the good, the bad, and the budget.

January 6, 2012 in 2012,budget,life,money

The good: this year is going to rock. I can just feel it.

The bad: I somehow have the stomach flu again. Yuck.

The ugly: last year I pretty much ignored my budget. And I can’t afford to do that again this year. Blah.

But in all seriousness, I’ve had a goal for a while to pay off as much debt/student loans as possible. And I’m not saying that I didn’t make a dent, but I know that if I had buckled down I would be in a much better position than I am today.

But I didn’t. We ate out a lot {and of course our tastes are for one-of-a-kind, non-chain, a bit pricey type restaurants}, fell victim to the daily deals {thanks, Groupon; I swear this is where most of my money went}, and so on. So fast forward to today.

It’s no secret that a great deal of my stress comes from the fact that I am afraid of losing my job. It’s become a serious source of anxiety for me. Mostly because I think “Holy crap. I wouldn’t be able to pay on any of my debt.” 

And that’s a terrifying thought. And I’m tired of living like this. 
So I’m officially 100% doing something about it.

How

No purchase goes unjustified. — Before I choose to purchase something, it has to be a necessity.

Work as much as possible. — Overtime offered? I’m in! 

Stick to the plan. — Track my purchases using Mint.com. Also, keep as little cash in my pocket as possible {and yes, I know this goes against many of the no-debt plans, such as Dave Ramsey, but I have my reasons}; if I have cash, stick it into my locked safe, and don’t touch it! That way all of my purchases and progress are tracked on mint.com. 

Eat out no more than 2 times a month. — That includes lunches! I’m tired of throwing my money away on food that not only is bad for my wallet, but bad for my health. I’m over it! 

Take advantage of more free services {and fee-free services}. — Like the library. And Amazon Prime kindle lending. and community yoga classes.


So what are your tried and true stick-to-budget, pay-things-off methods?? Sharing might be able to help me {and others} out! 🙂

 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mich January 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm

love this post!
youre right… this year IS going to rock!

i agree with you on the cash in the pocket thing, if its in my pocket (or wallet) its jsut caling my name for me to spend it.

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Amanda January 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I try to pack my lunch everyday and treat myself once when I have to work on the weekend. We don't eat out as often as we used to and I've found that stocking the freezer and pantry really helps with this, that way there is always something to eat.

I would love to be paying more than the minimum payment on my student loans but I haven't gotten to that point just yet. For now, I'm letting my fiance handle most of the budgeting.

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Lil' Woman January 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm

I need to get our budget set up, I'm striving for the same thing this year.

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Fizzgig January 6, 2012 at 11:58 pm

I LOVE the library for movie rentals. If you are quick, you can even reserve new releases when they come out!

Boxed wine (lol) is way more value friendly for someone who enjoys her 3 glasses a night.

And shopping at Aldi for my big shopping trips. I had such an aversion to bargain grocery shopping, but now I get all my spices there way cheaper, cheese, and bagged lettuce is always on sale for 50 cents a bag!!

What use to cost me 80-100 a week at acme for myself now costs me about 30.

i still stick to buying my meats at acme though, i havn't gone that far…

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Simply Valorie January 9, 2012 at 7:34 am

I'm really just now learning to budget myself (thanks for inadvertently recommending Mint!), but one thing that really helps me is to think “Okay, would I rather have this coffee or this lens I'm saving up for.” Or whatever.

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Andrea January 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm

This is a great plan! Mint was a big part of keeping me on track last year. Using coupons for groceries and toiletries made it possible for me to double my student loan payments.

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Rachel January 11, 2012 at 1:04 am

I’m so happy to hear that others have had success with mint.com! In fact, I read this comment while I was at Target and I was about to pick up a frozen pizza, but I read the “coupons for groceries” thing, and I put the pizza back cause I didn’t have a coupon! 🙂

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