Since we’ve been branching out into new topics over here at 20 something allergies, I want to share our journey of reducing spending and getting out of debt.
Finances are a HUGE part of an allergy lifestyle. Special food. Umpteen doctor visits (unless you have a witch doctor in the house too). Often there is more expensive clothing (natural fibers only for Katie), household soaps, personal cleansers, childcare, etc. etc., ad nauseam.
Even if you don’t deal with food allergies, we all use money to buy necessities and sometimes luxuries. Many of us detest it, but it’s a necessary evil for 99.9999% of us.
We’ve been working on minimizing spending here and there over the last few years…mostly unsuccessfully. For every penny saved, I swear I spend a dollar somewhere else.
Our bills are not outrageous, it’s just that we’re spendthrifts. Very accomplished spendthrifts. That’s what credit cards are for, right? Ahem.
Our food bills can get truly out of control even with the newly instituted meal plans. The last two months have been well over $1000 for two adults, one preschooler, and a REAL FOOD cat. Ruh roh. REAL FOOD purposefully gets a big part of our budget but not that big. We also collect debt like we’re squirrels stocking up for winter. There’s always something we need think we need and not enough accountability. That is about to change.
Over the last week or so, I have found my favorite new blog Money Saving Mom and made some big changes. Stumbling onto her site made everything I’ve learned about personal financial management click. It was truly my light bulb moment.
Now, not everything applies to my life. We eat differently so the recipes and most of the coupons don’t fit. Couponing will never be a big part of my life with our alternative lifestyle. There is still so much info over there to help a mama out!
I found a virtual envelope budget system (a la Dave Ramsey) by reading comments on one of her posts. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve known about the envelope system for awhile, but the thought of only using cash terrifies me. We don’t like being restricted with money. But virtual? I can do that!
And I am. And I love it. Mvelopes rocks. Set up and figuring the ins and outs took me a little while, but it’s really fantastic and FREE! That was the first step to taking control of our finances in a big way.
I’m also a casual Swagbucks user and use all of my Swagbucks for $5 Amazon gift cards. I’ve been paying more attention to what’s going on over there and found another fun (I hope) opportunity.
So that’s where we are right now. At the bottom of a mountain of debt, fully geared up, and starting to climb. Have you taken control of your finances? Share your story or advice!
Photo Credit: o5com