I never made my name synonymous with only spending $150.00 a month on all my groceries, personal care, and household products for a family of 4.
Honestly, I knew that amount would go up... eventually, But at the time $150.00 was the what we felt we could afford and I loved the challenge of finding ways to stretch the dollar while eating healthy.
In January of 2015 after our semi- annual budget overhaul we decided to increase our grocery budget from $150.00 to $240.00 a month(2016 update: $300.00) ! I know, many of you are reading this a thinking:
Is she crazy?? That is nothing compared to what we spend!
Well, you have to take into consideration we are raising the budget of one expense WITHOUT a pay or income increase.
My husband will not be getting a yearly raise this year and I will still be finishing my degree while staying home with the boys. Normally, this is not a wise decision and can lead to financial trouble if you start to raise expenses with no increase in income. However, we decided there was a need to increase this budget. Here's why:
- We have two boys that are anticipated to be above 6ft, they are starting to both be really good eaters and "eat us out of house and home"
- I have started cooking even healthier meals. While this can be done without a budget increase I found a little wiggle room for fresh fruits and veggies during the non-gardening season really helps.
- We are now packing my husband's lunch
- We were going over our $150.00 Budget every month. This was the first sign!
At first, it was not simple. We thought we NEEDED every last cent and that I had diligently crunched our numbers to make the leanest budget ever.
We were wrong.
The only thing we did was start packing my husband's lunch. This small commitment made a HUGE impact on our budget. He received a $400.00 allowance a month which included lunch, extras, anything not already in the budget. We decided that eating lunch on Fridays would be a great compromise and I could pack his lunch and coffee (we use The Rock Thermos for him!) for around $10.00 a week (Deli meat and homemade soups, we already packed coffee). Lowering his allowance to $200.00 a month gave us an additional $200.00 so we added $90.00 to our grocery budget.
AND are using the extra $110.00 (most months) to pay down our debts and add to our savings!
When was the last time you looked really hard at your budget and made a sacrifice now, to live well later on?