The Green Stuff

A confession: I’m not great with money. There are a lot of reasons for it, but the main one was that there were a few years where I had very little income, and even thinking about my situation gave me a panic attack. I just couldn’t deal.

Yes, I understand the irony of a tax person not being able to deal with finances.

Then, when I found my husband, between the two of us, we lived below our means. So, no worries, right?

Well, now that we are a one-income family for the time being, I got that familiar panic. This time, I was a grown up and faced my fears. We are doing better than I thought, which is nice.

It also gives me an entry point that is less terrifying. We have an amount that we feel is reasonable in our bank account, and a notification to my iPad if we go below that, so that I can transfer money from savings. I’m going full immersion.

Beginning now, reviewing every week, reporting every month (not here, but you know, somewhere), budgeting, the whole nine.

Like I should have been for the last… oh… 30 years.

The tools I am using are simple. Mobile app for the bank, excel spreadsheet. Visualizing where our money goes. Spoiler alert-groceries and Amazon. And regular bills.

Each month coming up with action items for the next month to tighten the belt. Next month is spending less on groceries. Our store has free pickup due to the pandemic, so we can really know ahead of time how much we are spending.

Here’s my plan:

  • My hope is that we can get back to making our own bread, like we used to. Gluten-free bread is both expensive as heck, and not great. Making our own bread is much cheaper.
  • Next, no more premade food. We’d gotten in the habit of getting frozen pizzas for weekend lunches or easy dinners. Once I’m mobile, I plan on making a boatload of dough, parbaking it and freezing it for future use. I can do the same with sauce, and all we need is cheese and other toppings. I get these little packets of Indian food-the husband does not like Indian food. But I can make my own damn dal.
  • Meatless Mondays-I’ve done this before, it is good for the environment, the wallet, and the waistline,
  • Fewer drinks. We drink spindrift and Diet Coke. I don’t need as much Diet Coke, and we have a perfectly good carbonated water system. It just needs to be cleaned and filled. Not cold turkey, mind you, but less.

That’s my goal for January.

ETA: first grocery run was MUCH less. Looked at the weekly spending, which was a lot, but it includes Christmas. Should settle down a bit.

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