My Terrible Money Cycle

I’m not one that really feels like I live an excessive life, but I must be doing something wrong. My finances are looking rather crummy these days and I need to make some changes to get everything back on track. I keep having to borrow against a reserve line I have. Then at the beginning of each month, I pay back that reserve, only to come up short later and have to borrow again. I just can’t get ahead. I’ve decided to make April a time for some serious moderation. 30 days, it can be done. Here are some of the things I have in mind to save some cash and get out of this bad cycle I’m in right now.

1. Cutting subscriptions and payments on frivolous things. $10 here and there adds up quickly, and yet I’m always a sucker for stuff that’s cheap because I trick myself into believing that a fun new iPad app is like going out to lunch. I’m also going to examine some of my monthly payments. I can easily cut back on my Netflix subscription.

2. Breakfast and lunch from home. I was totally rocking this lifestyle for a good long while, but somewhere in February I went off course. Strangely, the timing correlates with my diet. You would think that it would actually go hand in hand with dieting, but I have a hard time. If I’m doing one thing right, another thing slips. Sometimes I think I only have the capacity to handle one thing at a time. I have to overcome that.

3. Much like number two, we’ve got to stop eating out for dinner. We’re in a super bad place right now with ordering in for every meal, or ordering take out that we pick up. Somehow I’ve managed to lose weight while doing this, but there are many nights when I’m paying to feed the two of us and two kids and that just isn’t working out so well. This is going to require that I cook, and so I’ve got to get over the lazy factor.

Tonight I’m making this delicious looking pasta dish I found on Pinterest. Adding in some Italian Sausage for Mike, the total cost of this meal will be $15. Not the cheapest, but far cheaper than Carrabbas, which runs me like $50 every time I pick it up.

Baked Shells with Tomato and Mozzarella

Baked Shells with Tomato and Mazzarella from Big Girls Small Kitchen

4. Coupons and deals. As much as I hate the time it takes, I’m going to need to shop wiser in April. Random trips to the store to feed all four of us when we’re not ordering in is costing me an arm and a leg. Each day I’m faced with the same question from Mike, “what’s for dinner?” He’s an super-planner, but he also hates being the one to make the plan. He also requires perfection when it comes to his meals. If he has a bad food day, he gets very grumpy. Instead of meeting this daily challenge with rolling my eyes, I should embrace it and plan. On the cheap. In a healthy way. Wow this sounds hard. Maybe just maybe I can get him to help.

And that’s it. I really mean it when I say that I don’t live in major excess. The majority of my money goes to bills, then it’s food, then it’s little apps, new dollar books on my kindle, or songs. Somehow, someway I’ve got find some relief. Wish me luck!

Update on those pesky goals

Bad sister note. Marissa sent me this update to post to the blog awhile ago. She’s currently in New York City having a great time. Here’s her update…

Hi Friends. It’s been a hellish two weeks for me. I had a huge brief due at the beginning of last week and a mid-term on Friday. Anyway, here’s where I’m at with those pesky goals.

Money
I only bought lunch at the school once this week, which is pretty good! We did eat out a bit more than we wanted to for dinner. Jimmy Johns is just too good.

Exercise
I worked out four times this week, and three times the week before. I feel better getting back into the grove of the gym.

Eating health
Well, I don’t really know to be honest- which I guess isn’t good! I think I’ve been eating healthier, other than constantly craving sweets. Definitely some room for improvement in this are.

School
I had a hard couple weeks, but I am proud of the work I’ve done. I got everything done on the timeframe I wanted to, even though it meant some days of doing double the reading. I finished my brief with some extra time, which was certainly nice. I didn’t outline or anything, other than for my mid-term.

Domestic
This has been my biggest failing by far. My apartment is pretty clean, but solely thanks to Johnny 🙂 I definitely need to be better at keeping stuff clean.

So that’s about all I have to report. My week goals are to eat in most of the days, so I don’t spend too much money before our trip to NYC. I also want to keep working out and get some outlining in since I’ll be gone for spring break. Wish me luck!.