Thursday, July 7, 2011

Overextended

Andy and I make decent money.  We're not rolling in the dough, but we're not poor either.  I'd say we're middle class with an emphasis on middle.  But for some reason these past few months we've really been struggling financially.  There's been a lot of things that have come up out of the ordinary that have really drained us.  (I'm going to talk specifics of money here, so if that makes you uncomfortable back slowly out of the post)

$800 to fix his car.  $1,300 life insurance payment (for the year).  A few hundred for home insurance.  A trip to Disney.  Two engagement parties.  Two weddings (plus 2 more next year that I'm in the bridal party), bachelorette party to Vegas (only half paid for), $1,000 towards classes for my next salary differential.

We are tapped out, so badly that we had to transfer money over from our savings which is something we haven't had to do since we first got married.  Some of it was inevitable and some of it was over splurging, either way we need to cut costs big time.

We're cutting back on dinners out.  I can get together with friends over a home cooked meal or a cup of coffee instead of an elaborate dinner.  We were planning a vacation for our 5 year wedding anniversary and that's been cut.  He's going to start bringing dinner/lunch to work instead of always going out to eat with the other troopers.  Run the dishwasher/washer less, I'm not traveling to work in the summer and that is saving a lot on gas and tolls.

But that's still not enough.  I'm a couponing novice, but I guess before I go grocery shopping I should see if the manufacturers are offering coupons.  Maybe I'll dvr Extreme Couponing because my grocery bill is close to $200 a week.  I don't want to sacrifice healthy eating, but that just seems ridiculous to me.

We also need to plan a lot better for our future because we also have a lot of things coming up next year as well.  I didn't grow up with a ton of money and my parents always struggled and I don't want that for myself.  How do you guys manage a budget and cut corners?
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7 comments:

Gaspegirl said...

HEy there... visiting from SITS. I like this post because in January I put Mr. WOnderful and I on a financial diet too. I wanted to regain control of my finances and it is coming along nicely. I think that you have to sit down and work it all out... how much you are willing to put where and live by it. Oh... and always CASH only.

Make it a great day!

Saretta said...

Hi, visiting from SITS! I know how you feel. I live in Italy and low salaries + inflation are making times hard for us over here, too. Bleh...

Mrs. T said...

We have a budget and we just make sure we ALWAYS stick to it. Once my clothing allowance for the month is up...I don't get more clothes. Once we've spent our entertainment money... we don't do any more fun things. It's nice to know what you have for what... it's freeing, not restricting. Most people are afraid to budget, but when I know how much I have for clothes I don't have to wonder, "Can I get this? Can I afford it? What bills are coming up?" because we've already spent our paycheck on paper before it even comes! Of course, always leaving some for savings, as well. :)

Kristin said...

We are having to transfer from savings right now too because of all the GD hospital bills. James' tummy issues cost us about 2k this year and that's with health insurance. Our grocery budget for a fam of three is $75 a week. Clothes and vacations? Forget it. It's tough. I feel your pain.

Kristin Faulkenberry said...

Buy meats in bulk when on sale and freeze..plant yout own garden with fruits/veggies..coupon, ad match, have a yard sale..take unwanted clothes to a consignment shop that pays upfront... Give yourself an allowance, once it's gone, it's gone til next time..just a few ideas

Steffanie said...

Have you ever considered working with a financial planner? Sometimes having a non-partisan person can help you see where you can more effectively cut corners and save for the future. Just be careful because some work on pure commission if they sell you the company's retirement plan while others are just working for a flat fee.

Aleta said...

I understand about the unplanned for expenses. I have a 1350.00 plumbing bill that we had to deal with, which stinks because I was hoping to have that money for vacation, but plumbing is a priority. I really do wish I had become a plumber, man, they make good money!!

Savings is a good thing, look at your budget and what you can trim. My hubby and I realized we spent more time on the computer than we did watching TV, so we cut back on the number of TV channels we had with our cable bill (bill went from 160 to 50 dollars a month) - that kind of stuff adds up and you'll feel better from trimming it out of the budget :)

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