Busier Than A Bee!

18 Sep

Whew! I have been busy! Now that my student employees are back off to school, that leaves me and my manager to do everything, and for some reason everyone’s birthday is this month! Ha ha! I have new co-op students coming in and I have just hired a new part time baker, which will work out perfectly! I can train her the way that I want her during the slow months so that she will be up and ready for the battle come next spring! The lulls in the bakery are November until mid February, although, I am trying to drum up more business for Christmas….. we shall see!

So, not only am I working my behind off (I really wish this statement had some literal truth to it!), or rather, I am working alot of hours and really hard, but I am working hard at home as well. I put my family on a budget. I was so tired of having to borrow from other places to pay bills or buy groceries. I kept wondering where all of our money was going. So, I did something about it. Through a lot of research via internet I made a system that works for us. We are in our first month, but it is working like a charm already! I have cash envelopes! I budgeted $400 per month for groceries, I figure $100 per person in our family no matter the age. This has been proven as an immediate benefit! We have been buying fresh fruit and veggies to store in our freezer for the winter months when cash is a little tighter. When I leave work at the bakery, I go straight home to work in the kitchen. I have been roasting veggies for soups, blanching veggies to freeze and preparing for meal planning and meal freezing. Between my husband and I, we have almost filled our freezer! We have frozen tomatoes from my dad’s garden, squash, cauliflower and broccoli. In the summer we were freezing fruit and the veggies that were cheaper at that time. I was very proud and giddy when we walked out of the grocery store having only spent $20, and we purchased almost a whole cart full of cauliflower and broccoli. Cauliflower is 97 cents right now! I think we have purchased about 12 heads so far! I made cream of broccoli soup last night as well! We made a roasted pear and carrot soup….YUM!

So far, we have about $60 left in our grocery budget and we only need to buy more milk. I am hoping to be under  budget for the first month, and try to beat it the next month. We write down all of our spending and we are only allowed to spend cash wherever we go. The card is off limits. We do our bill paying twice per month which coincides with my hubby’s pay week and this is done on line. I have separated the bill paying to twice a month and since there are more weeks in a couple of months, we have a full month worth of bills free once or twice per year. I try to save this time for near Christmas. It really helps to have a free month worth of utilities at this time!

Plan ahead! This is a hard lesson that I have learned! I hate being broke near Christmas, it really really sucks hard! This year, I am keeping within budget for presents and I am making most of my gifts. I am working on a cross stitch that I will give my sister-in-law and I also have some other things that I would like to do that I can make for just a few dollars. These gifts tend to mean more anyway. I have started saving money for Christmas, and I think I have some gifts that I had bought earlier in the year for this as well. I know that I have started saving for Christmas a little late, but that was not in my mind in the summer time. Cake was always on my mind then, not my budget!

Now I am a different person and I am so dedicated to this! I am teaching my children now as well! We have money jars. They do chores for their allowance and then they have to put some money into each jar.money-jar-300x250 One for each, college, vacation, toy. This way they can learn how to save money and the reward that comes when you work hard and save. My hubby and I contribute to the college and vacation jars, and to contribute to the toy jar, they have to do a homework page that I have printed out for them. They get 25 cents per page. Its up to them how much money they want towards their toy! I love this method! They can actually see their money grow, and once a month, we will take it to the bank to deposit in to their bank accounts. My oldest son is very proud to buy his own things now. He has a wallet and he loves to buy his own books. It gives him the freedom that he so desires! As long as he saves some, he can buy all the books he wants!  I will never complain about my 7 year old wanting to buy books with his money!

My husband and I also have jars, one for the roof repair we will need next year, and one for the addition that I would like to put on the house in some years from now. I put money into the envelopes about once per week and I go through our budget binder as well, seeing what we have spent our money on, and how much we have left for the month. I am always researching on how to save money as well. I have been riding my bike or walking to work, which saves on gas and gives me more exercise. With winter coming, I will still walk, but I will be using the vehicle to take the boys to their swimming lessons and sports activities.

I feel so much better now that I am learning how to handle my own money, and I am at ease knowing that my kids are learning how to handle money as well!

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