A couple of weeks ago my hubby and I met with a financial advisor to find out if we were on track for retirement. He gave us an exercise to do that involved us figuring out a budget. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a written budget. What a wake-up call!! The exercise showed us that we were spending just slightly more than we made each month…. in essence, we were slowly bleeding our savings to death. And the thing is, we weren’t even spending extravagantly or anything. This was just everyday living expenses. If I was even going to consider staying home with the kids, I had to make some changes.
Here are some things we did to make our monthly cash flow a little better:
- Raised our car insurance deductibles to $1,000. This will save us approximately $20/month.
- Stopped paying an extra $100/month on our mortgage. I was sad to stop this, but I know that when we have a little more money we can start that again.
- Changed our allowances on our W-2 forms so that we wouldn’t get such a big tax return. This put an extra $78 in our pockets each month.
So… we should have a little more breathing room now. If you’ve never taken a good close look at your finances, I recommend it. The results may surprise you and force you do some creative thinking.