Tuesday, January 6, 2009
It is such a struggle. But I'm not sure which is harder. Trying to save or trying not to spend. You'd think that they would be one in the same but, to me, they are not. It seems like a simple concept. Don't spend the money, just save it. If it's not spent it must be saved. So, I figure out our monthly budget. I know what's coming in. I have a pretty good idea of what's going out. It doesn't fluctuate an incredible amount.
We use our debit card for all purchases, so that we're not carrying around cash and wasting it here and there on small items. I don't have to dig around in my purse looking for the exact change so I don't get stuck with a purse full of coins. I plan my errands so that I'm not wasting gas and shop for sale items. I buy mostly store-brand grocery items. We use a woodstove instead of our gas forced-air furnace. My husband brings leftovers from dinner to have for his next day's lunch every single day. I begin to think "Wahoo! We're doing it!" But then, dun dun dunnnnnn, the water bill arrives. Ugh. Forgot about that - has it been six months so soon? And then, right in the mailbox, our car insurance renewal. Yup, due on Friday it is. The premium is $150 cheaper if paid in full instead of installments. But! But! I was planning on saving money!
It's almost painful. Sometimes I long for the days of Little House on the Prairie when Ma Ingalls would sell her eggs to Mrs. Olson - at least she had a few cents to save! Well, I have nothing to sell. I guess I'll just have to wait things out and keep a sharp eye out for opportunities to come our way. Such as last year when my company offered me health insurance for our family. It was the same company we had through my husband's employer. However, the per paycheck premium was about $5 cheaper, and the key words being per paycheck. My husband was paid weekly, whereas I'm paid bi-weekly. So we switched from his employer to mine and we ended up saving $2000 last year. Now that savings did allow me and my kids to go on vacation. But sometimes it seems like just when you're getting a little ahead, one of the kids suddenly grows and now needs more shoes/socks/jeans, etc., or the car insurance bill comes, or the water bill comes . . . . . . . . .
Any one else feel the struggle between saving and spending?