Thanks for the reminders

You said everything I was going to say. lol I wanted to comment on how much you are spending for groceries. This is an area that I think you can try to spend too little and end up shooting yourself in the foot. We have 6 people to feed. (4 eat adult quantities, my husband, me, my 18 yo son, and 17 yo dd) Our current budget is $300 every two weeks. We are able to live fairly comfortably on this. Because of my schedule, I don’t cook everything from scratch anymore so we could trim it down if I had more time. I just wanted to give you another number to compare what you are spending. Whenever I’ve trimmed our food budget down too far, I end up getting frustrated and give up on the whole budgeting thing. When I have enough food for my family then I do much better watching other areas.
As far as the gas goes, I’ve started loading a Costco gift card with 1/2 my gas money, when I go in there to shop once every 2 weeks. I keep some cash for gas just in case I’m not near a Costco when I need gas. (or they’re closed). It’s been very convenient and solved some of my frustration with having to pre-pay. You can do the same thing at Walmart, if they have a gas station at your Walmart. It’s nice because I’m already going to Costco so it’s not an extra trip anywhere. Plus their gas is cheaper. It does require some planning but that’s the price I’m paying for getting into debt.
Recently, I balanced my check book and we have some envelopes that we keep track of electronically for things we are putting money aside for. (car repairs, household repairs, Christmas etc.) To my amazement, there was money left in these accounts when I balanced my budget. Since I’m only using cash now, I’m actually seeing some of these accounts grow. We’ve had them for years but there was never money in them because I always went over budget in other areas and I would have to steal from these accounts. The other great thing is how many fewer transactions there are in my checkbook now. No more tons of debit purchases to subtract out when I’m balancing my checkbook. Ahhh. Makes for speedy work. Hang in there, it’s worth it!

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