Sunday, April 28, 2013

Things I do to keep my budget and house hold intact...

Times are tough for everyone. The economy is terrible, jobs are at a minimum in my town, and the local hospital is calling people to put them on a "on call" status for at least one shift every week. To get paid for this one shift, you must take vacation time. The monthly obligations keep coming in the mail, the income is still there every two weeks like clock work, but you are trying to maintain a home, family, kids, bills, and all that other stuff you like to do.

So, here's what I do to keep my budget intact.

  • I wash laundry on cold, and hang everything up to dry.We have a drying rack in the hall way next to the washing machine, or else I tend to hang things over the back deck to dry. 
  • When making a meal I will use as much of it as I can, and take what is left and place all leftovers in the freezer. It is a must to label the contents, so you not standing there in a few weeks looking at it to figure out what it is. HAHAHA. 
  • Soup/Stock is an easy meal to make from left over frames of chicken, bones of ham, or beef roast bits. 
  • I shop twice a month (correlates with pay day). I get few "snack" items, AKA chips, cookies, etc etc. My husband needs his medicines, as does my daughter, and I pay cash for the co pays and pick up what my insurance doesn't pay. We shop at a discount outlet called Sharp Shopper, or Aldi. 
  • I am on the budget plan with the electricity payments. I pay a certain amount every month of the year, and after the 12 months, my bill gets adjusted for usage. 
  • We don't run the air conditioner unless it's absolutely needed. We have windows and fans that serve the purpose. My kids tend to run on the cold side. When the winter comes, I try like heck to keep the indoor heating set to 70. It doesn't always work and I find it at 72 with no one admitting to doing it. 
  • I cook from scratch a lot. I'm teaching my kids to cook. It's a skill everyone should learn. 
  • I live within my means. I watch my income and finances very well. I have a keen eye on the check book and online banking, I pay my bills every month and nothing is late. Everything gets looked at on a two week basis. 
  • My kids don't get an allowance. They do chores because they are living here and part of the family. End of discussion. 
  • We shop for clothes rarely. That doesn't mean that the kids are going without. Sneakers are bought twice a year. Now, since my oldest is 18, she will be graduating, living at home still. She will be required to buy her own sneakers, and clothing. She has a job working 25-30 hours a week. 
  • Over the warmer months, my kids wear flip flops...that cuts down on the usage of sneakers, socks, wear and tear.
  • We wash dishes by hand, using little dish soap and keeping the water off when we are not rinsing dishes. We air dry them, and the kids put them away. 
  • Coloring hair- My girls love to have a SPA day at home. We will buy hair coloring kits on sale with coupons. They will color each other's hair and paint nails. With coupons, the kits cost 3.50 each. 
  • We take short showers every night. I have 10 bars of soap. They are used until they no longer resemble soap bars. After that, they are put into a container until there's enough of them to use in a wash cloth to make suds. 
  • Shampoo, my kids have been told on numerous times to use a small amount of shampoo. Between he three of them, none of them have more than a neck length of hair. 
  • My kids do have to entertain themselves. They are 18, 16, and soon to be 15. I don't drive to various activities. They are allowed to have friends over. They are allowed to go to go to their friends homes. They are also able to go walk. 
  • We do maintain our vehicles. I paid my car off this January. It's a 2008 KIA. My husband has about 1 year left on paying for his car. it's a 2009. We will not be buying any more vehicles. 

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