In this series I share our family budget, which includes the care and keeping for our household of seven (4 kids, 3 adults) as well as our debt free journey. This is what is working for us. Your mileage may vary.
I shared last budget update that we have travel coming up later in the summer so right now we’re keeping things extra simple and frugal, or what Christopher and I jokingly call “peanut butter and jelly” weeks, our take on Dave Ramsey’s “red beans and rice” budget saying.
The trip itself is paid for, but Christopher and I would like to have some extra money set aside, in addition to the kids’ normal allowance (which we’ve been encouraging them to save for the vacation).
Forecasting and Goals – Two Summer birthdays down and two left to go next month, so we are budgeting the Want, Need, Wear, and Read for Amelia, who will be turning four and for Aunt Angela (my special needs adult sister-in-law who lives with us).
Originally we were planning a special dinner for our anniversary, which we will celebrate during our trip in a few weeks, but after talking about it we both realized that it isn’t really that important to either of us and that we’d rather the money go toward something else. I’m so glad we communicated about this, otherwise we might have ended up paying for something that wasn’t really that worthwhile for us.
I’m also starting to think ahead to the kids autumn activities. If I’m honest, we probably overextneded ourselves money-wise and time-wise last spring, so I think I’m going to have the kids who are in activities outside of the home pick just one that they really love to enroll in this fall.
Believe it or not, I’m also starting to think about Christmas, too. And guess what? I’m not the only crazy one. Here’s a post from my friend The Queen of Free with some thoughts on Christmas in July: 5 Things You Need to Do NOW for a Happy Holiday.
Staying Motivated – right now the main thing motivating me to stay frugal is our trip and a few future trips we are planning. We learned last fall on our Flecks Go Big road trip that this is something important to us. Everyone has their own priorities, of course, and travel is something we’ve decided is a priority for us.
Kids and Money – on the other side of the travel coin, however, is our local roots. We love this small town we live in. We try and support local businesses whenever we can. This is something we’ve been talking about with the kids quite a bit this year: the idea that spending money locally, getting to know your neighborhood community businesses, has a positive impact.
Frugal Deeds (done dirt cheap) – I’m always pinning new things to try on the Frugal Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) Pinterest board and this list of last month’s frugal deeds
- speaking of local, this weekend we’ll be attending one of our favorite FREE local events: Indiana Bastille Day
- cool, if rainy, weather that has meant we have not been running air conditioning this summer
- sticking with simple, frugal meals
- decluttering and organizing our supplies has shown me that we really don’t need that much in the way of back-to-school supplies this year – restocking the pencils, glue sticks, and notebook paper ought to cover it
- lots of free and delicious fruits and veggies from my dad’s garden – thank you Grandpa Mike!
- I scored Jillian’s 8th grade homeschool curriculum in an amazing deal on eBay (something that is rare for me these days)
- leaving the minivan in the driveway and doing lots of walking (read about Why We Walk)
And now I’ll end with a question for all of you: what are some of your favorite frugal, kid-pleasing meals? We’ve been enjoying salads, sandwiches, and are just starting to enjoy garden fresh salsa with tortilla chips and seasoned ground beef (sort of like deconstructed tacos), but I’d LOVE some new ideas. Thanks!