But I'm trying really hard to document where everything is going this month so I can figure out where we can save.
I bought a notebook with graphing paper in it and took out all our grocery and "spending" money in cash. I've been saving receipts and writing down how much I spend and on what. Like for real.
Not just "29.97 at Target," but then I separate it out. (10$ cleaning supplies, 10$ grocery, 10$ misc for boys/slurpies, etc.)
I feel really proud, like I'm a real grownup. Which I am, since I'm married with (nearly) 3 kids. But still.
Any tips or advice for us? Those of you with houses, teach me how you did it! It doesn't matter what our income increases to, we always manage to just keep spending that money- even though I feel like we're living just as frugally! (Okay. I am splurging a little on slightly nicer soap and maybe I buy a BIT more fabric.)
But I never grab Real Simple in checkout lines (even though I want to), our towels aren't soft, our music is outdated. Poor Travis is using a 10 year old skateboard desperately in need of new everythings.
No ceramic owls or vintage maps livening up the place. I go to Starbucks once a year for a caramel apple cider in the fall and usually spend the rest of the day feeling guilty and wasteful. So, you know.
I don't know where I'm going with this, except to say: saving money is hard, even when you're pretty cautious about spending!
It's interesting keeping track of where our money goes, because I've only been doing it three weeks- and I'm finding myself stopping before spending money on lots of little things.
I keep thinking, "What am I going to write down? That I spent 15$ in the dollar section of Target on notepads and toddler socks?"
We do spend more on groceries than some, but I always meal-plan and we only get take out or go out to eat once or twice a month and it's important to me that we eat good quality food. Also, fine. We get donuts almost every Saturday. Traditions! They're important!
I also noticed that I do completely spoil my children, which maybe I would have denied. Apparently I've spent almost 35$ on them so far this month.
I bought them a counting app on my phone 1$.
I bought them each a pair of binoculars (to save for a rainy day when we are in need of a sweet new toy) 3$ each.
We went to Target and they each got a slurpie 3$ and a piggy bank 2$.
We went to TJ Maxx and got a cheap awesome book 4$ and a snack 3$.
And my grandparents sent them money for a Christmas gift and I decided that I wanted the slightly bigger set of Lincoln logs instead of going cheap because of shipping, so tack an extra $13 on to that.
I splurge way more on them than myself!
Also, having only cash helps. Today I looked in my wallet and tried to figure out how much more money we have for groceries and things, and I found myself thinking "Maybe meat-free tonight," which is good. Right?
I rarely think to myself "We need more money," or "We need more things." In fact, most of the time, I want less things!
Just nicer things, which cost more money. Sigh.
And so much of our "spending" isn't really on things at all! It's going to insurance and ultrasounds and rent and gas to drive to visit grandparents. I wish it was going into a house that we owned instead of a house that we'll probably leave in August. Anyway.
I don't know. This is babbling.
Money is the worst, right? But super helpful.
Give me your tips!
Teach me to be money-savvy!