Each week I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money. The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.
I will even be mentioning those methods that may seem insignificant to you. I truly feel that anything that saves time is saving money in some form or another.
Sorting out our finances
I generally try to avoid eye contact with anyone when my husband and I go to home shows (or any other show with multiple vendors). I have almost zero power to walk away from conversations, so I would end up buying a new exercise machine, signing up for a year’s worth of services for something we didn’t even have and committing myself to sell Avon. All in one aisle of the show. My husband on the other hand, loves to talk to people and signs up for just about every giveaway under the sun.
A few years ago, he met a financial advisor. He came home and told me we need to start seeing her. Ever the skeptic, I told him only rich people have financial advisors. What were we going to talk about? The extra 1% we might be able to give her somewhere down the road? Big spenders in this household. I stand corrected. She is amazing. We have met with her a few times and she is more than willing to just talk about our future. We talk about our plans, ask questions and she helps us sort out money matters that don’t even involve her. She has advised us on retirement (of course), life insurance, my husband’s work retirement options. She has just given us solid advice on where to turn next when we are floundering a little.
Family financial meeting
After meeting with our financial advisor, we had a LOT to think about. We have finally paid off all of our interest-carrying debt and have been struggling a little trying to decide where our money should go next. I truly think paying off our bills was easy, there’s no doubt where your money should go. Now we have to decide what percent should go to retirement, how much additional life insurance do we want, should we increase the amount going towards our kid’s college funds, what do we want to save for, when do we get to go to Vegas again??
I’m not sure about the rest of you, but attempting to have a serious conversation in our house is a little like herding cats. Someone has to go potty, someone is hungry, “But MOOOOM, he took my truck!”. We asked my mother-in-law to come watch the kids for an hour while we sat at Starbucks and hammered out our plan.
We were able to have a grown-up conversation and both state our opinions and fears and concerns for the future and really come up with something we are both excited about. I truly think this was one of the best things we’ve done for our marriage in a long time. Not only are we on the same page financially, but my husband was able to look at the budget I’ve been managing for FIVE years and find a few areas we could cut back. Brilliant.
I love to make muffins. They are easy, mostly fool-proof and can be adjusted in so many different ways to make them healthier. My favorite thing about muffins is that I can make a batch, give them to my kids for a few days for breakfast and throw the rest in the freezer. This gives me a quick option in the morning if we are running behind or need to eat in the car and I don’t feel like I’m handing them junk just because we are late.
I stumbled across this recipe for Baked Oatmeal Muffins and they are delicious. Crazy good for you, too. We didn’t have applesauce so I substituted olive oil instead, which worked really well. One of the commenters suggested pumpkin instead of applesauce, which I might try next.
I would LOVE to hear how you saved your family money this week. What methods do you find are the most efficient and effective?