Ahh the sweet feeling that is payday. The sweet achievement of getting to payday without overdrafting (Hallelujah!). The wonderful thought of making it! The fact that I can go grocery shopping and buy things like brownies and chocolate along with the veggies and bread! Paying bills on time and not the day before the power it cut off! What will I ever do with all this wonderful fuzzy feelings?!?!
You know, it's so funny to me because it's not like we've started making THAT much more money. I mean, Brent got a raise a few weeks ago and that's made a difference, but it's really not that much in terms of reality (its only like $20 a check). I think there's a few things that have finally started coming in to play:
#1) Cash. Hubby and I have started using cash for gas and our personal lunches. For some reason this has made a very large difference. I guess we know exactly what we've got left and what we've spent and it prevents us from over spending.
#2) We're finally out of short-term payments and short-term loans. There've been several different things we've had that just were supposed to affect us for a few weeks that stretched out and got expensive. Well we finally got all that taken care of and it's freed up alot more cash than I realized it would!
#3) Online Banking. I can get online and see exactly what's cleared, what hasn't, who spent what where, etc. This has been so much better than trying to remember to write everything down. I don't ledger anything anymore - except confrimation numbers and such.
#4) Online Bill-Pay. Paying things online, on time, when I have money makes a BIG difference. There's no extra fee for anything that I pay online, where theres alot of fees for paying bills in cash or over the phone. Since that was usually what I had to do since I wasn't ever sure when checks would hit and so couldn't plan right etc etc etc online has been great for us.
We are so excited because now that we're back on our feet and have our money under control, we can start talking about Christmas and birthdays and renovating the house and such whatnot. We're going to have about $600 put away for Christmas by the time it rolls around! I never thought I'd be able to say that! That's really great, too, because this year Alina knows what's going on and Raziel is finally old enough to really participate. I'm really excited about it all. It can be so hard to have money saved up for Christmas, but it is also really hard to pay bills in December if you haven't saved up!!
On top of our brillancy in spending our money better (LOL), come December 1st my grocery bill is about to go waaaaay down. Food stamps? Hah! I wish! WIC has finally overhauled their program and have adjusted their food supply for semi-needy families like us that don't get food stamps but could use some help. Instead of the 10 dozen eggs a month and 12 gallons of milk and 6 boxes of cereal (not even kidding a little bit, either!) They're cutting back on those things a little bit and giving grains (bread, tortilla and rice) and dollar amounts for fresh or canned fruits and veggies! So I'll still have to suplement this a bit, and buy my own meat and junk food (who woulda thought?!?! lol) but the tiny things will help alot. I've always wondered why WIC supplied milk and eggs but not bread or veggies when they hand out that little pyramid and the base is bread and then theres milk and protien, but right above that is fruits and veggies? How is covering one or two of the main food groups really going to help out on the nutrition of kids? So I guess someone else said the same thing and WIC said "hmm maybe they don't need 10 dozen eggs a month for a family of 4" and adjusted things. And, effectively, December is when we get changed over.
Well that's the lifestyles of the poor and nameless for now! LOL