04 April, 2013

Quest To SAHM - Update 2

We are still making small steps to get our finances in order in case we decide to make the move to a one income household.

I have been watching the budget closer and printing out bank statements and highlighting away to see where the money is going. It still astounds me that with as much as we cook at home that we still have a fair amount going to fast food - most especially my lunches at work! It may be time to brown bag it. You don't realize how much you are spending eating out until you look for it... Then WOW!

We are also turning the air up (or off) at EVERY opportunity. Consistently we have seen a drop in the electric bill. That's a HUGE one right there! In the book "America's Cheapest Family" they tell you to turn off fans when you aren't in the room. We're seriously guilty of leaving those puppies running. I've made it a point to start turning them off - and to turn off ALL of the lights in the house when we leave.

I have printed out a calendar and plotted all of our bills and when they are due. If you have trouble getting bills paid on time and keeping track of them - there's a good start. You'll get an idea of when the majority of your bills are due and when you should be prepared to pay them. I've always kept a calendar, but I've never been the best at plotting and keeping track - it was honestly more of a "MUST BE PAID BY THIS DATE OR ELSE". NO GOOD!!!

My next goal is to watch the grocery bill. I've really cooked the last ten years, but it's only been in the last three years that I've really come into cooking all sorts of different meals - mainly because my Husband is like the most AWESOME ever when it comes to cooking and it doesn't matter whether he's cooking or I'm cooking. How awesome is it that I can say "HONEY! Can you show me how to separate egg whites?" or "Come double check me and make sure this chicken is cooked right!" I love it!

If these families can feed a family of seven on $350.00 a month, or a family of four on $200.00, then, uh, I'm doing it wrong. So, I'll need to reevaluate what I cook, where I shop, and how much I'm spending. I'm still working towards planning a monthly trip, but I haven't made a decision on couponing, or how much I'll allow in the budget for it. I haven't couponed in a while now, but it was a GREAT way to stockpile things that are major budget breakers for me like sauces, sodas, even toilet paper, and toiletries.

I'm thinking that the best way to proceed on that will be to try things a few different ways and see what works best. I'll have the luxury that a lot of stay at home moms won't have - one child who's in school all day. That will leave me time to plan, prepare, and shop while she's in school. I have a website that tracks all the deals at the major stores - Publix, CVS, Walgreens - so I can always hit those deals throughout the week.

I still have in my mind a potential date to exit employment but it feels like my job is my security blanket - which in reality, it is! I have recently started giving thought to being a WORK at home mom, rather than a STAY at home mom. That's a whole 'nother blog though!

There are still many more changes to make, and I'm still actively working my book and doing lots of research. I'll keep you posted!

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