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Cash Poor at the Moment, 2014 Goals Posted

December 10th, 2013 at 02:45 pm

Between paying off the student loan and paying for the large irregular expenses that come with this particular December, I have an upcoming week (a Mon-Thurs period) where we will have less than $500 cash on hand. Youch. Fortunately after that we will return to normal levels almost immediately afterwards but, until then, I will be watching the cashflow like a hawk.

I am actually starting one of my 2014 Goals early because I have completed my 2013 Goals and because starting this one now will help me afford one of my other 2014 Goals. I am going to start cutting our food budget. We currently spend about $1400. I would like that down to $900 monthly on a regular basis by next December. This is really my only low hanging fruit left. While I can definitely do one month of reduced food spending, its the "on a regular basis" part that will be challenging.

7 Responses to “Cash Poor at the Moment, 2014 Goals Posted”

  1. ThriftoRama Says:

    I feel you on the food budget. I'm trying to reign ours in as well. We are a family of four, and I'm trying to get it to $600. How many are in your family?

  2. Miz Pat Says:

    I feel for you on that too. I have 2 nephews at home now that I love to pieces, but they eat TONS of food.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    That $500 is a huge cut! If there is not an emergency, maybe it is better to cut the food budget back in steps rather than all at once. But -wow- if you can carry it off, that extra $500 a month would be an extra $6000 in a year, as I'm sure you already know. That's enough to do stimulate some day-dreaming. Wink

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Rereading, I see you did mean to cut it the food budget gradually. Sorry for the redundancy in my comment.

  5. snafu Says:

    You've accomplished so much, you need to give yourself a giant pat on the back!

    I've had some success in attacking food spending since it's mostly within my control. In my experience planning has been the most effective tool. I've inventoried pantry, fridge and freezer and listed possibilities from items on hand that would need only a few items to make a meal. If possible, I double up and freeze by portions using ziplock bags which take the least space. In winter I try to start evening meal with home made loaf of bread a day!

    I don't know if your family will eat meals by 'rote.' It means your busiest days get the fastest, simplest meals. For example, Sunday dinner is the major, leisurely meal of the week and often includes guests. Monday is the most stressful so dinner is pasta, fritatta/omelette, casserole or stew. Wednesday is vegetarian and Friday is leftover buffet, home made pizza on a pita or baked potato topped with all those leftover bits . We're all rushing out the door so fast and easy is appreciated.

  6. snafu Says:

    arrh...puter still contracting sentences. tried to say starting meals in winter with home made bread but it was adding to our waistline...not good idea

  7. Caoineag Says:

    Thriftorama, I am ashamed to say, only the 2 of us. Out to eat is a big culprit but to get us to eat at home the quality of what we make will probably increase as will the variety (though it will still obviously be cheaper).

    No worries on the double post Joan of Arch. It is a huge amount which is why it needs to be gradual and consistent. Looking at my yearly expenses by category on Mint was a big reason why this made it as a goal.

    Thanks for congrats Snafu and agreed on the planning. Our meal planning can't be rigid but as long as we have ingredients on hand for a couple different meals, we should be good. Our big issue is that we both leave the house by 8am and aren't back home until after 6:30pm so meals at night need to be quick. Which means we either need to reheat it or have simple and quick prep and cook. Also making sure I take snacks to work helps as well since I am not starving on our way home. Veggie trays will definitely be making a weekly appearance...

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