Sunday, November 29, 2009

Budget Reform

Budget Reform-Family Style

It seems like it’s every year at this time-you’d think I’d get the hint by now. Christmas is around the corner (breathing down my neck), the snow is readying itself to fall, and every single bill we owe is due, now!

Here’s the downfall of a self-employed spouse-getting paid. My husband is a contractor and does remodeling and new construction. He currently has five outstanding invoices and to us, who survive on my teaching salary and his income, that’s huge!

Every time someone mentions Christmas or presents I want to pretend like I didn’t hear them. When I look at our pantry I feel saddened. Although, I could bake my way through the New Year because flour, sugar, and those types of things we have plenty of (used sparingly and cheap to buy).

So, when the hubs mentioned how we needed to come up with “X” amount of money by the beginning of the month, my heart sank but my mind started racing. What could I do now that we weren’t doing before? The last time we were faced with this we cancelled our television service (yay, big blessing in disguise), went down in our cell minutes (we don’t have a home phone), and set a grocery/eating out budget of 50 bucks a week.

Now what? Well, I made myself a little list to help clear my head.

1. Use what we have-food, clothes, misc. This seems simple enough but I wonder how many people out there have things in their pantry they’ve completely forgotten about? I reorganized ours’ this weekend and took stock of what we have. I sure hope we can eat rice for a month.

2. If it’s not on sale and/or I don’t have a coupon, I don’t buy it. Again, easier said than done. But I need to stick with it better.

3. Try bartering goods. I’d have to find other local gals willing to do this but I could easily trade my stick of butter for your can of beans.

4. Sell things we don’t need/use. Thank goodness for Craigslist. Let’s just hope we can find some buyers for our goods.

5. Set a tighter grocery budget. This time what doesn’t get spent goes into savings. It used to roll over to the next week, but that’s not helping us save.

6. Count loose change and deposit it. My hubby has a thing with not using change so it builds up. We have a container (oatmeal container) of change right now.

7. Return bottles and cans-and be on the lookout for them.

Yes, it would be so much easier if the people who owed my husband money would just pay him but that’s not happening, at least not now. And until it does, we have to reform our budget. Let’s just hope we can get through this, again.


  1. Sorry, I feel like I'm intruding...Wow, what a tough time you are going through! You have great ideas on cutting back! Hopefully the people that owe your husband money will hand it over soon! One thing a friend of mine does for Christmas is she buys her kids toys at consignment stores or craiglist. They LOVE them and never know the difference. :)


  2. Not intruding, welcome!
    Good ideas. We're working on what to do about Christmas gifts now...I'm sure we'll figure something creative out.