Day 30 :: How to Spend Money Like You Mean it

Ohh budgeting… I saved this little gem til the end because I struggle soooo much with this. It’s something everyone needs to be conscious of no matter how young {or old} you are. Have you seen that commercial with “Al” and his budget? It cracks me up. We can all benefit from a little more intention in this area I’m betting…

A few years back when we were only working off of one income I read a Dave Ramsey book.  He talks a lot about being the boss of your money and telling it where to go instead of the other way around. And contrary to popular belief (even my own sometimes!) You can’t fix money problems with more money… I’ll let you think some more on that one…

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When you’re running short and have more month at the end of your money there are only 2 solutions: Work to cut down your costs or work to increase what comes in. Notice how they both involve work? Again it’s all about mindset which leads to actions. 

One of my biggest battles here lately is with the grocery budget. We don’t have to be on a peanut butter and jelly diet anymore now that our work situations have improved, but I still want to be responsible with how I spend our dollars so that we can save more, have more fun experiences as a family and also be able to bless others. So I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned along the way for trying to keep the grocery monster and the budget at bay:

1. Shop your cabinets first. Chances are you don’t need to have tacos (even though you really want them) if you’ve got a half a box of spaghetti just waiting for some homemade sauce that you froze a few weeks back… A mindset of patience is involved but I guarantee that trip to the store for taco fixings will cost you more than those $2.00 crunchy shells… ask the boy how I know this…

2. Plan your attack. Don’t go hungry okay? Instant fail. And before you go, check out sites like Southern Savers and Money Saving Mom for printable coupons and sale match-ups which leads to my #3 trick…

3. Sale + coupon = money in your pocket every time. I’m finding after doing this for 3 years that it’s easier to check the sale flier first, then search online or flip through any coupon fliers I’ve saved from the local paper to get the best deals because it saves me time of clipping all these coupons that I then spend time sorting in my little accordion file and then transfer to the trash when they expire because I forgot or just plain failed to use them. The real hard core grocery game players use this trick to stockpile basics at the lowest possible price but I don’t have that much room in my homey little kitchen, so I have to be as responsible as I can be just from week to week.

4. Don’t be left in the dark. My Mom was famous for writing every penny we spent down on the back of the bank envelope. I’m just good at wondering where that $10 from yesterday went. I used to just keep a round figure in my head for what I thought I was spending at the store- but after I downloaded a budget app on my phone and started entering my receipts and tracking my trips, oh boy did I see the light…and it lead straight to Food Lion and Kroger…and Target… and… well, you get the picture…

5. Using cash is concrete. Credit cards aren’t inherently bad- some have great rewards – like travel miles or cash back and when you pay them off monthly there’s no interest to weigh you down. But the only surefire way to stop spending too much is to not have any money in your pocket to spend…

6. Squirrel away your acorns. Each time you come in under your budget, become a squirrel–the good parts at least– and stuff those acorns away for a rainy day. Every little bit adds up. There are numerous times the change jar yielded pizza money for a short month or just as a treat and a few groceries to boot.

7. Trust God Not Your Wallet. We all know the verses in Matthew and Luke that speak so plainly about money and worry. I might worry (ok I do sometimes worry- let’s be honest..) about how I’m going to pay the bills, but it’s really not up to me totally. God said to trust Him with this stuff. Seek him first and all these other things will be added unto us.

You mind His business and He will mind Yours. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

 I’m still praying for more what’s that word?- DISCIPLINE! -in all these areas… it’s a ongoing process for sure but I know I’ll get there eventually.

 Is it time to check your checkbook? Your money is usually where your heart is…

Do you need to buy stock in your grocery store because you spend so much there like me??

  To see all my posts for the 31 days challenge click here to get to the home page.

6 thoughts on “Day 30 :: How to Spend Money Like You Mean it

  1. Levi Thetford says:

    You are hitting every area in your 31 days. Money has always been one of my special areas. I have been where you are in early days. Discipline, your word, is where it is. BTW, I was one of Dave Ramesy’s ELPs. I did Dave Ramsey before he did. I know him personally. I agree on the credit card thing too, as long as you can pay the balance every month. Hang in there my girl!!!! 🙂

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    1. Heather says:

      I’m trying! I’ve got one more day– if I’ve missed anything let me know! haha!Yep it’s totally a self-control issue! That’s cool that you know Dave Ramsey! I was totally inspired by his book- I probably need to read it again and get re-inspired though! Thanks for all your encouragement Levi! Keep us updated on your boy and have terrific Thursday!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Nuckols says:

    Hey there Daughter! What do you mean “Mom WAS famous for writing every penny….”? I STILL do that!!! I’m loving all your topics! Hope your week is going well & I’m looking forward to seeing you Saturday at the Fall Festival. Hope it doesn’t rain!

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