Thursday, September 27, 2012

Skinny Budget: Budget Tips #1

I didn't start this blog with the hopes of being rich, nor did I hope to become famous, but I DID start this blog with the intention to connect with other people and to inspire myself onwards, at a time when I am on a Skinny Budget but I still want to do all the things on my life list.

Along the way through paying credit card interest or a car loan (or 2) I have discovered a few ways to budget and as a result cut back costs where necessary. I wanted to start off by sharing a few of the more simpler ways our family cuts these costs and even share with you some of my future goals for us in upcoming posts :)

Tip 1: Home Haircuts.
Yep, I cut our hair. I'm not a qualified professional, nor do I think I am, but my lovable fiance Luke was silly brave enough to ask me 4.5 years ago to cut his hair, and I have done it ever since :) I have maintained Lily's fringe all her life (a whole 3.5 years) and as for myself, I haven't been to a hairdresser for a haircut in around 2 years, I just trim my split ends/ layers myself.  I take my time with each hair cut, Google the heck out of pictures, and most of the time I sit and watch YouTube videos until I feel confident to pick up my scissors and start snipping.



(left) DIY haircut, (right) DIY hair trim..FREE!

This has saved us, just in the last 2 years alone an average of: $1,500 in haircuts (for all 3 of us in total)

Tip 2: Curb the Itunes/Apps Habit.
I didn't even realize I had a 'habit' with Itunes or purchasing Apps on my Iphone, until I was reviewing our bank statement one day and saw a few debits from the Itunes store. I realized then that I was impulsively buying music and not noticing how all those little $2-$3 costs were quickly adding up.

It doesn't have to be an Itunes habit, you may buy coffee everyday, twice a day. At $3.50 (average) a cup, that's $1277.50 a year! Just on that cup of coffee.

Tip 3: Make Luke's Lunch Everyday.
I honestly like doing this. It saves SO much money, you're eating better because of it (obviously depending on what you're putting in that lunch box!) and overall you have more time in your day not queuing for food.

I always do this the night before so in the mornings I am able to have my sleep, knowing that he is all set and ready for that day.

Tip 4: Eat at home 6/7 nights a week.
As a family of 3 (almost 4) eating out is getting costly. I do a menu plan each time before I go grocery shopping to map out the next 7 meals that we are going to have, however there are just those days where we would LOVE some take out. If we get pizza, we always do so on a Tuesday when most companies have the 'Cheap Tuesday' specials. We also tend to go pick up the take away to save on delivery charges.

You can check out my:
Chicken Fried Rice Recipe here
Crunchy Crispy Chicken here
Chicken Schnitzel Recipe here
Banana & Pear Muffins here




Tip 5: SALE Shop!
This doesn't mean we chase sales like paps chase celebrities, what this translates to is we try to shop smart. Know what we need, know what our budget is, know when to walk away. There can be a very fine line between affordability and durability in clothes (especially in kids clothing!) however this doesn't mean you can't find affordable kids/ adults clothing that will last you, you just need to shop around and once again:
- know what you need
- know your budget
- and know when to walk away!


Tip 6: Pay Bills Online.
With online banking, I am able to budget a head of time and therefore pay my bills earlier in order for the money to go through when needed. It also saves me a $2 fee from the majority of companies that now charge you for receiving paper bills. I am able to see my billing/ payment history and set up payment plans that I would usually have to call a company (and then sit on hold for 15-20 minutes waiting on hold) in order to do.

Tip 7: DIY at least 1 task.
My DIY home haircuts could even count as this, but we also clean our own cars to save some money when we can and since I love getting crafty, I like to DIY a lot of my organization tools. You can check out my DIY accessories storage post by clicking here.

Feel Free to comment below if you have any other home budgeting tips you'd like to add :) Next week I will go a little more into detail about what my budget goals are, they may just help you :)

Until Next time,



4 comments:

  1. i'd like to see a post about your grocery budget, i really struggle to keep it on track or plan well for the week

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd love to do a post on this :) it'll be up on either Thursday this week or Monday :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like that you pointed out some smaller expenses that people rarely take heed of, like getting haircuts and downloads of music and apps. These small amounts can accumulate fast, especially if you’re impulsive. I also like your idea of DIY-ing some tasks like maintaining your lawn, or cleaning your gutters instead of hiring people to do them for you. Not only will you save money, you’ll get to learn a new skill too.

    Brooke Claudio

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brooke, thanks for your comment :) I think it's those smaller items that we too often push aside as 'insignificant' that can really cripple our budgets so it's always good to pay attention to the smaller spending as well as the larger. I love DIY, whether it's the satisfaction of accomplishing something yourself or saving a lot of money doing so, I'm a fan.

      Thanks for stopping by

      Delete

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