Making Sense of Cents — In 2011 Michelle and her husband were spending $1,000 on food per month. She knew then that total was unacceptable, and they’ve been working on it but keep “falling off the wagon.” For 2015, she wants to cut that number in half. But first they’ll have to solve their “problems related to food” such as eating out too much, throwing away food and preparing “the same meals over and over again.”
How will they do it? Make meals ahead of time, pay someone else to come up with meal plans, buy fewer pre-packaged meals, embrace more recipes to help vary meals, and keep close tabs on their food spending.
Frugal Rules — Cat understands that in order to be a frugal family, each spouse must embrace the cause. If not, dissension will creep into the house. But you don’t have to rule with an iron fist if you’re the one doing the teaching.
Her first tip is “don’t nag.” If your spouse dreams about an expensive vacation, let them dream: It’s okay. The next is to be “goal-oriented.” Save for that vacation or your children’s college education. The last tip is “allow for rewards.” Every once in a while, you’re allowed to indulge. It’s a great motivator.
Art of Being Cheap — Andy gathered 10 money-saving articles that didn’t get enough attention from visitors to his site. So he offered them up again for readers to evaluate. The articles give advice on why to use Google Drive for free instead of buying Microsoft Office, copy cat recipes, saving money on your car and more. Just visit his site for an in-depth look at his money-saving ideas.
Get Rich Slowly — Kristin takes an interesting look back at her 2014 resolutions. She made four — “max out retirement”, “speak up more”, “consume less,” and “save for a medium-term goal.” She kept two of the resolutions, the first and the fourth.
She believes she failed on the other two because they were vague. And that’s why she advises readers to be more specific with goals so they know exactly what they’re trying to achieve. She also may have bit off too much with four resolutions. The majority of us can’t stick to one.
Wise Dollar — The first mistake guest writer Laurie from the Frugal Farmer made was “looking down instead of up.” They overshot their grocery budget per month by $25.53. But because they spent less than the average American family, they justified it.
The second mistake was “overconfidence.” She says they could have done better if they didn’t get “comfortable with the fact that we were doing “good enough.”” The last mistake was denial — “subconsciously, we knew that our progress was slower than it should have been.” The lesson here is address the situation quickly and get back on track.