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April 22, 2007

Comments

Southern Girl

Good for y'all for doing something about your financial situation -- my little brother and his wife really need to do the same thing, but they haven't come to the realization you have yet. I keep hoping.

Not knowing your situation all that well, I still think I would have to agree with your husband about it not being worth it for you to go back to work, at least if you'll only be making minimum wage AND have to put Thing4 into day-care. Seems like a good portion of what you'd make would go right into paying for child-care, and then there's money spent on gas getting you to work and to day-care, more money spent paying for lunches out or to take from home, for both you and Thing4. You'd probably do just as well staying home and trying to cut back on other things.

There are a couple of blogs I read that have some great tips when it comes to frugality:

Budget Help$: http://budgethelpers.blogspot.com/index.html

The Mother Load: http://www.momadvice.com/blog/index.htm
(This one is my favorite.)

Trista

We have no savings, we are behind, but we don't know why. Our bills don't add up but to about 2/3 of what he makes. Where is it going? If we didn't have our home equity loan and credit card, I think we'd be okay.

Dont' worry though...y'all aren't the only ones.

Jennifer D

We have found a budget to be totally neccessary - and quite helpful. We are working to be completely debt free, including our house. I know we will get there! I have to agree 100% with Southern Girl about you working - exactly what I was going to say!
I wanted to add that to help with the not eating out, menu planning is a MAJOR help! I've menu planned for a long time, but not consistently. Now that I've been doing that, it really helps cut down on the grocery bill - I can plan around things that are on sale, and we're not wasting nearly as much anymore. We rarely eat out any more and I'm not standing in the kitchen anymore wondering what's for dinner! AND, no more quick runs to the store where I was spending way more than I should. It really does make a difference!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry

Sounds like we are in pretty much the same boat. And I agree with the other posters about you working outside the home. Probably wouldn't make much difference financially.

A couple of things I do to make a little extra money are babysitting a few days a week, and also insurance transcription at home.

One way we save on groceries is to utilize Angel Food Ministries, which is an organization that sells good quality, low price boxes of food at host locations across the country. Check at angelfoodministries.com to see if there's a host location in your area.

Erin

I also agree that working outside the home probably isn't worth it in the long run, especially if you will incur day care costs. However, like Lori said, there are other ways to make money without working outside the home. I don't know much about your situation, but you could watch other kids a couple of days a week, or do other work-from-home type jobs. There are companies out there that specifically look to hire stay at home moms because of our flexibility, etc. You obviously don't want to get involved in the scam-type "Work from home for 3 minutes and make $800!" jobs, but you might check out the classified ads in your area to see if someone is looking for an organized person to help them out a couple of hours per week. Good luck with the budgeting. It is hard work, but it feels so good to be (mostly) debt-free.

Maggie

Good luck on the budget. My $.02 worth:

My Hubby loved eating out so much. Eliminating eating out did not work. Now if once a month does it, great. I found that when I budgeted $20 a week to eat out, we were much more successful. We'd do breakfast after church usually. There was also a pizza place where we could get a pizza and drinks for under $20. But we need an extra pizza now that the boys are bigger.

For you working: If you managed to make anything after daycare, would you spend it on more eating out? Since I have always worked outside the home, I know you do come home tired and cranky. You might be better determining that your job is to stay home and strech the budget as far as you can by cooking economically, taking on a challenge to lower the utility bills, etc...

Carrie

Jill~

I have to say that I think your husband is very right. Working outside of the home wouldn't be a very good option right now. Child care costs are over the top. All your money would be going to pay for that ... and your gas, if you worked a distance away. The little bit left over wouldn't help too much. Then, there's the emotional part. It would really affect your family. It would be easier to *swallow* if you were making good money and able to provide better ~ but if the money is all going to child care ... Blah!

Eating out really does put a hole in the wallet. Menu Plan, Menu Plan, Menu Plan.... Coupons, Coupons, Coupons, LOL! I usually save about $14 every 2 weeks with coupons. I don't let the coupons decide what I buy, though. As some coupons aren't worth it. We don't eat out as a whole family but once every few months. When we do, we go somewhere really nice and not often so that way we appreciate it more. :o)

Carrie

A few more thoughts:

You can easily get rid of things you don't *need*... For example...

1~ Cable: We don't watch much TV (American Idol and Dancing with the Stars). We don't have cable. That saves us $50 a month. You can see these shows with Rabbit Ears! :o) We do!

2~ Phones: Not sure what you phone situation is (cells, landlines, or both). We haven't had a landline for over a year. Just used cells. That was $90 a month. We're now, this week, having digital phone service installed through our IP and that will cost $40 a month. We're cutting off our cells and each getting a Tracfone to keep in the car for emergencies only. We'll put $10/$20 into that every 3 months to keep it active. So, that's $50 saved a month on phones.

If I think of anything else, I'll let ya know...

Shayna

I have to agree on not working out of the home. I work FROM home, I have a Event Planning business. So when I do have something, ie meeting with clients or the event, either my hubby is with the boys, or I get a college kid from the neighbor to sit. We are working our way out of debt. And have been at it for almost a year now. Anything extra goes towards that. We have cut some things considerably, we have a lower cable bill, but still have it for the boys. We have the most basic of landlines for my fax machine. And our cell phones are fairly basic as well. A neccesity for calling family, and mine is my business line. Menu planning has helped ENORMOUSLY!! And I recommend checking out www.thegrocerygame.com I joined and am saving a couple hundred a month on groceries now. Sometimes more. If you do have CC's you owe on, you can call and request they lower your interest rate. I think a challenge would be GREAT! I am thinking of having a blog dedicated just to my crazy frugality and where we can share money saving ideas! I know this is really long, sorry! I also came across a blog a while ago, and this woman was working her way out of debt and sharing her story. She had a donate to the cause and people actually sent her a couple of dollars or letters of encouragement to her PO Box!! I am tempted let me tell you!

Porter

I'm so behind in my blog reading and I feel like I rushed through yours...I didn't read the other comments either (my kids are sick blah blah blah) anyway...I've mentioned before that I would like to develop a budget and live by one or be somehow involved in a challenge. I am very very lucky that we are satisfied with our net worth and savings and that we don't really have debt BUT I do know that we spend far too much and we aren't accountable for where we spend etc. I think we could be saving money to be better spent on a family vacation, home improvements, new car, etc. Why waste money...I'd rather my hubbs work less if we could find a way. So count me in, our goals would all be the same really.

Robin

I am going to do it with you! I have started a financial fridays section on my blog. We seem to get ourselves in this spot every few years and I hate it too.

amy

What a great post! HUbby doesnt think we can do a budget but I would to try. We also eat out way too much and if there is an emergency,we would be in trouble!!!!

Your post has gotten me thinking!

Bethany

Jill, I just wanted to let you know, you've been tagged!
http://bethany.preciousinfants.com/2007/05/09/ive-been-tagged-again-.aspx

Christine

Reading your post was like lookin in a mirror - well sorta ;-) We are in the same situation with the out-of-control-where-did-the-money-go budget. We are buying a house and I thought I'd go through what we ACTUALLY spend on WHAT. I printed out our last 3 months bank statements and took 5 dif highlighters for different expenses, Bills, eating out, cash withdrawls, gas, and stores (target, walmart). I WAS SHOCKED! I couldn't believe what we were spending just going to the corner store for a few meal items. And that wasn't even an item I budgeted for! We usually go to 3 stores with each paycheck and buy groceries based on a list and spend about $300, that comes out to $600 a month, and then we spent WAY beyond that.

Now that I have started going through receipes and planning my list according to that, snacks and all, we have started eliminating the quicky runs to the store and even coming in at budget with our regular grocery shopping.

I like the idea of setting up my blog with the daily topics like Frugal Friday etc. So thanks for that idea!

mom2fur

Putting the littlest one in Daycare has gotta cost you something! Plus, you have have clothes to wear and lunch to eat. Plus...the cost of transportation. I think it might actually cost you to go to work!
Maybe you could find a job like mine. I work just 3 hours a day, 4 days a week, at a doctor's office answering the phone, filing and general 'secretary' stuff. My youngest is 16, so my hours are pretty open. But a clinic could have hours where you could work when someone is home with the kiddies. You'd still have to deal with transportation and office-appropriate clothes. But, with short hours, you wouldn't have to pay for day care or lunch!
Good luck with your budgeting. I'm trying to work my way out of debt, too. It will be hard at first--especially giving up eating out--but in time you'll feel empowered. Finding ways to save money can even be fun!

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