It was easier than I thought.
Being in control of your money is just a matter of asserting yourself…telling yourself this is the way it is now, and there is no giving in. I am now in control – complete control.
It was a combination of smart shopping, smart planning, and digging that got me to this point and I will forever be grateful to the P&G team for putting this challenge in front of me, and to Gail Vaz Oxlade for putting her smarts into the Money Rules book. Because I have now read it cover to cover and I am no longer a Money Moron.
So how did I do it?
I changed how I shopped, and how I looked at household chores.
On weeks where the budget was tight, I changed what I bought. Though I never actually sacrificed quality. Instead of my big package of Bounty and Charmin… I bought Bounty Basic and Charmin Basic. The products held up to my messy kids, even the Puffs Basic with my sons recent cold!
I no longer re-wash a load of laundry. I know it may not seem like a big deal, but I was a chronic “leave the laundry in the washer and forget about it” and the cost involved in that is hidden…you don’t think about it. But break it down – another wash cycle on the clothes & washer is wear and tear, another cap of Tide and Bounty ($$), power to run the washer and water to fill it. When I wash a load of laundry over again because of straight up laziness…it’s eating away money from 4 different directions.
My groceries… There is a lot of eating that goes on here, and we were spending on average $800/month. When broken down that gave me a weekly budget (according to Gail’s Budget Worksheet) of $162. Instead of shopping weekly, I gave myself a $250 bi-weekly budget (so two big shops per month) making sure I had enough left over in my budget to pick up something here or there.
I started looking at other places our money was going.
I dug through our monthly expences…I read our insurance policies so that I understood them…I even cancelled our term policies as we had both whole life and term…and we have no debt to cover – we were over insured. I got rid of little subscriptions that I pay for but never use. All in all I found $900/year that we were wasting on those payments. So what do you do when you find $900? You take your hubby and you head down to the bank – where you open RRSP’s with automatic monthly transfers. We were already spending this money, it’s not like we’re going to miss it!
And – I quit smoking. I’ve seen enough episodes of Gail’s shows to know that the first thing she would tell me to do is quit smoking. And after figuring out the cost/year of smoking ($2900) I decided that now is the time to let it go. So today marks 14 days that I have been smoke free…I am using the patch to help me along this path, and there is a cost involved to that, so I’m not saving everything yet…but I will be. My total savings per day right now is $3.60. And everyday, before I go to bed I put $3.60 into my I Don’t Smoke Jar. When I go to bed tonight, there will be $50.40 in my jar. $50 that would have gone up in smoke.
So what has this challenge done for me?
- It made me address my spending.
- It made me look at the way I shop for groceries and household goods.
- I stopped wasting money on things I don’t use or need.
- We are now saving for our retirement (something we have never done before)
- We are building an emergency fund (something we have never done before)
- My kids will begin getting an allowance (of which they will have to save 20% of) in March
- And this challenge may have even saved my life.
Thank you to the P&G team, and to Gail Vaz Oxlade for inspiring me to take this challenge. Our family is on the right track and I am thrilled.
Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.