Show and Tell Tuesday

Show and Tell Tuesday:How we Save and Splurge

Today I am linking up with Andrea for…

 

Today is all about saving and splurging. Let me start out by saying, I am not the strongest budgeting person. Sticking to a budget is really hard for me. If it were up to me everything would be a splurge. Ha! Enter my husband…


Yep, his name is Brandon but he is pretty much Dave Ramsey AKA, Bramsey.


Brandon is really good about budgeting and keeping me on track. He is really good about frivolous spending and communicating about money. A little over two years ago we started to really focus on our finances and spending. We live on a pretty tight budget and here is what works for my family.

Budget…

The first thing that we did was create a budget. We use the app Every Dollar. It is free from the app store, and you can also visit their website.

Image result for Every Dollar

We sat down one night and went over all of our bills, expenses…everything. It was nuts and it was hard and overwhelming, but it was really important to do. I am not a number person, but this app has really helped. I would say that one of the con’s of this app is that it is not connected to your banking, you have to input all your spending manually, but this can also be a pro (which I will get to in a minute). Each month you can transfer the information from the previous month and adjust your budget as you need. If you need more money for groceries, you can easily adjust your budget.

Communication…

That con (not connected to your bank account) that I just mentioned is actually a BIG pro in our house. Each night, Brandon and I take about 5-10 minutes and input all of our daily spending. This has REALLY had a positive impact on us. When we were first married we were BROKE. Like living on one income while I was still going to school, potatoes for dinner every night BROKE. Then I started working and spending, and Brandon got a better job and we were spending but we were not communicating. Then we would fight about it. Not good. Then we got past that, we got better about communicating but not great, and we still would lose track of our spending (add in babies). Now, we are open and honest with each other. We sit down every night and talk about money and spending and we can see where we are spending and saving. In the past 3 years this has changed our relationship for the better. We track, we dream, we spend, we save, we give, we allow each other to spend money on things, we are open books and that is so helpful.

Saving…

At the beginning of each month the very first thing we do is move money to savings. At the end of each month we move leftover money to savings (if we didn’t use it). We also put money into retirement right away at the beginning of each month. This way, we live off of what is NOT already in savings. Literally, every single dollar that we make goes somewhere in our budget, savings included.

A good message for kids: "Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving." - Warren Buffett:

Groceries…

I don’t know about you, but food is a BIG expense in our house. To make sure I am getting the most bang for my buck, I prepare a lot of food at home. I meal plan and shop at the grocery store once a week. Not having to stop at a store daily has saved us money. Eating out is limited. We might eat out twice a month. Pintrest is a wonderful place to visit for fake-out take-out. If we are craving something I try to find a copy-cat recipe. There are times when I don’t feel like cooking and cleaning, but we do it because take-out would mean $$$ coming from somewhere else in our budget. Also, find apps like the WalMart Savings Catcher to help. I am constantly watching prices to make sure I am getting the best deal as well.

Clothes…

As a kindergarten teacher, I am always terrified to wear expensive clothes to work. Anthropology…I’m lookin’ at you. The majority of my clothes come from Old Navy (cute, affordable, and they are always having a sale). I also buy clothes from the WalMart and Target (when we go…the closest one is 2 hours away). My kids clothes come from The Children’s Place, Justice, TJ Maxx, Target, and places like this. I also look for their shoes when they are on sale at places like Shopko (they always have sales on their Nikes and ADIDAS). Also, Costco has cute clothes that are affordable. Brandon gets a lot of his clothes from Old Navy and Costco as well.

Entertainment…

We are homebodies. Like I said earlier, we eat from home on the weekends and you can usually find us playing games or watching TV for entertainment. We try to think of cheap entertainment and activities. Also, we do one sporting activity per season. Instead of Maddi in dance and soccer, she has to choose one. The same rule applies for Guy. This cuts down on cost, but also gas (hauling kids from practice to practice) and allows us more time at home.

Holidays…

I shop year round for Christmas and Birthdays. If I see something my mom would like, I buy it. This helps cut down costs during the months of November and December.

Splurges…

Vacations! Every other year we take a big vacation (last summer we went on a Caribbean cruise). This summer we are doing something much cheaper. We have already started saving for our next big vacation the following summer as well. We pick a destination or trip, get the costs, and then start setting aside money so that when we go it is completely paid off. We also don’t skimp on our lodging. We would both rather spend a little more money on a nicer room than skimp on that. Just our personal preference. For instance, this past summer on the cruise, our room had an outside facing balcony and we would pay extra for that as well.

Most of our splurges include Saturday morning coffee shop stops, eating out, a new DVD or game, a date night, an unexpected trip to Old Navy or Bath and Body Works for a shirt or candle,  just the little things in life that make it a little sweeter. I might pick Maddi up a package if fingernail wraps or Guy a package of jerky. Our splurges are small and sweet, just a little something extra.

What are your favorite ways to save money? What are your favorite things to splurge on?

-Jenna

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Show and Tell Tuesday:How we Save and Splurge

    1. You are right Abby. It is amazing to see how much money a person can save here and there with just a little sacrifice. It also makes us all appreciate those splurges more 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Thank goodness for Bramsey, because he could not eat just beans and rice and is a little more understanding than Dave who would not let me indulge in a coffee every now and again 🙂

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    1. It is so hard to cut the cost for groceries! I always try to do the best I can, but I still just see $$$ flying out the door. Thank goodness for our husbands! 🙂 Have a great day!

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  1. I love Dave Ramsey! The snowball debt payoff plan is fabulous. This should be our big year to cut the debt out totally (well except for the house payment!) You guys are a lot like us when it comes to saving except my husband is the spender and I’m the mean girl LOL!

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  2. I wish we didn’t like to eat out so much! As I said in my post today, sometimes it’s just convenient and easy with all the running around I’ve got going on these days! Enjoyed your post!

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    1. I agree, it is so easy to eat out! It is all I can do to keep driving. I have to give myself a pep talk 🙂 Also, being 15 minutes away from the nearest drive through makes it a little easier for me! Out of sight, out of mind. Thanks for stopping by Laura, I hope your Birthday weekend was fantastic!

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    1. Jennifer, it is great. You just scan your receipt after your trip with your smart phone and then they will search other stores for lower prices and give you any difference in the price. You can then use that balance as an e-receipt to spend online. It is really great and it adds up!

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  3. My husband is big in Dave’s “Every Dollar” thing, too. I’m like you…yes, give me “every dollar!!!” Ha!!
    Vacation is my favorite splurge though!!
    And, I’m wearing a Walmart sweater right now! #noshame

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    1. I could do some REALLY great things if I had every dollar. We might not be able to eat or have electricity, or water…but we would have REALLY cute clothes and some great vacations! Hahaha! Gotta love the ol’ Walmart, I have no shame in my Walmart game. Have a great day! I have missed you!

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    1. I love Costco clothes! They has some really great brands and some really cute things. I loved their fleece leggings for $12 this summer/early fall. I get a lot of active wear there as well. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. I am so glad that I found your blog as well and can follow along! I feel like a newbie so it was fun to see someone who also started when I did 🙂 Have a great day!

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