I hope that everyone has had a fabulous start to the new year. I've had a pretty good start to the new year and I'm hoping that this year will be the year that I can truly say WE DID IT, WE ARE DEBT FREE!!
So I need to give everyone an update: I still have credit cards that I'm paying off (one of which is a balance transfer with a lower interest rate), we paid off my husband's truck last year but we still need to pay off my truck, he still has credit cards to pay off, and I'm also trying to plan a Graduation Party or dinner for my eldest son.
Needless to say, I'm going back to work. I'll be working part-time for less money less than a mile from home. I'll be able to take my daughter to and from school to avoid the expense of the bus service. I'll have less of a commute and more time with my family. I also was able to do a lot of research online since I have been home. There are a lot of organizational tools for working moms to use that I know will be a lifesaver for me when I go back to work.
I found an index card organizational system that I plan on using on a daily basis. For some reason, this is a system that everyone in the family is willing to try, and it will allow everyone to have some variety when it comes to the household chores. Each one of us will draw two cards daily.
Some of you may already know that I follow http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ I strongly suggest that you either follow her or sign up for her twitter alerts, she helped me save a lot of money this past holiday season. I think that is how I kept my sanity knowing that I did not have any money coming in. I also learned how to menu plan (I'm not very good at it, but I'm working on it still). Now she uses plain old pen and paper when she does her meal planning. That is too complicated for me ( I know it may sound crazy, but I just can't wrap my head around it). So I did some more research, and I found a simpler way to do it using Google calendar. Now let me keep it real for those who really know me. I'm still not planning my meals in advance, I'm letting the calendar do it for me. I can't keep the sale papers away from the baby long enough to look at without getting torn, so I'm doing what works for me. I've tried a couple of recipes from http://www.crockpot365.blogspot.com/ I enter what we have eaten as an event into my Google menu planning calendar, and if it is a hit, I make the event repeat itself. I just ask my family when they would like to have it again, and make the adjustment in my calendar. I guess you could say that I'm taking baby steps to the menu planning concept. It is working though, I know what I'm having for dinner at least 3 days a week, and I know what I need to buy from the grocery store to prepare the meals.
Lastly I would like to add that we finally got some rain to fill up my rain barrel! I thought I was going to get a lot of rebellion from my husband, but surprisingly he is on board too! I think once he saw how much 55 gallons of water looked like, he realized, we could actually save a little money! I have used the water for 4 loads of laundry (wash cycle only), washed all of my windows, and I saw him putting some on the over sized flame he created after grilling some steaks we bought on sale. I still have water that I can use to water our indoor plants and clean out the cat litter.
I can honestly say that even though I'm going to be making less money than I did before, I may be able to save and pay off my debts more effectively than before! I hope all of you can do the same, what are you doing this year to save money or reduce debt?