Finally! It's been two days with no Internet here!!! We had some sort of an outage again. Ever since Quest became Century Link, we constantly have issues with our Internet. Most of of the time, we just lose connection a few times a day for a few minutes but this time it was just way too long. Because I work from home, having Internet is crucial for me. Century Link needs to spend less money on advertising and more - on improving their service...
OK, done venting :) I still need to catch up on all your posts that I've missed, your comments and e-mails but because today is the last day of the month, I wanted to start with posting our financial goals.
This week we got a note that we were finally approved for unemployment benefits. It's not much but it's actually more than I expected - $356 a week. We are yet to receive it (they said, it could take a couple of weeks) but I'm hopeful, it will kick in next week. Also August was the month when I made the most ever with translating ($561), so between the unemployment checks and my paycheck, it will be tough but, I think, it can be done. At least, this is what my goal is.
This month I'm joining Carla for September No/Low Spend Challenge. And my main goal is one - to stay within a budget!!! The question is how to achieve it...Our bills will eat about 2/3 of this new budget. And no, we can't sell the house - we are still way too upside-down. So whatever is left, needs to be stretched as much as possible. We are planning on doing it by:
1. Keeping our grocery expenses within $220 this month. With prices constantly going up (and with my boys drinking a gallon of milk every two days...), it will not be easy. We will try to achieve this goal by eating out of our pantry and freezer, trying to stick with menu planning and, well, eat less meat :) I will also stop stockpiling for some time and use more coupons (but only for the things we usually buy). Our garden has slowed down a little bit lately but we should still have plenty of tomatoes and zucchinis to last us for the rest of the month which will also help to cut down on spending.
2. Drive less. In the past couple of weeks my husband has been helping his Dad with his business quite a bit. I don't mind it at all because in a lot of ways it's an investment in both of their futures. But he's also been driving back and forth between his house and ours. And we have to do something about it. We'll try to arrange more meetings at our house and consolidate necessary trips with grocery shopping etc. We still have to work things through but it's definitely doable.
3. Keep other expenses under control. Our oldest will turn 7 in September. We are not doing a Birthday party this year (he will get the family one thanks to my husband's wonderful sisters) but we already got him a gift. September also starts a string of Birthdays in our family that will go all the way until the New Year. Luckily, I already have a few gifts (for the kids) and other gifts will just have to be trimmed a little.
As for other expenses, we will weigh and calculate every little thing before spending any money. There will be only one thing that is excluded from this budget (aka we'll have to use our savings for it) - a car inspection, emissions and registration. It's a necessary evil that we have to do every year but I already have a coupon for getting the inspections and emissions for only $35. Keeping fingers crossed that our car will pass everything.
So these are our goals and plans. And I do hope that September will bring us some good news... Wish us luck! And thank you for all your prayers!! Did I mention before that you guys are amazing??? :)