I have mentioned before that Luke and I are dedicated to our budget. Since we don’t have 2 full incomes we have created a monthly budget. We have long term goals and short term goals and the budget is our road map to things like new carpet and sending Monkey to college someday.
I am obsessive about the budget, seriously obsessive. It is Luke’s job to bring home the majority of our income and it is my job to make sure that money can pay all of our bills. I take my job seriously.
I heard an interesting piece on NPR yesterday where people shared their financial goals for 2009…our goal is to save money and live like we are “poor” (which for us basically means that we will do our best to maintain our strict budget and focus on what we need and not what we want.) So here are 5 of our little money saving tips:
1. Set realistic goals for your self. Nothing kills budgeting like unrealistic perimeters.
2. Coupons are your friends! Especially if you use them at a store that doubles them. After getting the hang of matching up coupons with sales I save a bunch of money every week and we still manage to eat a lot of all natural, organic and healthy food.
3. Make Cuts. I know I am in the minority here but we decided that saving money for fun things like vacations or home improvements was more important to us than spending money on TV every month. So we don’t really have TV. We also decided that we didn’t need two cars and we could get along just fine with one, that way we only have one car payment, we only put gas in one car, and we only insure and maintain one car. There are lots of ways to make cuts that will save you money every month…you just have decide what is a “Need” and what is a “Want.”
4. Bring your own bags to the grocery store and the store usually pays you. Because of this I usually save and extra .20 to .30 cents a week at the store…I know it’s not much but every little bit adds up and I am reducing our waste.
5. Eat local. We have these great coupon mailers come to us every couple of weeks filled with coupons to local restaurants. Coupons for everything from pizza and Thai to coffee shops and pubs. With coupons for your meal not only are you saving money but you are also supporting local business owners instead of spending money at a huge chain restaurant that most likely serves bland and boring food. Awesome.
So what is your Financial goal for 2009? Are you going to Save more? Spend more? Donate more to charity? Send your son to Space Camp? Get rid of your credit card debt? ………