Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Tightening our purse strings
We have been happily plodding along without giving too much thought to the comings and goings of our money lately. When I say lately, I mean for about 12 months. But that just has to stop. We are for all intents and purposes, a single income family as the farm really only just pays for itself. I have been busy adding and subtracting and making things balance out nicely on paper. They balance but right now we aren't adding much if anything to our savings. That I don't like. I know lots of people aren't ever in a position to add to their savings and I feel for them.
Growing up Tim and I didn't have very good role models as far as savings and finances were concerned and I basically have the philosophy of doing the opposite of what we had seen. We always put money away for our children and bills are paid on time. What I would really like to do is be able to cut some of our bills out of the equation altogether (and who wouldn't) but I have trimmed it down to what must be paid and just a few extras such as music lessons for Grace, Internet connection and even some pocket money for Tim and myself. Things we could live without but I'm keeping them because the music lessons at least enrich ours/ Grace's life somewhat.
I would love to be as tight and canny with my money as Froogs and if needs must, I probably could be but at this stage, I don't want.
So for now, I have mapped out a budget with all of our expense and our income too using Excel and also a month by month look at what has to be paid. March 2012 we added a mortgage of $197K to our expenditure column and that coupled with the costs of running a second household has naturally had quite an impact on our bank account. I really don't like no, hate having debt.
So, we are tightening our purse strings in order to not only cover our costs but hopefully to pay that mortgage as quickly as we can. I'm thankful that we lead a simply lifestyle and enjoy it because we can't afford extravagances (unless they can be paid for with my $10/ week pocket money).
There are so many blogs and websites and books with great advice to those wanting to budget and live frugally. I'm a member of Simple Savings and it is a good place to start. The DTE forum is a good resource as well. They both have plenty of hints and tips to reduce expenses and offer a sense of community as well. The other option is to increase our income and quite frankly I don't know if I could get a job. I haven't worked in the field I am qualified in for almost 19 years and I don't really know what I could offer or where to start looking. I do work here but as I said above, there isn't really any financial gain from it. Anyway, that is a quandary for another time.