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Budgeting and Couponing

March 23rd, 2007 at 05:26 am

Thank goodness it is Friday! It has been a long week. I mentioned that my husband is in Paramedic school over in the "about me" section. He's already gone to the fire academy and EMT school and paramedic is the last step. It's been a long road (he started in August of 2004) but he gets out at the end of April! We're very excited and hope that he will be able to easily find a firefighter/paramedic job with a local fire department fairly soon. That would be ideal because he's so ready to start living his dream of being a firefighter and also it should mean a decent jump in pay from what he makes now. That's always a bonus!

Anyway, he has to do several different sets of clinical hours and he starts the last "set" on Saturday. This set is ten 24 hour shifts and a local fire station. He's doing it on a normal 24/48 schedule which means that he goes for 24 hours and is off for 48 hours. That wouldn't be so bad except he still has to fit in working full time and going to school at night too. Yeah, fun times! He also has to take $10 per day to the station to put in the kitty for meals...so there goes $100. At least I know he'll be well fed, though. And $10 per day is pretty good if you really think about it, I guess.

I have been working on trying to get the budget under control for a few months now. Dave Ramsey suggests a zero balance budget which is where you put everything on paper and every dollar has a purpose. Make every penny squeal. At the end of the month, you should end up with zero dollars because everything has been allocated to a specific purpose and anything left over would have gone to your debt snowball (or whatever baby step you're on). I've been doing ok with this but I'm not quite there yet. I'm really going to give it my best shot for the month of April and see how it goes.

Reading through some of the forums and blogs on here makes me realize that I am not budgeting as tightly as I should. I can't believe how detailed some of these people are about saving eight cents at CVS or $1.50 at Walmart. I can't imagine being that detailed but I guess it is fun and a challenge for some? I'm not knocking it, I think it is cool...but it would take a lot of work for me to do it!

I did try couponing a few months ago and I didn't do well at all! I want to give it another go, though, because I know there is a ton of money out there to be saved. My problem was that I was using coupons just because I had them and sometimes on products that we didn't end up liking or eating at all...and I had bought 3-4 of those items because I had the coupon. D'oh! Maybe I'll give that another shot in the near future but I'm gonna have to revise my game plan and figure out what we'll really use.

2 Responses to “Budgeting and Couponing”

  1. yummy64 Says:

    I think we all do that when we start with Coupons. I have a ton of coupons and quite often most of them don't get used - but the ones that get used result it real savings. Quite often I still end up not using a coupon because the generic is still cheaper than the name brand after the sale and coupon - and I won't treat myself to a more expensive product just to use a coupon unless it is one of the few products where I insist on using a brand name.

    But my savings with coupons is still decent - it just takes some patience to get in the groove. hotcouponworld.com is a great site for ideas and stuff and Jeffery has some great articles here too!

  2. newlyfrugal Says:

    I am new to this whole budgeting thing too (just really started this month) but I found a great tool for doing the zero-based budget that you mentioned. It is called "You Need A Budget" (YNAB for short; it can be found at www.youneedabudget.com) and is a program that focuses on real time budgeting and money management with the goal of stopping you from living paycheck to paycheck. It has COMPLETELY changed how I look at our money. (Just to be clear, I am not affiliated with the site nor should the be considered an advertisement. I am just in love with the program!)

    Good luck!
    Sara

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