Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weeding Out Those Expenses

Ah, even though spring is in the air, I really haven't taken advantage of it due to juggling two jobs. Again, my budget has gone out the door, and a few overdue gifts probably pushed me over the limit this month. But now that regular paychecks are underway, paying the bills should become much easier, along with keeping track of my spending!

Hope you guys have been getting out and about and working on those gardens! Now that spring is in full force, it's the perfect time to start weeding out that small plot of land and planting those seeds. Along those same lines, it's the perfect time to consider weeding out your budget. There might be some expenses that are no longer relevant, or there might be some that have gotten wildly out of control.

Evaluating your budget before the summer gets in full force allows your to know where you stand before going on vacations. Hopefully you have been saving money all year long for these trips, but perhaps you still haven't set up your budget for eating and souvenirs. If you find yourself overspending month after month on pleasures in the here and now, you won't have enough to splurge on that restaurant that is a must try. It's also never to early to start thinking about Christmas spending at the end of the year!

As for me, I've definitely been looking at my budget and seeing where I can and need to cut back. Now that my job has no places for me to easily eat out at, my snacks budget is almost non-existent. However the bf and I will not be taking any vacations this year, so we are more likely going to have date nights and spend a bit more exploring restaurants in the area. Making sure that weeds don't grow over the important parts is what makes gardening and budgeting worthwhile!

What are the areas in your budget that need to be looked at? Do you know which areas you can readily cut down or need to increase? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Projects That Pay Off

It's easy to go to stores and buy whatever but it takes imagination and creativity to do these things at home. There are tons of projects out there that are not only on the easier side, but also can save you a bunch of cash! Here are a few that I've personally started working on:

Handmade napkins: Not only are paper napkins bad for the environment, they can be a huge waste of money if used on a daily basis. Paper napkins are definitely great for the messy stuff, such as wings, but for every day use, cloth napkins do just as well, and sometimes even better. If you have a sewing machine, they make for a great afternoon project that will not only save you money but add character to your dining room decor.

Cushions: These things are severely overpriced at any store! It's basically a big square that has stuffing in the middle! And if you are like me, you can never find just the right pattern! Again, another great afternoon project that can spice up any room in your home!

Blankets: What's a great way to spend a No Spend Day? Knitting and watching tv reruns! When you are working on a long project the actual progress can make you want to stay home and get as far as possible! There are many free patterns on the internet, and if you don't know the difference between a crochet hook and a knitting needle, Youtube has great videos that will take you step by step.

Artwork: It can be a great family project on a rainy afternoon that might produce some masterpieces. This can be a free for-all, or perhaps, finding inspiration from Picasso. Afterwards,, spend some time looking around the house for the perfect place to hang them all up! This will showcase the families artistic abilities.

Setting up a Clothesline: This might take a bit of a handyman, but an earth friendly project it is! You don't need to hang everything outside, but a few pieces can lower your dryer use and save you a few bucks.     And don't you just love that summer air scent?

Most of these projects require upfront costs that can vary. Such as what happens when you don't have a sewing machine. But alternatives can be done, such as hand sewing. The best thing is that in the long run, you'll have something that was made with lots of love and care and customized just for you!

And with many of these projects, there are varying levels of difficulty. You can make them as easy or hard as you want them to be, and can spend as much time on them as you wish.

What are some other projects that pay off? 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Guess What?! and Spending Report!

So, the reason I've been a bit away is that this girl got a job! Yes, I know, exciting, and they wanted me to start ASAP, so it's been a roller coaster ride of having no days off and adjusting to a different environment.

But as promised (even though it's a day late), my spending since the beginning of April:

Food: 11 (Some random bits and pieces we needed for a recipe)
Food Out: 71 (Dinner out to celebrate getting a job along and the first day, not too bad!)
Transportation: 7
Home Supplies: 82 (Went a bit too crazy here, supplies for crafts project along with the garden)
Wine: 20 ( Almost a need)
Health: 10 (Refill on medication)
Books: 13 (Great for the time in between work and getting home!)
Personal: 23 (A new perfume and stuff for a new job!)

Seems like I definitely went way over my budget, considering that I'm not going to get paid for a bit. But, after over a year of searching, it was great celebrating with two nights out to eat. And with spring coming along quickly, all these project supplies are definitely going to add. But the best thing is that they will save the household money in the long run. This will definitely be a post hopefully up by the end of the week.

Hope you guys had a happy Hump Day!