Monday, January 11, 2010


Ugh, a dirty word to most, and a sensitive subject to nearly all I know is their finances.
Seems there is never enough to go around and make everyone happy, so in this New Year I am going to try my best to see what can be done to make me and my family a little happier and hopefully I can share some tips to everyone else.
Well first off there's this zero budget thing that seems to be going around. It's where you account for where all of you money goes. It's really simple Income-Expenses=0 You're probably saying the thing I said when I first read it too, well it seems my expenses outweigh my income. Well, unfortunately that's something that needs fixed before we can move onto step two. Take a look at your dining out bill. I know that's a vice for our family. A meal at someplace as cheap as a drive though fast food place (name withheld to protect the innocent) can cost as much as $20 for a family of four, easily. Take a similar meal, chicken strips for this example, and cook it at home. I used two chicken breasts ($3) shake and bake to flavor it up a bit ($.89) and make mashed potatoes ($2) and broccoli ($3). That adds up to under $10, the servings were MUCH bigger, the kids loved it and I know the food was a much better quality, and NOT FRIED. I know it takes time to cook food and home and who has it right? Well I've turned food prep time into playtime w/ the kids. They love dumping stuff, stirring stuff, getting dressed up in aprons, and helping. They let me do the steps that require sharp knives and handling hot food or pots and pans, but there's still lots to do and I get to spend time w/ my family.
Where was I after that lengthy side track...o yes, step two to making finances healthier. Becoming debt free! Sounds like a dream doesn't it? Well if you can make you zero budget a little heavier on the income side it's not. Check out {Simple Mom}'s article for how this works. But it amounts to focusing on one debt item at a time and burning it down to nothing before moving on to the next one. Burn down that credit card? That’s an extra $40 a month to throw at the next bill. Pay off the car? That's almost $300 in our case! Just think when u get all your bills paid's like a second job's worth of income that was there all along.
I know my finances get in the way of my peacefulness. I worry about them, fight about it, and so much more. If I can find the path to financial freedom (and it really does seem like freedom) then I can't imagine how much simpler life could be.

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