I'm just now catching up on some blogging so here go some memes which I was tagged for a while back.
Jenny at Frugal Vegcafe tagged me to share my 5 top budget busters. Many of our budget busters have lost their effectiveness since we've gone to actually making an "on paper, on purpose" budget and using the cash envelope system, but we still have a long way to go. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Buying stuff we don't need because the price is so good. This is one reason I don't think I need to be a weekly Goodwill shopper or shop frequently at all. The more you shop, the more you find and buy, even if you didn't you know you needed the item before you went shopping. Or that is the way it has worked for me anyway.
2. Disorganization. The biggest way I see this play out is in not getting the day started early enough when we have outings and errands. Because I'm not organized to get us out the door early, we complete an errand and then it is lunch time and we still have more stops, leaving me with the choice of eating out (usually drive-thru) or doing the errands another time, which ends up using more gas. Also, not keeping up on cutting and filing my coupons. I know I miss some great deals because I'm not current on these.
3. Shopping without a detailed list. It is way too easy to get sidetracked and buy more than we need for that week and perhaps not enough of the things we really do need, which can create additional trips to the store in subsequent days. Shopping is actually more fun when I am on top of the game, have a clear list with all coupons filed and clipped and can get in and out of the store quickly. Also, while shopping alone in the evening seems best for my sanity, it really is a trade-off since I am tired and not as clear-headed by the end of the day to be making decisions....even about the most minute things....like should I buy 1 bottle of ketchup on sale or 2?
4. Indecisiveness. Sometimes I just can't make decisions, even about unimportant things, then either have to return an item I decide I don't like (wasted time and potentially gas) or go to the store a second time because I passed on an item the first time around and decided that I did, indeed, want that one after all.
5. Rising costs of fuel and food. This month our total for gasoline will surpass our grocery total. (Hmmm...so our cars are eating more than we are?!) The essentials for living are just overall going up in price, from gasoline, to wheat kernels, to diapers, to milk, and the list goes on. We can't control prices so our family needs to choose wisely about what and how much to consume of a variety of goods, without going backwards nutritionally. I know everyone is in the same boat here so I know this is not some unique problem to me...but it is really hurting the bottom line.
And then Rebecca tagged me for a one word/one phrase meme. Here goes.
You’re feeling: Hopeful
To your left: window and nothing on the floor...how peaceful!
On your mind: if and when and how our house will sell
Last meal included: hamburgers, chips and dip, BBQ beans, homemade vanilla ice cream
You sometimes find it hard to: leave the house with three young kids adequately fed, clothed, presentable and with the items we need with us, while also leaving the house behind us in decent shape
The weather: Getting warmer....too bad we discovered today that there is something wrong with our whole heating and cooling system, but this will be addressed ASAP!
Something you have a collection of: some Willow Tree figurines
A smell that cheers you up: pineapple, strawberries or coffee
A smell that can ruin your mood: yucky diaper
How long since you last shaved: this morning
The current state of your hair: shoulder length, nondescript, not loving it, but it'll do
The largest item on your desk/workspace (not computer): Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales
Your skill with chopsticks: ummm....none
Which section you head for first in a bookstore: I head for crafts, sewing, bargain books or magazines.
Something you're craving: a trip to British Columbia (to see the friends and family)
Your general thoughts on the presidential race: I wish there was an option I could fully support
How many times have you been hospitalized this year: none
Favorite place to go for a quiet moment: bedroom
You’ve always secretly thought you’d be a good: mom, but now I'm having my doubts
Something that freaks you out: Scary movies...can't watch 'em
Something you’ve eaten too much of lately: Chick-Fil-A
You have never: lived alone
You never want to: have my children go hungry (due to lack of food, not their own pickiness)
If you'd like to join in, you're it! Or if you want to chime in on a few of the questions, fire away in the comments!