Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Coupon Mom vs. Ultimate Cheapskate

Watch this fun clip on Couponing vs. Ultimate Cheapskate

Loved this quote.... "It's fun to save this much money! Approach it as a fun hobby, not as a chore" ~~Coupon Mom

I can't believe both of them got so much stuff for $100. I feel like I spend $100 and only come home with a few things. I think I could probably learn a little {ok, apparently A LOT} from both of them.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wonder No More

wondering when your stimulus check will arrive? Then check this handy chart from the IRS.

Building Wealth

I think building personal wealth incorporates two different phases:

1. Spend Less Than You Earn (reducing your expenses etc)
2. Earn More Than You Spend (creating additonal income streams etc.)

I think it is important to first learn to spend less than you earn because if you don't, then your spending will increase as your income increases. But if you first learn how to spend less than you earn, then once you make more money it will be easier to save because you are already in the habit of living a quality frugal life.

I am still in the first phase of learning to spend less than you earn. My goal is to decrease my expenses without sacrificing my quality of living. Then I have a few new business ideas/ventures to get started on. But first I am focusing my energies on learning phase one better.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Reducing Expenses

This small statement over at Digerati Life really struck me, he said, “If you’re truly interested in building wealth, it’s not enough that you make money, it’s also about keeping that money and minimizing your costs, expenses and losses as much as you can.

It’s something I’ve known inside for like, forever, but it really struck me this time. My business didn’t become profitable until we had minimized our costs and expenses. This seems natural to me in a business sense, but I don’t think I have really caught on to that in my personal finances and running my household. Seems like a no brainer, but then, I’m a little slow at times I guess.

So the question is how to reduce my costs and expenses at home. I'm sure I will spend a lot of time going over this around here.

I think the first one I'd like to tackle is the grocery budget. According to an article I read at The New York Times, they reported that grocery prices have risen 5.1% in the last 12 months.

According to the Labor Department milk has gone up 17%, dried beans, peas and lentils 17%, cheese 15%, rice and pasta 13%, bread 12%, but eggs went up a whopping 25% since February 2007 but up 62% for the past two years.

Holy cow! This must be the reason I can't keep my grocery bill to what it used to be!

I used to coupon a little. Maybe I will start couponing again. Stay tuned! I'm working on rounding up all my little sources for coupons, tips and bargains into one place so that I have a little manual so to speak.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Call Off The Panic Attack!

Today was the last day to submit any reimbursements for our flex spending. After spinning my wheels for a while, I finally realized that I did submit everything and I did use up all the money.

Phew! Glad that's over with!

But can I just say how annoying medical bills are? We had two major surgeries in our family last year and I swear you get a zillion bills:
  • EOB's {this is not a bill}
  • itemized statements showing all the charges {which is also not your official bill},
  • plus individual bills from each person who worked on you or had a part in your medical care like the surgeon, anesthesiologist, hospital operating room, pharmacy, and their dog....

Enough already! There has to be an easier way!

I have got to get a better handle on the medical bills. I need a better system and I need to be able to know which bills I paid with the Flex Spending if I need {like tonight would have been helpful}.

If I figure it out, I'll let you know. If you've got a great system, please let me know too!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Background

I pay the bills at our house. Dh gets a general overview of where we are at, then leaves me to handle the rest because he is very busy out earning the money for us. We used to use Quicken to automatically pay our bills through our bank. But then they upgraded some stuff and I didn’t like it anymore so we stopped doing that.

I liked physically writing the checks. I felt like I had a better handle on where the money was going that way. With the auto pay, I felt largely removed from the whole process. It was painless, the bills just went out and got paid and we basically forgot about them because we knew they were getting paid on time etc.

Then writing the checks got old. And I would put it off and put it off, {with good intentions of course} and all of a sudden things were getting paid late, or getting forgotten about.

Yeah, I wasn’t paying the bills. Not because we didn’t have the money to pay them, but because of my laziness and disorganization. And I knew things had to change. But it took me a while to truly get organized, to face my problems, and to figure out exactly where we were standing in regards to our finances.

At this same time, we were making more money than we ever had before. Our savings account was HUGE! I could have gone out and paid for a brand new spanking car IN CASH. And I realized I really liked having money in my account. And a lot of it! And I wanted more.

This is when I had my epiphany about my money~~about how I was the one in charge of it. And I could go blow it on stupid things, or make it grow and put us in an even better financial situation.
I choose the latter. I like the feeling of financial security. I want a better financial situation.

The First Post is the Hardest

Why is the first post the hardest? I've been thinking for a long time that I wanted to start this blog and now here I am and I'm not sure where I should begin.

Maybe I should just jump in and start posting about things that interest me in regards to my money. Or maybe I should explain a little bit about why I started this blog in the first place. Yeah, maybe I 'll go with a little background info.

Once upon a time I had an empowering thought~~I'm the one in charge of my money! And while I don't pretend to know everything about money, I do intend to learn more.

By posting about my finances, I hope to keep myself more accountable. I will probably post things I find helpful to me in my situation, things I'm learning more about, how to make more money, how to reduce my expenses, live frugally, and more.

So there you go in a nutshell! Let's start rolling in the dough!