Persistence is Key
October 16, 2019
Just like breaking any other bad habit, the habit of overspending is no different. And, just like sticking to a diet or complete new way of eating, it’s hard to not slip back into old habits. Don’t worry, this didn’t happen, but having a person to hold you accountable is key.
Adjusting For Taxes
October 9, 2019
I’m pretty sure there were many Americans in the same boat as us last April when the tax forms changed and with it, the requirements for itemized deductions. We unfortunately owed close to $7,000, which was a huge, unplanned expense and wiped out all of our immediate savings. Right away, we both dropped our withholdings to zero, as they were at one or two before, and then doubled our 401k giving through our employers.
Adjusting to One Kid
October 2, 2019
We are just finishing the first month of our son, Joey being 3,000 miles away in college. We incurred some extra expenses from shipping him some things he forgot here at home, but besides that, he has been spending his own money to participate in extracurricular activities like outdoor recreation and club sports. The first thing we noticed with Joey gone was a change in the food budget. Our grocery bill went down to $450 this month. However, with Joey being gone and Emily starting to work in the evenings after school, we noticed ourselves wanting to eat out more.
Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping
September 25, 2019
Normally, I would sit down with my favorite cookbook or magazine and pick out delicious-sounding recipes, write down all the ingredients, and then head to the grocery to buy all the items. In fact, one of my first blogs for Project Money, I was all excited to find a recipe app that added the items to a list and then I could order the list online and pick the items up at the store. In further assessing the costs associated with shopping that way, I realized some of the meals I was making required items that were expensive and that we may never use again.
Christmas is right around the corner
September 18, 2019
There are only 101 Days (14 weeks) until Christmas! I am already starting to see Christmas items filling the shelves at many retail stores. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent an estimated $721 billion dollars on Christmas in 2018.1 During the 2017 holiday season, 44% of shoppers racked up more than $1,000 in holiday credit card debt and 5% accumulated more than $5,000 in debt.2 If a shopper puts $1,000 on a high interest credit card during the holidays and can only make the minimum payment of $25 per month, it will take four years to pay off that debt!
money saving tips
September 11, 2019
When we started Project Money, we had to make some adjustments in certain areas of our budget in order to find dollars so we could pay off our debt sooner. We eliminated many luxuries that we had come to enjoy in order to reach our goal. This does not necessarily mean we need to cut these permanently, but we wanted to get serious about decreasing our debt so here is how we are doing it: