So lately I've been trying to trim the fat.
Unfortunately not off myself, but off our budget. I try to decorate our home on the cheap, but I've been realizing there's so much more that I need to be doing to become more money conscious.
I feel like we have so many months where we let things slide and don't follow the budget.
I've been checking out tons of books from the library and doing research online about how to live a more frugal life.
One of the things that many people think of when they talk about cutting their budget is having less fun. This is my husband's first thought. He groans whenever I bring up the dreadful word "budget".
It doesn't have to be painful though and I wanted to share with you a few of the resources I came across and some helpful tips.
1. Check out books from the library or purchase them on Amazon. Here are some of my favorites I've been reading this summer.
Suddenly Frugal by Leah Ingram. This was a super quick read and offered TONS of great tips on how to live a frugal life. There's even savings that are shown at the end of each chapter if you follow the advice given!
America's Cheapest Family by Steve and Annetta Economides. This book really got me inspired to cut our budget and spend money on what really matters!
Lighten Up By Peter Walsh. This book was an eye opener about the financial goals we should be setting weekly, monthly, yearly, and beyond. Walsh gives great conversation starters to discuss money (since it seems to be one of the biggest things couples fight about!) and he has great tips about how to live with less and be happier in the mean time.
2. If you're looking for ways to have fun in your area, check out Cities on the Cheap.
It has ALL kinds of deals on local events in certain areas. I found out about how to get free Chick-Fil-A by dressing up as a cow, discounts on Six Flags tickets, and free concerts in our area. We've had a lot of fun checking out this site! See "trimming the fat" doesn't have to be painful!
3. Visit Fabulous and Frugal.
It's an online women's magazine dedicated to living the frugal life. It has information on EVERYTHING from decorating your home on the cheap to cutting grocery costs, travel, beauty and more!
4. Save receipts and do envelope living.
This one has been extremely hard for me. Because if I pay in cash, I don't always keep track of my spending so at the end of the month, I can look at my credit card bill and not really have any idea of what I spent. I downloaded these super easy to print envelopes. There's a space in the back to tuck the receipts in and then I place the allotted cash inside. I also write on the outside the transaction and how much it was. At the end of the month I have a prefect picture of how much I spent on lunches, groceries, household purchases, and even things for my blog! Doing this helped me trim the fat and see where I needed to cut back!Here's a GREAT video that helped me get a grasp on this and even hubbs was on board after watching!
5. Have family meetings to discuss upcoming purchases.
Now my family meeting consists of hubbs and I, but if you have kids, by all means invite them to the discussion. Look at your calendar for the month ahead. Do you have birthday parties, weddings, special events to go to? Go ahead and budget for these things now. Shop for those gifts so you can buy them at a great price and don't have to wait until the last minute. This was so hard for me to do, but in the long run it has saved so much money! Last minute usually equates to more money spent! Also, keep a gift closet. I stash bags, tissue paper, cards, etc. that I found on clearance so I have everything I need!
I know that was A.LOT. of information, but I've been really excited about this!
Do you have any frugal tips to share?