Saturday, July 28, 2012

Money does buy happiness

Finance with Jessica
Bobby and I are in major save mode as we start getting closer to the time when we have to start making offers on houses.  I'm pretty good at budgeting, but not the best at saving. I wanted to try a different approach to help us be even more cautious about how much we spend on things like eating out, lipsticks, Target Dollar Bin, and shoes at Nordstrom Rack.  So for anything we don't pay online I'm trying the cash allowance approach to cautious spending. 

Strictly cash for:
my physical therapy appointments
pedicures (yes pedicures are worked into my savings plan and I realize how ridiculous that sounds)
entertainment/eating out 

It has been extremely helpful in making me more aware of how much I'm spending and deciding how necessary it is to make certain purchases.  I also love that I don't have to record so many debit card purchases to keep up with balancing our accounts.

The other great thing that has come out of this is that it has made us better about weekly grocery store trips and planning ahead rather than ordering carry out when we have nothing to make at home.  Thank God Bobby has taken on the primary chef role in the family because otherwise this whole better savings attempt would not be as successful. 

1 comment:

Kate said...

Hmmm. This is interesting. My problem is that more than anything this year we're trying to monitor our expenses to figure out where all $ is going. I use, and my biggest problem is cash expenditures. I haven't figured out a way to track them easily in mint, so I'm currently doing the opposite of you and trying to put as much on credit cards as possible so that I don't end up with a bunch of "uncategorized" expenditures at the end of the month. Of course, the easy solution to my issue would be to meticulously write down all cash expenditures and log them later in mint, but that to me is easier said than done.
You'll have to report back later on how it goes, because budgeting gurus always seem very in favor of cash/envelope based spending like you're doing, but I have never gotten it to work for me.

Unrelated: I am so not a pedicure person. Don't like them so I paint my own nails. I'm sure I am spending on many other things that you may not be, though, so we each have our little indulgences. My biggest ones right now are probably super high priced groceries (we do not budget shop for food), sessions with a personal trainer at the gym (expensive, but I feel like it makes a huge difference in my fitness, plus sadly having an appt is the only thing that reliably forces me to go and not "cancel" my workout on myself), and more babysitting hours than a SAHM like me can really justify. (Although, the babysitter is quitting, so that's about to go to 0!)

I avoid temptation in the Target dollar aisle by not going into it. Force yourself to make a list and only allow yourself to buy the things on it when you go to places like Target. It makes a huge difference. That's just my two cents.