With the reset, I feel that I should start over with some, if not all of the frugal things that I have experience with. Then I can add in new ones that I find. First off, budgeting.
I prefer to call it a Spending Plan instead of Budget, but the truth of the matter is, if I don't have one, I don't do very well over the month. I don't mind if we go over in a particular category, say grocery spending, because even if I do, it saves us money in the Restaurant/Ordering Out category. But, without the Spending Plan mapped out in the first place, I spend all willy-nilly and next thing I know, we're behind in the cable bill again. It's not perfect, and the income minus expenses are at an all time negative right now, but it is my starting point.
I've added up all the debt we owe. It's disgusting. I should be ashamed, and I am somewhat, but I've reset, so it also becomes our starting point. It will get a wee bit worse over the next couple of months while I re-juggle the spending plan and get back to work and whatnot, but it is what it is.
One thing that I found really, really helped us in the past was having a meal plan. I put up an empty weekly dinner sheet on the fridge and get the family to put in requests, or at the very least, help fill the thing in. Then I have a much clearer picture of what I need to buy when I am at the grocery store. I haven't taken an inventory of our cupboards lately, so maybe I'll do that too. Throw out old, outdated stuff that is never going to get used, and see what I can use up to lower the grocery spending this week. I'll definitely need to replenish the freezer meats (we are out of or nearly out of everything), so I will be keeping my lids peeled for deals on meats until we can save up for another freezer meat order.
Upcoming in August:
DD1 has a birthday coming up. I have already decided what I would like to gift her. It should be around $50 so that's not too bad.
DH's brother is getting married. DH is in the wedding party, so there will be a tux rental (ugh) and a gift to be bought for the newlyweds. I'll also have to find something appropriate to wear, like a dress, and we'll have to spend a small amount of money at the reception I suppose.
Then there is back to school shopping. Kids will need new shoes, there will be fees, and probably a few school supplies will be needed. I will have to keep this spending down to as little as possible.
Hockey fees; These are due by the end of the month and I'm just not sure where this money is going to come from.
All of this along with our regular monthly bills, the little bit that we are behind in rent, the amounts we are behind in some of the other bills and the debt. Oh the debt.
I'll have to adjust and readjust the debt payments as I move forward in this, but for now I've started small automatic payments just to get things going in the right direction.
Wish us luck. We're going to need it.