Week 1 of the financial fast is officially in the books. Total transparency you guys – I spent $100 I had no intention of spending; 1-because I was sick and 2-because I don’t always tell my children no. This past week I went into allergy-sinus hell! Monday and Tuesday, I could barely see, the pressure in my head was severe and my head hurt beyond the pain and back again. To top things off, my husband was working days and my son was beginning his first day of kindergarten. By Tuesday night I had to make the decision – feed a man who worked 12 hours in and out of the Texas heat a sandwich for supper or order in because I couldn’t stand for more than 5 minutes? I ordered dinner which totaled $30. I actually felt really bad about spending that money on “fast food” because there was food in the house, I just couldn’t stand up to cook it. We did go to the grocery store on Sunday the 1st and purchased two weeks worth of groceries. That two weeks worth of groceries came out to $330. Which is in line with the average or below average for a family of 4 and I normally cook every night or at least every other night; depending on what I cook. The USDA estimated in 2012 that for a family of 4 to eat at home on a daily basis every month their grocery bill would be anywhere between $550 – $1250 a month. That was in 2012. The costs of living has grown exponentially, the price of meat and vegetables has increased and it costs more to grow and sustain food so those costs trickle down to consumers. I would say our $330 spent in the store was about on target. My second non-essential spend of the week was last night for a party. My daughter’s friend had a birthday party at a restaurant and although it was a group of 16 and 17 year olds, the parents got together as well. We’ve been doing that from time to time lately because the kids are all close and we like to sit around and keep up with what is going on. Although my husband and myself are the youngest of the group, we are all kind of “old-school” and we try our best to be aware of what is going on with our kids and who they are hanging out with. We met some new people and had excellent conversations; although we spent another $70 eating out, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Plus, we were supposed to go meet family afterwards and it made no sense to drive 25 miles out of the city, drive back home, drive back 25 miles…75 miles so far and drive another 50 miles to go meet family.
If you do not follow my IG page @wife_woman_mother_ you missed the first week of money saving tips to help you along your journey to be debt free. Below are days 1-7:
- Changing your HVAC filter regularly. People do not realize the importance of doing this and oftentimes forget about it. A dirty filter makes your unit work harder and longer than it needs to which equates to more money you’re spending on your energy bill.
- Proper Car Maintenance. Making sure your oil is changed when necessary and at the recommended times as well as changing other fluids and filters will increase the life of your vehicle as well as decrease the chance that something catastrophic will occur. Regular maintenance means you are having systems checked to ensure things are working properly across the board. Keeping tire pressure leveled along with these other maintenance requirements will maximize your gas mileage as well.
- Check home insulation and seals. Properly insulated and sealed homes remain cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter decreasing your energy costs. Check to see if there is enough insulation in the home and that you do not have air leaks around your doors and windows.
- Shop around for insurance. Competitively priced insurance is out there for both home and auto. Just because an insurance company doesn’t carry a big well-known name does not mean it isn’t worth your time or money. Check the reviews, do your homework and if you’re paying full coverage for an older model vehicle that doesn’t have a great resale value…drop it down now!
- Stop impulse spending. Impulse spending is something we all do or have done. To prevent this from happening, I suggest you remove all credit cards that are saved to your regular purchasing places – like Amazon…my go to place to shop. If your credit card isn’t on file and it’s not handy, you probably will not want to get up and get it. SAVE YOURSELF AND YOUR MONEY!
- Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe from all of those stores that send emails to remind you about the one day sale, semi-annual sale, Labor Day, President’s Day and just today sales. If you don’t have the will power to ignore them, remove the temptation. Especially the ones that send you multiple emails about the same sale in one day.
- Stick to your list. When you make a grocery list, stick to it. Once you plan your meals and you know what you need; make your list. Once you are in the store, do not deviate from that list. Shop alone if possible. Usually when you have your children with you and even your spouse you end up with extra things in the basket at checkout wondering where that came from?!
Week 1 did not go as well as I hoped for, but it could have been worse. I had Super Cash to spend, Place Cash to spend, Bath and Body Works had sales on candles and I received emails galore about this sale and that sale but I did not succumb to the temptation. I prayed and reassured myself that I am to be a good steward of my money and not spend it frivolously or just because there is a sale going on. I hope you all are saving and fasting financially and going for at least putting away $1/day. Good luck this week, happy saving and here’s to becoming debt-free!