Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wedding Bells...

Nearly ten years ago, I married my best friend. *HURL* Haha. Just kidding. Though ten years ago I did marry my husband, who for the most part is a decent guy. WE've always exchanged presents for our anniversary, but this year, considering our finances, we're both a little leery on the idea of buying presents. Though I must say, he was THINKING of buying me a tennis bracelet and the thought alone makes up for NOT having the money to get it.

We talked about possibly me getting a kindle since I love to read, and him since he loves to drum getting some drum equipment. He was hesitant and said "but we dont' have any money." I agreed and suggested we "make" each other gifts. Not like macaroni art or anything cool like that, but more like using our innate talents to come up with something cool.

He's a musician, I suggested he write me a song. I, budding literarian that I am, said that I would write him a poem. All free gifts, things we would spend time working on, but not money. I thought it was a nice idea, but he was all like " I can't write a song. I never finish them." So, instead of writing his own, I suggested he learn to play the drum part of one of my favorites, "Hotel California". This way I could have my secret fantasy of singing in front of a group of people with out the people. Stage fright sucks.

He laughed it off, but I think the idea of making gifts might stick. We had Christmas this year and went cheap for the kids, buying clothes on clearance, toys at the dollar store etc. If we are serious on this quest to get out of debt, we've got to be more creative in what we choose to give each other.

I'm going to go work on my "Ode to Derik" now...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beware of wht you pay for...

Everyone is looking to save money,(especially us!) and we all go through a variety of differnt things to get that extra bang for our buck. Using coupons, shopping on clearance ailses etc. Like most people, I like to shop at the dollar store. for the most part I am pleased with the items I've purchased. One time I got a dustpan on a stick for sweeping. I still have it, it's fabulous, I love it. But recently I purchased some pencils for my literary quests and I am not pleased.

The pencils don't seem to sharpen on both sides. It's rather annoying and a pain to write with them. No matter what I do, these pencils won't sharpen properly. Grrrr.

I expressed my frustration on Facebook and I had a good number of commenters who sympathized with my plight. Moral of the store kids? Saving money SHOULDN'T mean passing on quality. Sure, those pencils only cost me a dollar, but they were practically unusable, so what did I save?

Someone must have slapped me with the hippy stick...

So in my quest to save money, I"ve been perusing the sale flyer a lot more closely. This week, my supermarket had a 2lb bag of carrots on sale for half price, 99 cents. I had bought a bag earlier in the week and decided to pick up a few more. Then a few more. And just a few more for good measure. In total, I purchased 6 bags.

I had in my mind that I would buy this amount of carrots so that I could make my own baby food for my 6 month old. I reasoned that two servings of premade baby food cost 99 cents and that I could get at least 6 servings out of each bag., making each serving a little more than 16 cents. BIG SAVINGS! Woe to me. For years I had mocked my friends for making baby food at home. Telling them that someone had to keep the Gerber people in business. I never thought about the savings from making it myself, not to mention that I am controlling the ingredients.

This week, I took the boiled potatoes and carrots I had made with corned beef (part of a two-night meal, first night corned beef, second night corned beef chili - a recipe I plan to use in another column/blog I write) and mashed them together. The leftover veggies have fed my son for 3 nights now. And we'll definitely get a fourth out of them.

So after careful reevaluation, I am now a maker of my own baby food. Cept for the prunes, Gerber's got that covered for me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Peeking out...

So, it's the new year and we're on track to getting ourselves completely out of unnecessary debt. By that, I mean credit cards. We've depended on them for a while now. Before I got married, I paid my cards off at the end month. Once we got married that changed. We began using cards and that turned ugly. It was "well I'll just charge it" and we got whatever we wanted. Now we are close to 10K in debt. We are a family of five (three of them being children under the age of 4) and it is hard to get everything we need each month without going over our salaries.

It really came to a head when we blew through about 3k in one month, that being December. We basically paid cash for Christmas presents and I sort of went on a spending spree. Luckily we have overdraft on our bank account otherwise we'd be paying a lot more in fees than the 70 bucks they took from us. So i decided no more, and now we are on a strict budget.

We spend only what we have. I've created a budget which will get all of our bills paid each month. Anything that is left over will either pay down debt or go into savings or be a cushion for expenses that I've forgotten. Keep checking back to see how we get ourselves out of debt and into savings.

Wish us luck!