Do you guys make a budget every month? We started doing it a couple of years ago knowing that our retirement would be coming soon and we would have to know how to live within a budget.
We use the Quicken for Mac program and is it ever insightful!! You set your budget and tailer it to meet your own personal needs. As you spend money and assign the money into your categories, the program keeps track of how you are doing within that budget. You can select monthly and by the entire year. One of these days I'll have to make a video explaining how it works for us. Anyway, for us, food kept coming up on our budget overages, meaning, we set the budget for a certain amount and each month, we were going over. Now in the "olden days" we had really gotten used to dining out at night, having several lunches out a week and those luscious coffee creations 4 out of 7 mornings!! No wonder it wasn't balancing. But we had the money then and we didn't even LOOK at what we were doing. Now that we have a reduced income, we are "revisiting" that food topic all over again.
First I will say there are only two of us on this budget of ours. Then I will say that we were spending more on food than on our house payment! Terrible to admit but true! And I will also admit that both of us could stand to loose a few pounds!
One of my favorite things to do is find a way to make home cooked food taste as good as dining out. There are tons of recipes all over the internet that can help with that. But lately, my husband has been telling me that he likes my food better than any of the places we have been eating out!! SCORE!! And as I "practice" more and more, I am getting better and better. I've made some things for the freezer that we can whip out on those nights when we just don't feel like cooking. I also will intentionally buy a few simple frozen things TO EAT AT HOME instead of going out. Yes, we probably pay more for those convenience than making it from scratch, but it will be far less than going out.
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