Everything else is just life.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Money, that's What I Want

Every time I look at my bank account I want to cry. No matter what I do to try to save money, I can't seem to keep my head above water.

I recently took a large pay cut with my current place of employment. I convinced myself that money isn't everything and that I can make it on my own, it will just take some sacrifice. Even before I became gainfully employed again, I made sacrifices. I never buy a cup of coffee at an over priced coffee shop, I never buy my lunch (brown bag, yo) and if I'm driving on the other side of town I make all the stops necessary so that I don't go out of my way for errands or items needed.

I will treat myself to the occasional ice cream or a beer at the bar, but I never go nuts. The last time I had a drink at a bar was probably over a month ago.

So, what am I doing wrong?

I keep track of all of my expenses (thank you online banking) and I haven't bought myself clothing, shoes or accessories, I can't even remember. My bank account always seems to be depleted. No matter what I do, I can't catch up. I could be a hermit for 2 months and not see a difference.

Twitter friends of mine have suggested to always use cash (@jonlustig) and to stick to a grocery list (@alliemac01), which I am guilty of not abiding by.

How do you do it? How do you save money but Am I not making enough sacrifices? Should I move back in with my Mom to save money?



Amber Nikol said...

This is always a tough subject to handle. I feel your pain, the bank account never seems to have enough money in it. You do what you can, when you can and you continue to try and save as much as you can.

Some suggestions: Use coupons...become a coupon cutter, as much as it's a hassle to continue to cut them, they do help. Try shopping at big balk places if they are available. My hubby and I found out that by shopping at sams for our paper towels and toilet paper, laundry detergent, that it's helped us save some. We also use lists when we go to the store. Carry cash is a hard thing for me to do, but I know of people who do and it helps them a lot.

Also might help to look at your debt and try to eliminate that debt. Start with your smallest debt and then work from there. (That right now is our families biggest issue)

Create a budget and STICK to it. Easier said then done, I know but it does help..a lot!

Allie said...

Thanks for your suggestions. I do regularly clip coupons, I also find myself compelled to buy what I clipped (even if I don't need it).

I am in the process of obtaining a Sams membership. I will def be buying toilet paper and paper towels in bulk.

My problem is debt. Although I have paid a significant amount down, it's still that extra payment that is killing me every month. By the Fall I should be completely debt free. *crosses fingers*

Thank you for all of your tips, they were great!

Allie Mac said...

Dealing with money sucks. I'm lucky that I live somewhere where the cost of living is pretty cheap so I'm able to chip away at my debt faster while still saving.

But, one thing that I think would help a lot is setting a budgeted amount of cash aside for everything you plan to do each week/month.

I am not good at budgeting on paper.. I need to see it in front of me. I read a great tip in a magazine (or somewhere) that recommended using envelopes to separate and set aside cash each month for all of your bills.

You'd have one envelope filled and marked with your rent money. One marked for what you're going to allow yourself to spend on groceries each month. One for gas (or something similar). And also one for going out or eating out. Once the cash in the envelope is gone, you're done spending on those things until the next month.

I think it's a helpful method because it allows you to see what you're actually spending on everything. And when you see the cash is gone.. it's easier to stop spending.

Make sense?

Hopefully the concept helps : )

Amber Nikol said...

Awesome! I clip coupons all the time but i don't always buy what I clip. Why spend the money if you don't need it even if you have a coupon for it? Might save you some there.

We have a Sams membership and love it. Have had it for 3 years now. Buying in bulk is nice. We buy our chicken there because we eat a lot of chicken but not really any other food because we tend not to use all of it and it goes to waste if not. Then you are stuck with throwing out money and I HATE that feeling.

Debt is our issue too. My school loans are so high it's not even funny, then the credit cards..Ugh. Luckly, we only have two credit cards to worry about but even still, we're paying about 90 bucks a month between my school loans and credit cards. It will be nice to get the credit cards paid off and we wont have to worry about them anymore.

Hopefully you'll get your debt paid off soon! That helps a lot!
Good Luck!

Amber Nikol said...

hey I ran across this on Yahoo today, thought it went well with your blog.

Allie said...

@Allie Mac That is a great idea, I am going to try that. I'd like to use cash for things anyway, I find that I'm less apt to spend a load of cash.

I am going to try and budget on paper too, I've been keeping an Excel spreadsheet of all of my expenses.

@Amber I'm very lucky, I don't have school loans but I will be cutting coupons regularly and making a list and sticking to it : ) I absolutely hate throwing out food, it's the worst feeling.

It will be nice when we're both debt free, until then good luck!

Meg said...

I always try to look at things in terms of want and need. And I always try to remind myself that there's always something else that i will want sososososBAD. If you live simply and just do everything in moderation: shopping, eating and activities, it's possible to live well and get out of debt! Another key is to say no to things. There's nothing wrong with staying home one or two weekends a month and just watching TV - or turning down vacations and ski trips and concerts - there's something very relaxing about it.

Good luck :}