|photo from xJason.Rogersx via flickr|
I really need to take a close look at my household budget. I really need to figure where I can start making some additional savings. Jude and I have a couple of short term and long term goals that we need to save towards. We've been blessed that our life situation has allowed us to save money regularly, and we are grateful that we have a good chunk of money set aside for some of our goals (like replacing Jude's truck, or replacing the car when it won't fit our family anymore). We set aside an amount each month that gets put directly in our savings account, but I have a desire to increase that amount, and perhaps find something that gives us a better return (I'm just not feeling the stock martket right now...). Since I'm the one who manages the household budget, and since I'm the one who tends to do the less necessary spending, I feel the responsibility for reigning it in falls on me.
Before Children (BC), I was really great about regularly entering all my receipts into Quicken, reconciling my checkbook, reconciling my credit card statements, and keeping track of my spending in general. Now? My receipts are more than half a year behind, as are my other statements, and I haven't actually maintained the register in my check book for more than 2 years! Ack!! I need to get back on track.
I used to do a lot of couponing, but I've fallen out of that, for the most part. It seemed like I didn't save enough to justify purchasing newspapers for coupons (although I never figured the actual numbers). I tend to avoid the boxed, processed goods, and I prefer to purchase natural/organic products. There aren't as many coupons readily available for what I buy. I might need to take a closer look and find out where I could adjust some of that more.
I totally need to check my impulse buying - it's been bad with baby Cakes on the way. I see a cute baby outfit, and although I totally don't need it, sometimes I buy it anyway. I see a handy gadget, or get an idea for a craft project, and want to buy the supplies. (On each of these, though, most of the time, I walk around with it in my cart for a while, and ultimately put it back in stead of buying.) I eat out once a week with the kids when we go shopping, and I could cut that out.
I know we've already adjusted our spending from several years ago, and have more cash to save, but I also know we could do more, and not really feel it. We might even be at a point where we want to really tighten up our financial ship for a year or two, so we could make some major headway in our savings goals.
This won't all be happening within the next few weeks, I can guarantee. I think, however, that when January rolls around that we'll have the chance to dig in and get a clearer idea of how we can get even farther down the road to achieving our goals.