Sunday, January 5, 2014

Frugal & Thrifty Budget Ideas for 2014

This is the post I ran last year for my 2013 Budget.  I thought I would repeat it.  I set a really realistic goal and did stick to it overall.  Since I put this money away at the beginning of the month, I never missed it.  You know as financial advisors always say. - - "Pay yourself first".  It is so true, if you pay yourself first, then whatever is left is what you will live on.    So here is my post from last year - - - - -

Frugal & Thrifty Budget Ideas for 2013

Ok, I am really going to get a budget going and see if I can stay on it.  Not something really outrageous, but something that is totally realistic.  We live a rather simple life, not really anything extravagant at all, but I still think I waste money and that is not a good thing.

First off, I am going to look at some of the things I have committed to and see if I can trim those expenses down a little bit.  The first one is the cable bill.  Do I really watch all those channels, and no I hardly ever watch those movies, so if I cut those out, what can I save?  What other bills can I trim down?  We don't really have a lot of bills, so if I just watch the A/C and Heating, that's about all I can control, but that can save a lot.  With the cable bill alone I can save $30 a month.  That's a good start.

Second would be the grocery bill.  I usually do one big shop each week and only go back if I run out of something, but I don't plan out meals and I don't really watch the grocery budget. I like for the pantry and the fridge/freezer to be fully stocked with everything, so then whatever I want to cook, all the ingredients are on hand.   I do read the ads, make a list and use the coupons that really apply to what we like to eat.  It wastes money to use a coupon and buy something you really don't like.  We eat really well at our house, but I can trim a little here I think.  For just the two of us I definitely think a budget of $100 week is more than ample, so I am going to stick to that.

Third is to not waste money on car gas just running around unnecessarily.  I am the world's worst at just hopping in the car and running here and there for no reason at all.  I get 36 mpg with my new little car, so I don't think about how much I am running around.  If I plan to do as many errands as possible at a time, then I don't have to waste a lot of money on car gas making unnecessary trips.

Fourth is to give myself an allowance.  I know that I could be more frugal with my spending, but I just seem to buy whatever I want.  Even if I do a ton of shopping at Goodwill and Thrift stores for most of my home decor, that really adds up, so I need to be more selective about what I buy.  I need to really take a good look at our wardrobes and purge what doesn't fit and only replace needed items and maybe an occassional something special.  That will accomplish two goals.  First I won't have so much stuff and need to purge so often,  and second, I need to use what I have.  Ok, so if I set a goal of $100 a month for my allowance, that should be more than ample.  Maybe I can even trim that back a little.  I need to come up with an allowance to refresh our wardrobes each season.  

Now these are just four really easy and simple little things that I can do that will start off my goal of saving an extra $100 a month.  Not a big deal, but it is something that I can achieve and then I can set bigger goals. Just need to take baby steps here. lol

I am going to add one more item to my budget for 2014.  I am going to curb some of those trips to the Beauty Salon.  A lot of time I am in a hurry and color my own hair instead of spending hours in the salon, and I really can go a month between pedicures and just re-polish at home.  I do it all the time when "time" is a crunch anyway.  Now this should save quite a bit more by itself.  Hair color at the salon is around $50 and you can buy everything at Sally's for under $10.  Skipping one pedi also saves about $25.  

Then there’s the 52-Week Money Challenge  
The idea is simple! Every week you deposit that number of the week into a jar or savings account. Week 1 you save $1, week 15 you save $15, on week 52 you deposit $52 for example.

I saw this idea posted on A Cultivated Nest blog.  I think this is a super idea for a really easy way to save a little extra cash.  Just think, you could have enough to pay for all of your Christmas or a nice little getaway.  I may add this to my list.
Hopefully at the end of the year I will have this really big pile of cash sitting around, and way more than $100 a month.  

OK, now tell me how you budget and what are your special tricks for sticking to it.

I am joining the following parties:
Classy Clutter for Spotlight Saturday, Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks Linky
It's Overflowing for Overflowing with Creativity Sat., Funky Junk Interiors for Party Junk
Be Different Act Normal for Show & Tell Sat.
 Silver Pennies for Silver Pennies Sunday,Twigg Studios for Sunday Showoff Party
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday,Stephanie Lynn for Sunday Showcase
Three Mango Seeds It's Party Time,  DIY Showoff for DIY Showoff Party
Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
 Creatively Living for Monday Funday PartyMod Vintage Life for Mod Mix Monday
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
 Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Dwellings-Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
                                        Rain on a Tin Roof for Give Me The Goods Monday

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  1. I remember the original post and it is still fabulous advice. I started not "running around as much" and boy my gas bill was lower. Great tips Marty!

  2. Thank ypu, this...I need to apply it to my own life.

  3. I guess, I must listen and follow your tricks. I am an absolutely frugal spender §:-)

    Pedi every other week Mani with gel every 3 weeks, shopping every day LoL and spend lots of our travelling. 5-6 times a year is a lot of bucks.

    I was thinking to cut down most of my spending and will absolute save. This is one of the resolution or inspiration.

    Thank you for the heads-up.

    Happy weekend.

  4. Hy Marty. I love the 52 week money challenge idea. I think I will try it this year.
    Hugs, Cristina

  5. Great ideas! I'm doing the money challenge too. It seems so doable. I'm making a serious effort to plan meals and eat what's here instead of running to the store. We spend a lot of money at the grocery store so that's one place where we can definitely save. As for the car, I confess that I like to leave the house every day even if it's just a few minutes. :)

  6. Great post Marty. I really don't do anything with the budget. Now that I am home, I don't need as many clothes....downsizing, so I don't buy much even IF it is a great buy, unless I get rid of something. My monthly allowance is $80.00. For me, that is good. We probably spend more on groceries though.....We are becoming more and more financially sound since we downsized. Let's just hope the new insurances doesn't ruin that!!

  7. Good tips and thanks for the link! I stopped getting my hair colored a few years ago and started doing it myself and that is a huge money saver!

    The 52 week challenge is great way to save for Christmas or your emergency fund. There's also a blank form for those that want to save for 52 weeks but want to do their own challenge amount.

  8. These are some great ideas! The grocery store seems to be my nemesis. I spend so much of our budget of food and household necessities. I can't go much lower with beauty treatments, I wish I could color my own hair, but I get highlights and those are not a good diy fit ;) LOL!

  9. Great tips, Marty! I just lowered our cable and telephone bill by eliminating features we don't use.

  10. Great tips! Someone suggested to me that the money challenge might be easier if done backwards. That way you're not trying to put away the highest amounts right before the holidays. I can't lower my beauty spending as I don't usually get mani-pedis anyway... no color or highlights, and only cut a few times a year. LOL But there are areas where we can change. For example we'd save a TON if we didn't eat in restaurants so much. Going to give it some thought!

  11. This is my big thing for the year 2014. I know that I waste much more than I need to waste, so I plan to take care of this by doing some of these very things....
    Thanks for a good post.

  12. Regarding cable tv - I wanted to upgrade to the HD package and also the Sports and Info package; when I spoke with customer service at our cable provider, she said that since we were such good customers (since 1990) she'd give us a discount. It ended up that we are spending $28 LESS per month, with MORE services. :)

  13. These are great tips, Marty! So glad you reposted this. I'm planning to be more focused on the meal planning this year. When my kids were younger I was great at this but as they've gotten older and our schedules are more hectic I've dropped the ball. Love the idea of the weekly savings plan as well. Happy New Year!

  14. You're right where I am. I'm taking over the budget and determined to save money this year. We've never had a budget! I like the idea of weekly savings. I might be able to do that, too. Thanks for the motivation.

  15. All great ideals. I have already started the money challenge but I need to get much better at meal planning. We have a fall garden and soon it will be time to start planning the spring garden. I need to do a better job at planning around what we are harvesting. Another thing that has help me to stay out of the grocery store is our membership to Sams. I try to go every three to four months and stock up on the basics, we eat lots of chicken, so that's always a good thing for the freezer. That said I could do a little better with my spending and give myself an allowance. Since I live in the middle of town, I don't do that much running around, usually just twice a week. Walking to run a few errands is very good for me. See you tomorrow.

  16. My food budget is where I'm starting. I've cut down on a lot of the other categories, but I want to do more cooking ahead and make sure I'm using up everything in the refrigerator. I think there's twenty dollars worth of waste a month and that's where I'm starting.

  17. Hi Marty, thanks for sharing all these helpful hints. I think that I have cut back big time on the mani/pedi area. Believe it or not I get my hair highlighted by my wonderful hubby doing it so I know I am saving a lot of money there and I think that is the # 1 reason why he likes doing it! Lol! Take care.

  18. Good advice!

    Thanks for celebrating the New Year at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  19. I love this post! We can all definitely cut a little back. Mine this year was staying away from Home Goods for all summer! Imagine what I saved!!! We like to eat well too but I waste a lot on produce that goes bad with only 2 of us so I am buying pre-prepared salads at Wal Mart and the local grocery for a little over $2 and we haven't wasted one yet. That's how much I waste on a head of lettuce that goes bad. I loved the savings chart. What a wonderful way to see it add up!

  20. Sounds like you've got some really good ideas for being more money-conscious in 2014. Best of luck to you!!

    I’d like to invite you to a new link party, called Happy Tuesday. We’re sharing anything that makes us happy – we want to spread good vibes and positivity throughout blogland. You can find out more info at the link below. I hope you’ll come and join us!


  21. I've never had a mani or a pedi......don't color my hair.......get a hair cut maybe twice a year, and trim it myself in between. The utility bills are killing me and I am very conservative there!! Think I will get an energy audit done. I allow $100 a week for groceries and household supplies...don't buy prepared or packaged foods, do all my own cooking and use fresh produce. I have to stay out of TJMaxx, can't pass up a good buy!!! And am cutting back on my crafting supplies, that's my biggest expense!!! I've got plenty on hand here to keep me busy for a long time........

  22. I'm working on not running around as much. Yes, it uses gas, and running around uses time that could be spent at home batch cooking, etc. etc.

    I'd love for you to share your tips with my readers at my Fabulously Frugal Thursday linky party.:

  23. Beautiful choices! I'm sure it's difficult to break away from what you 're used to and downsize at the same time, but the reward will be worth it. Good luck with the move and decorating!dinning room ideas

  24. Hi Marty! Thanks for sharing this. One of my new year's resolutions is to save more and spend less. I love the idea of the 52 Money Challenge. Thanks for sharing!

    Tasha @ Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body

  25. I love these tips! During the holidays it's so easy to get accustomed to frittering money away a few dollars at a time. I'm not allowing myself any expenses other than necessary items this month and a couple of gifts that I need to pick up. Also we have gotten a little out of control with the groceries here and I need to cut back. So glad to have the moral support of other ladies to help me through it :)

  26. We cut our cable bill in 2013 and went to Netfix only - never looking back! Here's my post on the switch:

    1. I read you post, interesting. I still think we will keep the cable for a while.

  27. Sounds like a real plan Marty! I'm with you, I spend too much adn for this 2014, my goal is to eliminate my Credit Card Debt!! Aaaggghhh! Don't know if I could do this since I have a lot! Hence, I have to curb my biggest vice - Shopping!!!!! Anyway, I'm doing the 52 week challenge too! Good luck to us!

  28. Fantastic tips! Along with eating and being healthier we're going to look at finances and saving money. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

  29. Hi Marty,

    I just read this post and we are so in the same page with coupons. That is why I decided to put that on my list. One interesting thing that I like is the 52 Week Money Challenge, now that is something. I think I'm going to try that.

    Thanks a lot for stopping by and for mentioning that post of yours, I really don't know why I haven't read this since I stalk your blog all the time. ♥


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