Wednesday, November 19, 2014

List: How to live on a budget.

Are you all ready to realize Jax is a freak?  No, not that kind of freak...
Hi.  My name is Jax and I'm living on a budget.
Being on a budget is a common thing, but it has turned into an obsession for me.
What, you don't think that makes me a freak?  Keep reading...

Sunday, I go through the Target Ad and pick the "good deals" that apply to me.
Wednesday, I fill in an Excel spreadsheet with what I'm buying from Target and its price.
Then I print out an obnoxious amount of coupons from the internet.
I note the spreadsheet with what items I have coupons for and adjust the price.
I also utilize the Target Cartwheel, and you should too.  It's extra savings on everything!
Thursday, I go through the Best Market Ad and pick the "good deals" that apply to me.
I then add my selections to the second half of my excel spreadsheet along with the prices.
Then I create a total.  I make it bold and put a double underline underneath it.
As the last step, I edit the list to ensure I'm not exceeding my $130 weekly grocery budget.
Friday, I go shopping and will not buy anything if it is not on my list.
The check out line is a game.  I watch every item and coupon get scanned to see if my total matches.
Now do you believe I'm a freak?  Yea, that's what I thought...

I'm not saying go to this extreme to save money, but here are some pointers from an freak expert.

How to live on a budget.

1.  Make a budget.
Before you can actually live on a budget, you need to know what it is.  Create an excel sheet and add up all of your monthly bills including groceries and gas.  Then add up all your income.  Next subtract your expenses from your income and see what is left.  Your goal is to save at least 25% of your income in a savings account and to be able to spend 10% of your income on weekly fun.  Tweak the numbers until you are satisfied with where you stand.  If your expenses aren't matching your income, it's time to cut back on something.
This is the hardest part, but trust me it works!  Besides, Excel is almost a holy lifesaver!

2.  Find your go to stores.
I am in love with Target.  I could probably write a whole article on how Target makes me feel.  Although I'm having an affair with this store, I know it's best to shop their for groceries, and not actual food.  For that I go to my local Best Yest because it has quality meats at a very low price.
Writing this actually made me fantasize about that red bulls eye...  Shopping anyone?

3.  Coupons, Coupons, Coupons!
Sundays I hunt through Newsday and clip as many coupons as I can.  On Wednesdays, I'm rocking,, and then  By the time I'm done, there are very few things I'm buying at full price.  That $1.50 may seem like nothing, but get a bunch of coupons, and you just saved $20 of your hard-earned cash!
Hellloooo Shellac manicure!

4.  Utilize websites like Groupon and Amazon Social.
Everybody wants a nice night out, but on a budget that could get difficult.  Instead of spending the typical $200 on a date night of sushi and a movie, utilize Groupon and get discount movie tickets and then Amazon social to get 50% off your meal.  If these savings aren't enough, get creative!  Make your own sushi with friends and buy a bottle of Saki-Champagne.  You'll probably have more fun trying to roll sushi with friends, than sitting there being catered to anyway!
Luckily all my friends are on a budget as well, so they totally get it!

5.  Plan for budget killers.
Christmas or your baby girl's birthday month are perfect examples of budget killers!  There are ways around this.  Start a month (or two) before the holiday and start saving.  Increase your weekly grocery budget by $20 and buy a gift a week.  You won't even notice that hole in your pocket, and you're more likely to spend less on one gift when it's planned than when it's an emergency purchase.
I have been doing this for a few weeks now, and Mushy has a whole Santa stock already!

What are your money saving tips?


  1. I get paid twice a month. When I put my checks in the bank, I automatically take out what I need for the bills of that paycheck and $100 for groceries. $20-50 goes into savings, the rest stays in checking. I did have to use savings on a few unforeseen things though so I gotta rebuild it.

    1. Sounds like you are on the right track!! I hate when I have to deplete my savings. It takes two seconds to withdraw money, and years for it to accumulate. Ug :(

  2. that is me too! I also always save money, never waste it, I will buy things when they're on a sale or a discount not when I need them, so I always have supplies :) and I can also cook a lunch for almost no money. But then again, I did live through wars, embargos, poverty, hunger :) so you learn things...

    1. Blogger ate my comment to you, Dez. :(

      I said something along the lines of...I'm the same way. I wait for stuff to go on sale. You're out of toothpaste? Too bad! You need to wait for it to be on sale again. Until then, here's the baking soda. I kid, I kid. I make exceptions for necessities.

    2. but that would never happen to me, since I always have at least four or five toothpastes in my supplies :)) Not to mention my Dove rack which is always packed with supplies as in some supermarket

    3. I swooned as I read "Dove".. :) I used their moisturizing body wash this morning and my winter skin perked right up. Then I used their extra moisturizing shampoo/conditioner and my winter hair wasn't so dry. I think they should scout us for a commercial!!

  3. lmao budget? What's that? You mean letting your credit cards get maxed isn't a good thing? hahaha does that get your freak self going?

    A budget is fine until you get a huge vet bill or me bill, then pffft to the budget. Why not dig the hole a little further haha

    1. LOL I remember those days when I didn't care how much money I threw away. And then I realized, it's either budget or be on the street. Daycare alone costs me $300 a week!!!!! That's half my weekly paycheck. Ug.

    2. Or option number 3, get rid of it all with bankruptcy lol

    3. LOL! yea, but then you can never get a mortgage...well atleast not for like 15 years! haha

    4. lol who needs that? Plus you can, just get a wife/girlfriend with good credit and put it in her name lol

  4. Yes, you're a freak. Ha ha, just kidding! The excel sheet did crack me up, though :) But it's also super smart!

    I really don't do coupons, mostly on account of laziness, but I am going to check those links you gave at home tonight. I didn't even know Target HAD coupons, so thanks!

    1. LOL I love excel!!

      You didn't know Target had coupons?! Omg, they are THE BEST. When you buy something at Target, you can get it on sale (see the weekly ad), use a Target coupon, use a manufacturer's coupon, and then apply the Cartwheel discount (whatever it is 5%-50% depending). By the time I'm done, I get half my groceries for almost nothing! Love it! haha

  5. Oh dear we don't have coupons here:(
    But I try to buy in sales !

  6. Always I knew you were amazing for finances:)))
    Remember when we talked about shampooes and conditilners???

  7. I really do like Target, though there are many things I have to go elsewhere to find because they don't carry it.

    1. Oh, Target is like heaven. I walk down the aisles like I'm high on life just throwing pretty things into my shopping cart. hahaha It's my date night every Friday!

  8. Lately I have been saving money by just being too lazy and listless to go anywhere. I usually intend to go out to some fast food joint to get something to eat... then I say, "Ahh, screw it!" and instead end up dining on some leftover Ramen noodles and saltines I had lying around. Losing your zest for life is a remarkably good way to save money.

    1. Ok, laziness can help save money too! haha Ramen noodles? I've never had those!

  9. The best tip I've ever utilized is to break all of my regular expenses into weekly sums. Then I add all those weekly sums up and take it out of my paycheck each week. By the time I have to renew my car insurance for example, I've already paid it off.

    1. That's actually a really good idea! Unfortunately for me, by the time I pay all my bills for the week, there's no extra cash to help future bills be knocked down. Ohhh the joys of having a family... lol!

    2. Yeah I'm very lucky in that my demographic (Italian-Australians) don't usually leave home until they get married. So I'll be supported until then.

  10. i love that target cartwheel app. the walmart one is really good too


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