So with the demise of our savings (see the last post), we've gone full speed ahead into budget mode. I'm still struggling it, though, to be honest. We've been "at it" for a little over a month now, and after budgeting for all the necessities, we don't have much left over for paying off the other loan, giving, and preparing for the holiday season. I keep trying to figure out how to cut down on some of the necessities, but I'm not having ANY luck.
We cut down Chris's cell phone plan recently, but Chris is having a really tough time sticking within the limited minutes. Apparently we ARE paying the least amount possible on car insurance for our two 10 year old cars. Removing our less-than-basic cable will not actually reduce our cable bill since that just means Comcast will change the price for our cable internet (might I remind you that I'm a web designer, so internet is a work necessity, not a luxury). So I keep trying to figure out how to cut our grocery bill, because that's what we spend the most on that we have some control over.
However, the combination of my food allergies and my unwillingness to compromise our physical health for our financial health are making that much harder than I expected. We are still doing all the things we started last year to keep grocery costs down. But a handful of things are making it harder to stay within budget. Primarily, we have a toddler who eats a LOT (and throws more of it on the floor). Secondarily, I've been having some health issues lately that I suspect are food related, and I'm trying to put my finger on it... right now I suspect that our attempts to eat less meat have taken a negative toll on my body. And, as I mentioned before, it's really important to me that we buy organic for our dairy and essential vegetables.
We also have been having guests over for dinner pretty frequently, and this is another thing I am not willing to compromise on. We are blessed to be able to have friends over for meals, and when we're hosting the meal, I don't feel like I'm burdening someone else with my crazy food issues (or potentially getting glutened). Add to that the fact that we're hosting Thanksgiving AND Christmas this year - something I am very excited about.
So I am left with the idea that, we will try for one more month to stay within what should be a VERY reasonable food budget. If we can't do it, then I will just have to decide to bump up the food budget and figure out another place to make a cut. We DO have some wiggle room in the amount we put towards the loan every month, so that's good.
That, and I just need to trust that enough freelance work will keep coming our way to fill in the gaps. So far so good, but this is where I have a tough time with trusting... I start worrying whenever a project ends that another one won't come along. So with that in mind... anyone need a web designer, a print designer, a videographer, or a photographer? I'm only half joking. ;-)