I got my very first grown-up paycheck today! I haven't been paid by anyone since December 2009, so this was pretty fantastic. I quit my job in December to do my student teaching until May, and then didn't get to start subbing until October which is why 11 months later... I am just now getting my first check out of college. Too bad it's pretty much all going to my very first student loan payment. Booo. I am going to buy myself a little treat though... I've been wanting these pillows from Target for quite some time, and I'm going to get them this weekend.
They are meant to be bed pillows, but I'm going to be a rebel and use them on our couch like this:
Since my horrible, no good, student loans are now starting to become due Charlie and I are following Dave Ramsey's plan. We've listened to him on the radio for years, but we're just now getting serious about saving and paying off all of our debt. Basically, you only spend cash, use envelopes to budget the cash, and pay off everything like crazy from smallest to largest. If all goes as planned we'll have both our credit cards and one of our cars paid off in the next few months, and the other car and all of my loans paid off in the next 3 years. Three years seems like a long time now, but we're cutting 8 years off the amount of time most people take to pay them. So far using cash has worked really well. When the envelope is empty you simply stop spending money in that category. Easy, huh?
I'm in charge of the grocery buying and set our budget to $50 a week. I used to spend over $100 a week on just myself, so this has been quite a challenge. But I'm happy to report that I'm buying double what I used to and using more name brands than I ever have before AND still staying at $50 a week. How? I plan ahead what I'm going to buy and stick to the list. I also use two amazing websites that I highly recommend if you want to save money at the grocery store:
These easily save me 50% just by using them and matching the coupons with the sales. We also have a Kroger down here which makes everything SO much cheaper. Just today I bought $134.70 in groceries for $50.57, saving $84.13!
It takes some getting used to and you have to be patient, but it really works. I hated it at first and wasn't very good at it, but now it's like a game and I try to beat my percentage that I saved each time I go... which I just realized makes me sound like an old lady. Oh well.