One thing I have been doing to save money, which I have always done, but recently had to try harder to not withdraw from, is to put the first check of the day at work into my savings. Whether it is $5 or $500, it goes into savings. I have needed to take money out far too frequently to cover bills and other expenses but I am trying to leave it in there until I have enough to pay off a bill. Today, I had enough to pay off Stevi's braces.....that knocks $167.69 off our monthly bills, which isn't a lot, but it will help. It is so hard, we are going into collections for so many bills and I am fighting filing for bankruptcy. I don't mind losing my bike, it would suck but I CAN'T take Jay's Harley from him, or let them take it. He was sober on the 14th for 2 years and needs some sort of outlet. Well, it's a small start, but it's a start. I also paid US Bank a portion of what we owe, we are so behind that our monthly payment due is $1026.00 yes, you read it correctly. I sent them $327.00 which is a third of what they asked for, but I am sure they will see it as good faith and realize that I have full intentions of paying the bills we have. In the mean time, Stevi's braces are paid off, everyone clap your hands!
I also read in Organizing Life's blog about money management and the envelope system. I recommend that you read it. I am going to start implementing this system. It will be hard, but I feel it will help with the free spending of cash. Right now Jay and I have a $60 a week allowance for "things" , cigars, Starbucks, snacks, lunch etc. but when clients pay me cash, I think we spend a lot more freely. So my goal today is to ride my bike (getting in my exercise) to CVS ( I have great coupons that expire today) and get an accordion file that I use for bills and start sorting cash into appropriate spending budgets. Groceries ($180 week), allowance($35 for Stevi $60 for Jay and Me), gas/vehicle repairs( 100 a week), dinner out ($15 a week, so if we want more than fast food it must build) date night (same as dinner out), trip money (15) clothing expenses which includes under garments and work/school clothes (25) Pet/Car washes (5) gift expenses (5), toiletries (1) Stevi expenses/sports (50).
If you can think of any "other" expenses that could be put into these categories or if I could cut back on any of these, please suggest, (even you Tutu and Jess!) Any input would help. I understand I may not be able to afford to "stash" in some of these categories, so I will prioritize accordingly. I will begin the process today but not stashing until I return from seeing the most handsome boy in the whole wide world. I am hoping this will help me save to take more weekend trips to go see Handsome Jack Sparrow more often! Anyone else like to try this? Read her article, it sounds controlling but may help us see where we are over spending. Have a great day!