids.
* Fill your gas tank up. It cost more to put 1/2 a tank after 1/2 a tank in, and yes drive only when you need to.
* Electricity: turn everything off especially during the day. I never turn lights on during the day and I have the electricty saving bulbs through out the entire house. My heater is set at 70 and I use my fireplace as much as I can when it's cold, or I bundle up. My water, I do the same.
* Water: Quick showers no more than 10 minutes. Wash all clothes in cold water. I wash 1 load per week (2 when the hubby is home). I keep them at MEDIUM load to cut down on water usage. Just think minimal usage. Same with the dishwasher.

I hope this helps. I'm a saver, especially with the hubby being deployed.

Cassidy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kelsey lauren said...

hey lovely!! while I'm really not a good budget-er because I only have myself to look after. But.. make sure you're still eating lots of produce! I don't know how much money you would really save having your won garden.. but it woul dbe a nice hobby and you would be able to have a few fresh veggies for free every now and then! or even a herb garden. Just some food for thought :)

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