Budgeting is something that most people are somewhat familiar with, but they get lost when trying to do so. They will set limits and expectations-- then sadly end up failing.
Before we begin... I would like to say something...
I am no expert! I don't really know who Dave Ramsey is or much about him.. I hear he really likes snowballs, but I do know about Larry Beardslee & he taught me how to budget. No expert here-- just writing for some friends and followers who have been wanting to get on a more strict budget!
I don't really know who Dave Ramsey is or much about him.. I hear he really likes snowballs, but I do know about Larry Beardslee & he taught me how to budget.
A lot of people talk about budgeting but then can't seem to get themselves out of the hole that they honestly dug themselves. We happen to live in an era where we are practically bombarded with pre approved credit cards as soon as we are of legal age, people buy vehicles they can't afford and houses they can barely make payments on. I'm all for living it up-- heck yea! I love buying new clothing, having a night out on the town, going to a movie and just swiping that credit card... but I don't like how it feels when it comes time to pay the bills.
Growing up, my stepfather was disabled and my mom worked- at one point she worked two jobs. It was really hard. I remember overhearing arguments about money all the time-- it is something parents do-- and honestly most couples have probably fought over money at one point or another, I know my husband and I have. Larry made an awesome decision that has impacted my whole adult life the day he sat me down and taught me how to balance a checkbook. From there he taught me how to write checks and even how to make a spread sheet to keep bills organized. When I started working and actual job, he taught me how to only keep a small amount out for fun or to spend however I wanted and made me save the rest.. Oh did I ever get the biggest attitude every single time I got paid-- but this was a good thing because I learned that I didn't need to blow my entire check. When I was 16, (with the help of my parents) I was able to buy my first car. I also got my first bank account and learned how to make car payments (with cashier's checks every month).
I moved out of the house when I was 18 and had to figure out how to make enough money to pay for my car insurance, my gas, and some food. I lived at my grandmother's house for about 6 months, then Thomas and I lived at his parents house for about six to eight months before we moved out and got an apartment with our friends. When we were saving for the apartment, a lot of the tools Larry taught me came into play. I was able to buy kitchen supplies, bathroom supplies, apartment decorations, honestly, I pretty much bought it all-- looking back on that I could kick myself, because we were too young to get an apartment with roommates at that time-- but it was a great learning experience for us! After about a year we moved into a house and rented it from my husband's aunt and uncle. I was unable to work for a while (this was about 6 months to a year before healthy by choice was born!) so I began to try to budget all the money we had. I'm not ashamed to say that we had foodstamps for about six months until we were able to afford our own food. I think we got about $150 a month and that really had to stretch. It was then I began gardening and shopping at the farmer's market to get more for our money!
Now we are 25 years old and the biggest debt we have is our house and my car (which we plan on paying off at least a year early). Right now, we are looking to pay off the new windows we just had installed in our home. If everything goes right, we will be able to have the windows completely paid off in 1-2 months. We both have great credit scores. I wish we had more in our savings account, but we are doing our best-- hey we don't really have any needs, so we are good!
Here are a couple things that Thomas and I do that help us save money:
Below I put together a little video for you!
In case you missed it in the video--- Here are the steps to budgeting:
This month Thomas and I decided we wanted to pay off the new windows we had installed in our house as soon as possible. So we decided to do a 3 week spending freeze.
This is how we did it:
So here is a fun disclaimer-
If you plan to do a spending freeze or no spend week or month... be careful. Don't completely bleed your pantry and freezer dry. I keep my pantry and freezer stocked with many versatile things.. and I happen to know how to cook pretty well! You can order my cookbook here-- there are tons of versatile recipes (many of which I created when we were dirt poor, it is a worth while investment that's for sure).
It took me a long time to stock our pantry and freezer appropriately. It is something I wish everyone knew how to do & would do!
I also have a CSA and a Milk Share.
This means I get a box of fruits/veggies & eggs from a local farm every week. This helps cut down on spending. When totaled up it is about $27 per week. It is more cost effective for us because everything is organic, eggs are fresh and free range! The milk costs $30 a month for about 4 gallons. I make yogurt, cottage cheese, paneer, kefir, and butter from the milk.
Here are a list of items I keep in the house at all times
Refrigerator (this changes week to week but these are things I always have on hand. This is refrigerator/counter)
From the above list you can make a lot of things (and more)
I hope this is helpful! With a little bit of effort and planning-- you can empower yourself to save money, make healthy meals on a budget, and pay off your debts!
If you have any questions-- please leave them below! I love to hear from you!
Other great budgeting posts
I get at least 5 emails a week from people who want to know how to live a natural or crunchy lifestyle.
This email usually comes after what I like to call "The Awakening". The Awakening, as I call it, is when someone's eyes are opened to the commercialized & chemical filled world we live in. In our culture, baking your own bread seems like something for a special occasion, making your own skin care products is for a craft day with your girls, and buying meat from a local grocery store is the norm.
People have asked, "When did you decide you wanted to live a healthy lifestyle?"
Honestly? I never "decided". My mom and step dad raised me to do most things myself. We had a small vegetable garden. We cooked from scratch and rarely ate from a box. Before we booked an appointment with our primary care physician, we saw a chiropractor.
I was always "The Flowerchild" as my uncle called me. I always had a love for making things from scratch, walking barefoot in the field, gardening, and I had a love for nature. It just was normal for me to be in love with the earth and see the beauty in it.
I would have to say I went through a phase from the age of 17-20ish where I wanted to commercialize myself. I struggled for years because my personality and just who I am never really fit in. I didn't understand why I always felt different. I never could find my groove-- mostly because I resisted the very things that made me .. well me. Now that I don't fight who I am- I've truly blossomed into who I am as a person and I'm 100% happy.
That being said.. I still get asked how to live a natural lifestyle. How do you become a "crunchy" mom. How do I live a "hippish" lifestyle.
I honestly hate labels... but I've really sat and thought about what all of this means. There is definitely a movement into doing things "the old way" or "the natural way".
So for those of you who are looking to change your lifestyle-- here are tips to try to work towards to have a more natural lifestyle!
Like I said before... labels are not my thing. I am more about doing what feels right to you. I always lived pretty naturally, but when "the awakening" happened for me, I ditched a lot of things.
I take part in almost all of the above! I also cosleep, question everything, paint, exercise, do yoga, and at times I am very hard on myself.
Life is about balance. You will never be happy until you see and understand what that really means.
Be you. Be beautiful. Be fierce. Know when to say no. Know when to hold your tongue when you want to scream at someone. Get to know YOU.
Never be a well behaved woman. Find your niche & run with it! Find your beauty. Find your sexy. Become one with the earth. Think a little deeper than "normal".
Finally just do what is best for you.
Who am I?
My name is Jessica Kellaway! I am the earth loving, natural parenting, Jesus loving weirdo your mama might have warned you about!