Many families today are struggling with too much month at the end of the money and my family is no exception. My husband and I have what I view as a very American mentality about spending: “If I want it, I deserve it so I’ll get it and worry about it later”. It’s frustrating because we never seem to have money for the things we really want, or the things we really need.
Need vs. Want… it’s a concept I try to teach my kids, but that I’m not very successful at myself. I’ve made a decision and starting today I’m going to put my wallet on a diet. I’m going to choose to forgo the WANT for the NEED. Big talk, I know.
One of the first steps is going to be in the area of groceries. I don’t know about you but I am a habitual impulse shopper. I try to write a list, but then I get to the store and fill my cart with all kinds of things that don’t belong there. I love cool packaging (it’s a downfall, I know) and although I have nothing against buying generic, pretty packaging often finds its way into my cart.
I’ve been doing some research on feeding my family inexpensively and one area I’m going to try to cut down on is cereal bars/oatmeal bars. My kids love having a granola bar or oatmeal bar as a snack and so I buy boxes of them. I’ll be looking for a good recipe to replace the processed version (bonus benefit – healthy snacks!). I’m also going to get out my sewing machine and sew up a couple of re-usable snack/sandwich bags and save on the cost of ziplock bags for the kids’ lunches.
Another way I’m going to start spending less is the entertainment part of our lives. Friday Funday has become an automatic fast food meal and video. Why can’t I start cooking with my kids and playing board games?
I’m excited about this, but scared too. What will it mean to change these ingrained habits? Can I do it? Will I be able to bear the complaining from my kids (that’s assuming they complain, which who knows? They could surprise me!). Can I still give my family a full stomach with a skinny wallet? I’m willing to give it a try!