Thursday, October 4, 2012

Budgeting 101

October being the Beebe Family Money Challenge kickoff, I wanted to think of more ways to save besides at the supermarket and drive-thru. I got to thinking where I might be able to cut corners even more and realized there are little things that add up. There are the obvious things like brewing your own coffee instead of hitting Starbucks daily, cutting back on cable and internet service and eating more meals at home. This one is hard for us. Normally, when my hubby and I are craving something sweet once the kiddos have gone to bed, Mike immediately heads out for Jack in the Box shakes. We don't think twice to run out for dessert or snacks as a treat. But those treats add up. Not only do they cost dollars, but calories as well...a LOT of calories. So last night, craving a treat after dinner, we decided to take the kids for a walk to the 99 Cent Store. I got a small snack size cookie mix for just a dollar and made us a little bedtime treat with waaaay fewer calories and it took some walking to get them!
Speaking of walking, I happen to be lucky to live in an area of my city where my kids and I can walk to a lot of places. The park, library and a small shopping center are all less than a half a mile from our house. Walking not only gives us something to do to get out of the house and get fresh air, but it also gives us a chance to save money on gas. We try to fill up no more than once a week and there are some weeks when we're on fumes by Sunday. I try to plan my week strategically, making sure I'm not taking too many long trips. The gallons add up and while pinching pennies doesn't seem like the most fun family activity, I challenge you to start small and see where you can save. Maybe you've been wanting to kick the fast food and get into better shape, start that savings account, or just have a little more at the end of the month to help someone in need. Where will you start??

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