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improving "personal" economy

September 27th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I had posted earlier that I have been pretty depressed about the economy, and some of you talked about your personal economy. You inspired me. You are right. I can't control what's going on out there, but that doesn't mean I am powerless.

So, I am attempting to reclaim some power in our personal household economy.

-I have capped the amount of money we are allowed to spend each week on everything: groceries, gas, formula, incidentals. If we stay at or under the target, we will have more to put in savings every pay check.

We hit the target on week one, and it looks as though we will hit it again. We have had some incidentals, so it looks as though this budget will work.

-I reordered the bill due dates so that similar dollar amounts of bills are due during each pay period. This is only for budgeting. all of our monthly obligations used to come out of one check. This simple move showed me how much we really have left over each week.

-I am trying harder to save money and track spending. The coupon folder is back in my purse.
I am once again looking at grocery sale fliers.
I'm buying as many groceries as possible at Aldi again.
I'm only buying what's absolutely necessary on every trip.
I'm trying to combine trips to save gas.
I'm trying to cook as much as possible at home to save on take-out.
And, I'm trying to do house projects I already have the supplies for, rather than start anything new.

This hopefully will have a positive impact on our finances. Regardless, I feel more in control, which makes me happier.

7 Responses to “improving "personal" economy”

  1. HouseHopeful Says:

    I think thats a great idea. There are things you can control and things you can't. Work on what you can Smile

  2. whitestripe Says:

    fabulous work Smile and you sound a lot more positive too which is good to hear. personally i'm trying to make more cheaper meals (of course the number one priority for us is that they are healthy and nourishing, but cost is now just as important) and we are saving eating out for very special occasions, or situations where we aren't able to avoid it.

  3. Petunia Says:

    I've got to think that if we all improved our personal economies it would only help the national economy. Isn't overspending on a grand scale part of what got our nation here? (Not trying to stir up a political discussion though. Smile )

    I think I will borrow your weekly spending caps idea. We are having a bit of a deficit problem in Checkbook Number 1. . .

  4. marvholly Says:

    I have ALWAYS had weekly/monthly spending caps for entertainment, household and personal (gas, clothes, haircuts, mani/pedi).

    Probably why I have enough saved so my job loss 2 months ago is not really hurting me. Just a bit more careful.

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    Atta girl, that's the spirit.

    I too am under the pressure of the big economy. But regardless of the storm, we can still choose to swim or drown.

    I choose to swim.

  6. Homebody Says:

    Me too! Especially since I quit my job 2 months ago (due to pain). And great going on the tomatoes, etc, I am jealous. However, I do have a huge bowl of free apples to process into apple butter and frozen pie filling.

  7. ThriftoRama Says:

    I wish I could trade you some apples for some tomatoes!

    Marv: We have used caps in the past, to great success. We just kind of lost sight of it with the children and all of the repairs the house needed. Plus, we both have freelance jobs in addition to one full-time salary. Our budget was based on that, but our freelance income has dropped by 2/3 thanks to the recession, and we had yet to adjust for that. I guess we'd hoped it was temporary.

    We haven't gone into debt or anything, we just haven't been doing as well as we could be on saving. And, we certainly have not done as well in the past. I am trying to adjust for our decrease in income by cutting even more on the spending side.

    And, with the economy as uncertain as it is, I think it's best to save as much as possible every pay check.

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