I am terrible at budgeting. Absolutely terrible. Don't get me wrong, I'm great at guessing how much I'm going to spend on a general category each month and then filling it in with how much I actually spent. But I'm bad at applying that and turning it into: we have x amount of money to spend which means we can only spend x amount of money on this specific thing. But this past Sunday Bryan and I spent at least a couple of hours figuring out how much money we'll have (from work and student loans) until he graduates and then figuring out how much money we can spend on all the different areas of our life. Let me just tell you: it is liberating. Well, not so much the part where we remembered that we're students who have no money, but the part about knowing how much we can/should spend on things. That part is nice.
We've been using a budgeting spreadsheet in Excel that some of our friends gave us. It's really really simple and the only one I've ever used that actually makes sense to me. Everyone has their thing and I have found one that works for me. They've said I'm welcome to share it with others, so if you'd like a copy I'm more than happy to e-mail it to you.
Once we took a good, honest look at how much money we can spend on things it made me want to try to find ways to spend even less. I just spent over an hour talking to my sister in law Anna on the phone, a lot of which was about couponing. She is the queen. And totally in the same poor college age kids boat as me. And, by the way, she is one of my favorite people to talk to. About anything. I can't wait to hang out with her all the time at Christmas. Anyway, after talking it over with Anna, I think I've decided that I probably will never be hard core about couponing, but I'm totally interested in saving money on the stuff we buy anyway, like diapers and shampoo. Which, according to Anna, there are some great coupons for. Anybody have something they'd like to say about couponing? I am a total novice. And by novice I mean I don't know anything. At all.
Health InsuranceOne of the biggest costs we pay for is health insurance. Which I think is worth every penny. But it would be great if we could still get great coverage, but perhaps spend a few less pennies on it. Anybody know of anything great? Olivia's already covered and Bryan gets a good deal though the school, but I think in the next year or so we'll need it for all three of us. Any great suggestions you have would be much appreciated.
This is one area where money is concerned that I feel great about. We have spent very little on Christmas gifts thus far and I have finished probably over half of the gifts we plan to give this year. I still have no idea what to give the men and teenage boys in the family though, so if you have any great ideas please say so. Because I'd love to be able to make them something great, but I just haven't thought of anything yet that I could make that they would genuinely get excited about. Just because something can be gender neutral doesn't mean guys will like it, you know? Anyway, if you leave a really great comment about this and it gets deleted it's probably because I'm going to do it and I don't want them to see. Bwahaha.
Teaching a Sewing ClassI may end up asking this question again later in its own post depending on the response I get here. I kind of would be surprised if more than one person even read this post to the end. Anyway, I've been thinking it might be fun to teach a little sewing class once a month. I've been doing it for the past two months now for the women in my ward and and I really enjoy it. I haven't opened it up to others yet since it's just been for church, but would that be something that might interest any of you locals? If I taught a sewing class with an entrance fee of $5 or $10 or something? You'd bring your own supplies and I'd do some demonstrations and help you all make a fun little project? Let me know what you think.
Anyway, this was probably the most boring post ever. But it makes me so excited and peaceful to have a good grip on finances. The end.
P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who's voted for my little project thus far! It would be great if you wanted to go and vote again today! :) Oh, and I'm told it's been fixed so you can vote for 5 a day now. Click on the button below to vote. Thanks!