Let me apologize in advance to you math geeks and accounting lovers everywhere…I hate numbers. I’m sorry for the brashness of it, but after 40 + years of living, it’s still a foreign language. I know my way around excel, but ask me to explain the formulas to you and you might as well just ask me to recite Shakespeare in Latin. I can add, subtract, multiply and divide begrudgingly. Geometry – blech, Calculus-what is that anyway? And it’s an honest to God miracle that after barely passing dummy math in high school, I tested out of college math. I am pretty sure my test was mixed up with my friend who’s name came right after mine on the role sheet. We talked briefly after the test and she was shocked to have to take basic Math. Me? I just giggled nervously and mouthed a huge “YES!” after she turned around. In fact, I am sure I made pretty designs out of filling out the answer in the circle on half of the test instead of reading those complex, “Farmer A brings 3 tires to the gas station for air, Farmer B takes 2 and replaces it with 5 turkeys. How many tires are left that need filling with air and how much per cubic foot of air does Farmer A still need to breathe” questions.
However, there comes a time when we ALL need some education in this area. Mostly because you can’t function without some basic knowledge. I am still shocked they don’t teach kids in school how to balance a darn checkbook. I mean, come on-in reality, how many of you are using complex calculus calculations in your every day life? But balancing a checkbook? We ALL have to do that or else. So, I have brought in some of my trusty friends and their favorite budgeting and money saving tips to help us today. Ok, I admit. This is really a post for me. I need it! I need a refresher and maybe some of you need a little help, too. I think one of the things that helps is to see and try some new ideas. Some might work, some might not, but it’s the variety that seems to help us learn and absorb knowledge.
Now, on to some awesome tips from some really smart and talented people!
Mia says, “I like Dave Ramseys practical approach toward finances. His whole method at paying off debt smallest to largest so that we feel accomplishment and satisfaction is a good thing to remember. And that if it doesn’t feel good or bring satisfaction, we’re less likely to do it, so setting goals or guidelines that will also give us some satisfaction will help us to maintain those goals.”
Holly K. has this advice, “I seem to utilize the things I buy at the grocery store better if I’ve already picked out recipes for the items. It helps me avoid waste and extra items just sitting on the shelves in my kitchen.”
My beautiful sis in-law Sharon says, “Don’t be afraid of second hand; why pay full price when there’s Plato’s Closet?? ” Amen, girl! Now, if only I could find one around here…
Erica Rose says, “This New Year’s I decided to leave myself instructions on the mirror. At least I can’t ignore them as long as I continue doing my hair and makeup on a regular basis.” (see below)
Denise in Texas says, “Stick to your list. Going shopping when your bored is bad!”
My friend Sarah, I call her my budgeting queen, sticks to using Excel for her monthly budgeting. She’s a real wiz and makes spreadsheets for me that are extremely easy to use (and dirt cheap!). I can share her information if you are interested-let me know because you haven’t budgeted until you’ve used one of these colorful babies!
Lori Jo gives us this tidbit, “Be patient. I peruse Lands End and LL Bean catalogs in winter, buy for next season in summer at 70 percent off…online. Also just bought last year’s ballet flats for $1 at thrift shop. Like new, $40 in catalog.”
Jane S. says, “Keep emergency cash on hand and you will always be able to pay for something unexpected.”
Anita says, “When I get the urge to splurge on something I shouldn’t ( maybe an ice cream or Starbucks ) more than once a week ( or whatever your limit is) , I put that $5 or however much in a jar, and at the end of the month or even week, I deposit it into savings or towards my credit card debt.”
From Julie K., “This one is a bit wacky, but it has saved me a ton of money over the years. I have 2 boys who drink a lot of milk. I get the milk delivered and it keeps me out of the grocery store for “quick trips”. I would tend to impulse buy things I didn’t need or weren’t on my list. Now I go once a week for the produce, etc and don’t need to go any other time during the week.” Oooh, good one. Should work for a milk thirsty hubby, too!
Martha says, “I limit my Starbucks visits to once a week (unless on vacation…then I might splurge). Also don’t be afraid to use coupons or shop at Aldi.”
Nina S, a crafter, says, “I don’t even open emails and magazines selling beads unless I really need something for a project. Trying to first use what I have at home!”
And finally, Terry says, “Yard sales for 30-50% of purchases, providing you’re not after a house or car.”
Thanks to all my awesome friends for sharing with me! I am so lucky to have you guys in my life. You make “numbers” almost fun. 🙂