I’ve learned that it’s entirely possible to manage a modern household without paper towels. Would I prefer to use something disposable to wipe down the potty? Yes, I would, and I may grant myself a modest paper towel allowance for just that purpose. But for now, I’m appreciating the all-or-nothing mindset, as it’s making me realize just how often I reach for the convenient white roll.
I truly appreciate all of your tips and recommendations on how to save money. I haven’t had time to dig into the resources yet, but I’ve made a few more decisions already. I’ve instated a strict must-be-on-the-list policy at the grocery store and was very pleased with my receipt last weekend. In general, I’m trying to give up convenience foods (as much as is reasonable for a family with two full-time jobs and two young children).
Aside from the grocery store, I’m trying to avoid in-person shopping whenever possible. I’ve set up subscriptions for household items on Amazon. I save an extra 15% with its Subscribe & Save program, plus free shipping with Prime. For months, I’ve been purchasing specialty grocery items like Sunbutter this way. I just discovered the Amazon Mom program, where I’ll also save 20% on diapers. Yes, please! Strangely enough, the prices are substantially cheaper than what I’ve been paying at Diapers.com (big fan of their customer service), which is owned by Amazon.
The other big change is that Josh and I have signed up for mint.com (free!), and I think it will make a huge difference. In the past, it’s been hard to track our budget accurately because we pay for things with multiple debit cards and credit cards. Now that we’ve tied all of our accounts to mint, we can see every transaction in one chronological stream. This is great since we generally use a debit card but have to put larger purchases (hello, auto repair and emergency vet services) on our credit cards. Plus, we only need one login and password to see our financial snapshot on one screen.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last two and a half years, it’s that sharing my greatest insecurities, failures, conundrums, and embarrassments on the internet is counterintuitively rewarding. While I’m not planning to turn this into a personal finance blog, I will definitely keep you posted on our progress. I may just need to call on you for support when all seems hopeless and I’m ready to run off to the Caribbean (or maybe just the Mall of America) with the last Visa standing.
I Want to Know
- Do you use any personal finance software that you like? Do you happen to have experience with mint.com?
- How much of your shopping is done online these days? Do you have any tips on saving more money?
- Do you do a good job of keeping your clothing budget modest? I often feel like I have nothing to wear, and I’m generally pretty disciplined about not buying clothes (and shoes), but a gal has to do a little shopping from time to time. Right?