What do we do when there is, “too much month at the end of the money?”
We get creative!
We made it through January’s budget and I’m going to take this moment to say how proud we are of us.This month is the first of both Germaine and I living off one income again and one business again. We kept all of our expenses right at what they were since our career situation didn’t impact or expenses at all. We set January’s grocery budget at $489.51 and the restaurant budget at $56.05.
Our January Family of 4 Food Budget is $545.56
By the fourth week of the month we had exhausted both budgets. Instead of digging into other accounted for resources, we decided we would be creative for the last week of January.
1 – The first thing we did is make a list of what was in the kitchen and deep freezer. Knowing exactly what we had helped us plan some meals. We had plenty to choose from on our list to meet our needs, but not everything we wanted.
2 – Next we looked for extra revenue for the food budget. We have an emergency fund in place and save a large chunk of our income so essentially I could have reduced our January savings amount in the budget. This challenge wasn’t about lack, but about being prudent with what we have. We had a freezer full of poultry, pork & beef plus pantry staples, so we weren’t on the verge of starvation. Something in me just felt wasteful about increasing the grocery budget when we already had what some would say, “an abundance of food”. Once we pieced together some meals we needed things like buns, and potatoes to make it work. So we did two things. We gathered up some cell phones we had sitting in the car waiting to be traded in and we cashed in our coins. Ever since our “get out of debt” days, we’ve saved our change so we had a piggy bank with $60 in coins. We were thinking it was like $15 bucks in there so that was a treat.
- Coins = $54 after fees
- Phone = $3
- Grand Total = $57
What we bought:
- Sliced Cheese
- Hoagie Rolls
- Frozen Fries
Challenging ourselves not to adjust the food budget helped:
1 – strengthen our financial discipline.
2 – make the greatest impact on our savings/investment goals.
3 – get back to meal planning and get creative with what we already had.
4 – look for resources around us already in our possession.