My Capsule Part Two

Starting a Capsule:

1. Pare down your closet to 37 items.
2. Wear only those 37 items for three months.
3. Don’t go shopping during the season until…
4. During the last two weeks of the season, plan and shop for your next capsule.
​5. The amount you buy for the next capsule is up to you, but less is more.

Since my post last week on my capsule wardrobe, I wanted to let you know that I have since shipped 2 giant bags off to ThredUP for extra money and I have given away one giant plastic tub, and two laundry baskets to friends of mine.  Each and every piece of clothing was held up and asked the 7 questions!

It was funny to me how many things in my closet, I know I feel uncomfortable when I wear or they are just not my style. This initial purge was easier than I expected.

What I am left with is still a bit of disarray but less of a disarray than before.  Getting rid of sweaters and pants with holes in them was liberating. I highly suggest starting there. I had 6 sweaters with various rips, one that I had even worn recently and swore I just wouldn’t lift my arm where someone would see. That’s nuts. After that it was a matter of money guilt as my reason for hanging on to most things. Thinking I had spent my hard earned money on this and therefore it should hang in the closet and I could pretend I hadn’t made a buying mistake. I also adopted some new planning for this most amazing wardrobe.  This brings me to my step two!

Step Two Is Round Two

Yes that is correct. As you can see above and if I were to take a guess, I would say there are probably 50 pieces of clothing in my closet still.  My goal is to get rid of another 25-30 pieces.

As incentive to myself I bought 30 really nice hangers, the velvet lined kind and I am only using those.  30 hangers =30 pieces.

My Color Pallet

That is it, that is my neutrals. I want to add some Navy and some light blues and I have green eyes and anything green looks good on me, the colors in my pallet can be worn together. I love experimenting with colors, but the pallet is optional as long as each piece can be worn a variety of ways. I know that every color in my pallet except black and navy can be worn together this will make dressing and outfit combinations easier. Totally up to you if this works for you or not.

There are some goals I set for myself. Setting goals will help me to make sure I am not getting right back into an overabundance of spending and clothing. This is something I need.

  • I am not shopping for anything else until January 2018.  I did buy a few pairs of Talbots pants because I got rid of a lot of my brown, navy and black pants that no longer fit or yes some had stains and holes. I also bought a few cardigans for this exact same reason. This project doesn’t have to cost money, but I wear pants and cardigans in all seasons so this made sense for me.
  • I want to make sure each thing in my closet can be worn 7 different ways.  For example, if a pink sweater is in the closet it needs to be able to be worn with brown pants, navy pants, black pants, skirts of same color. Add accessories like necklaces and scarves to change the look. So the pink sweater can stay.  The bright red floral dress? No it can only be worn as a floral dress, it isn’t even set up to wear with a cardigan or blazer. This will go.
  • Talbot’s pants are awesome. (ThredUp $16.99) I only say this because I never even considered trying this brand of pants, and they are awesome.
  • I have established my color pallet.  I can check that off the list.
  • My motto this month- heck this year is-  “Live Simply”

I would love to hear stories about how your capsule is coming along. Message me with your own adventure.


Creating less:

3 reasons to build a capsule wardrobe

1. Figure out what matters.
If you are overwhelmed with stuff and busyness, you may have forgotten what really matters to you, how you like to spend your time, and the dreams you had for your life. Living and dressing with less helps you reconnect and remember. Sometimes to figure out what matters you have to get rid of everything that doesn’t.

2. Reduce decision fatigue.
Deciding what to wear requires mental energy better spent on other things. Instead of trying on several outfits getting ready in the morning in hopes of finding the perfect thing to wear, curate a small capsule wardrobe. Then there are no daily decisions required. You get to wear your favorite things every day.

3. Create more space and time for what you love.
Even if you don’t know what matters yet, or what you love, by dressing with less you’ll have a little more time and space to figure it out. A little more time and space to breathe.

The idea of capsule wardrobes has been fascinating to me since I learned what they were.  In my mind with a capsule wardrobe I would look like princess Kate and always be crisp and perfectly fashioned.  As weird as it is to type this out loud, I feel like I have a relationship with my wardrobe. My clothes define a lot about who I am and what mood I am in.

Anyone who has ever seen my closet or asked me to borrow something knows I have WAY TOO MUCH! Mr. Maker may indulge in beer making kits but I certainly blow our budget out of the water with my clothing spending and hoarding habits.

The thing is these clothes aren’t sentimental. They are not like the t shirt of my first concert, or the shirt I was first kissed in. They are just clothes.

Lately, inspired by blog writing, decluttering my life and a way to live a happier carefree greener life, I have been slowly working on my capsule wardrobe.

So what is a Capsule Wardrobe?

When I Googled the definition of a capsule wardrobe I found …

  • a collection of clothes and accessories that include only items considered essential
  • a person’s basic collection of coordinating clothes that can be used to form the basis of outfits for all occasions
  • a set of clothing, normally around 24 items, which can be mixed and matched to create a wide variety of outfits.

For my own capsule wardrobe, I am still working on the basic collection part. I have been trying to look through my clothes and see what I actually want to wear and how I feel about wearing it. Add that to what else I can put with it, different pants or shoes and I am on my way.

So where does ThredUP come into all of this.  I discovered this site based on a commercial. One thing about a capsule wardrobe is to buy less but buy better quality or spend more per item since you will be wearing it more and want it to last. I am thrifty by nature and spending more than $40 on a sweater has never been cool with me. ThredUP is an online thrift store.  This backs up my whole concept of reusing, and also allows me to buy cashmere sweaters and name brands for under $30.

My first order arrives this week.  This includes some great sweaters from JCrew to pair with skirts or pants or even jeans for weekend wear. I can add pearls or a blazer, even a scarf. Basics like this give me plenty of options.

Now the other thing…I have been selling some clothes on our community Buy Sell page on Facebook. Lately the people wanting clothing has really dropped off.  ThredUP, also lets me sell on consignment. Order a Clean Out Bag and refresh your wardrobe. Fill it up with like-new women’s and kids’ clothes. Earn a little cash or credit.

Like I said, for me this is a work in progress. I hope you will join me in this adventure and we would love to hear how you plan your wardrobe.

Starting a Capsule:

1. Pare down your closet to 37 items.
2. Wear only those 37 items for three months.
3. Don’t go shopping during the season until…
4. During the last two weeks of the season, plan and shop for your next capsule.
​5. The amount you buy for the next capsule is up to you, but less is more.

No Spend Day Fail

It’s Friday, and you know what that means….I am going to show you how to make or save money.

This month we are working on NO$SPENT days. As I previously admitted earlier this week, I had a super emotional shopping day on Monday and I want to go through that experience and show you exactly how this could have played out differently.

My first confession, Monday spilled over to Tuesday and Wednesday. I am sure Mr. Maker is shaking his head as he reads this.

This is my No Spend Fail Confession:

Monday at Lunch time, my co-worker and I went to Target so that she could get school supplies for her son.

  • My first mistake was I should have left my wallet in my desk drawer. This would have made the impulse buys that I made impossible.
  • I wanted to get a book, for all the reading I want to start doing again. Second Mistake, I am not currently reading on the regular and I didn’t even begin by looking at the library which is a block from our house.
  • I needed Quinoa pasta for the farewell dinner we were hosting for our son before his mission trip. This I bought on sale and it was really good. $1.54. I could have used veggies I already had and made spiral noodles since I am the only one who needed to eat gluten free.
  • I checked Cartwheel before I went. I wasn’t supposed to buy anything but the allure of a deal made Cartwheel essential.

I spent $55.36

I spent $55.36 on a trip that was an impulse to begin with. Let me explain what I bought.

  • Two books, the reading habit for the life I am going to begin living required not just one book but two. $12/each after the 20% discount.
  • Quinoa Pasta mentioned above $1.54
  • Two baguettes. $2.99 but I had a 50 cent coupon.
  • Pasta Sauce $3.08, because I couldn’t remember if we had and I didn’t want to text my husband to check. We did have and the unused sauce is in the pantry.
  • Tupperware $12.99 with 20% Cartwheel and $2.00 off coupon saving $4.50, I didn’t need or want Tupperware but now $8.50 made it a deal. It is still in my trunk while I debate returning it.
  • K cups $10.99 because what if my Subscribe and Save didn’t arrive on time? By the way it did and now I have way too many K cups.

This entire $55 trip was not necessary but I backed it up with another $30 trip to World Market.

I spent $30 on a trip to World Market, because I am always the hostess and I had to have fun wine for my dinner guest for our sons farewell dinner.

  • Rose’ $11.99, I don’t drink Rose’ but its fun for the summer. (My MIL had one small glass and it is now in my refrigerator going bad.)
  • Sangria $11.99 in a fun bottle. This was really delish and the bottle was cute and I can reuse for Limoncello, it wasn’t needed but it was fun.
  • Italian Olives $5.99, that’s the theme of the dinner right?
  • Salami $5.99 because it will make the  platter more appealing with a theme?
  • Italian Cheese $4.99 this finished the look.

My 6 year old nephew loved the salami so much that he filled up on that and didn’t eat his dinner. After the family added crackers to the platter, I couldn’t eat any of it because it touched Gluten.

Now the icing on the cake $77 at TJMAXX

The hottest day of the week Wednesday and my bras was really bugging me, rubbing the wrong way. The solution= Shopping. I spend $77 at TJMAXX.

  • 6 new bras on clearance $34
  • 3 tops for work $34, if you have ever seen my closet you know this was NOT anything I needed.

Total Failure= $187

Now this may seem like a lot of extra money or maybe it’s pocket change for your family, for someone who prides herself on saving money and reusing what she has, this is pitiful.

I share this with you so that we can all look inside ourselves and see where we are wasting our money and where we have room for improvement. My NO$SPENT week is obviously a work in progress. As I type this out it is more embarrassing than anything.  The best part is this weekend is tax free holiday in Ohio, so I blew it on a whole different level and emotionally I don’t feel any different because of this stuff.  As my punishment,  I’ll just be sitting over here in my new shirt, reading this book, eating olives if anyone needs me 😉

We would love to hear from you on ways you have wasted or saved money and how you keep from temptations. I think I will be leaving all my cards at home from now on.


HELP! My Spending Is Out Of Control

You would think a savvy budgeting guru like myself would have all of the answers, you would be wrong.

One of the reasons that inspired us to write this blog,  is so that we can relate to real people like ourselves with budgets, families, and debt.  With that in mind I should let you in on a little not so secret secret, I am an emotional shopper.

It’s only Tuesday and I don’t yet have a day where I can use my “NO $ SPENT” sticker in my planner.

Not only that, but I own a planner where I use stickers. I think this may be something from childhood, where I had a major sticker collection habit. Regardless, my planner is my guide to life and I rely on it, so I am comfortable that I made this purchase with a 40% off coupon and paid cash. The rest of my purchases of late are completely off the budget track.

I thought I would include some steps, so that if you are like me at all you can incorporate into your life and hopefully we can end this cycle of emotional spending.

The most important thing is to Understand Your Spending Triggers

In many cases, knowing how to stop spending money has to do with identifying the emotional and psychological triggers that cause us to spend. If you remove those triggers, you’ll remove the temptation and opportunity to overspend. So the next time you head out the door, keep these in mind:

Time of Day

I am a lunchtime shopper. I find that I can get away from my desk, no kids, no husband, no crowd.  I can leisurely stroll through a store and take the full hour not working.  Do you find that you have more energy during certain periods of the day? If so, shop during times when you have more energy and feel less stressed. You’ll make wiser spending choices and think more rationally when you’re relaxed and less pressured.


Are there certain environments that make you want to spend, or make you feel obligated to spend just because you’re there? Craft stores, shopping malls, home shows, and even when you’re on vacation are all prime examples of times when you’re more likely to spend impulsively. So, take away the temptation by either steering clear of such environments, or only taking a few dollars with you.

Likewise, if you have a favorite store and you find yourself wandering through the aisles looking for great deals, do all you can to limit your opportunities to go there. For me this is TJMAXX and World Market, I have an obsession with fancy wines and foods. I like hostessing and showing off my dishes and platters. If we have people coming for dinner, I have to have a cute bottle of wine or some olives for them.


Different moods and emotional states can alter our energy, making us more prone to impulse shopping. For example, if we’re upset, stressed or anxious we may seek some retail therapy to feel better. This was 100% me this afternoon.  I am not sure if the 4 bras and bottle of Rose’ worked?

Instead of hitting the mall or your favorite internet shopping site, hit the gym or the park. Going for a walk or doing some exercise will do wonders for lifting up your mood.

What’s important is that you identify the moods that affect your spending behavior, and to find ways to avoid shopping during moods that will cause you to impulse buy.

Peer Pressure

Do you tend to spend more money than you normally would when you’re hanging out with your friends? Even the most well-intention friends can be a bad influence on us, especially if they have bad spending habits themselves. If you can’t afford to eat, shop, and vacation the way your friends do, it’s okay to decline their invites. That goes for co-workers too.



If you’re accustomed to a certain lifestyle, it could be difficult to give up when you suddenly encounter a financial hardship. But, if your lifestyle ends up becoming bigger than your budget and you don’t know how to stop overspending your budget, you could end up in worse shape.

Your upbringing also has an effect on your lifestyle choices. If you grew up in a household where money was always tight, you may feel the urge to overspend to compensate for all the things you were deprived of growing up.  Similarly, if you grew up in a household where money wasn’t an issue, you may feel compelled to spend money you don’t have in order to maintain the lifestyle you grew up with.

The easiest way to start living within your means is to create a budget, and to stick to it. You may have to sacrifice some things, but it will be worth it when you see your bank account balance coming out of the red.

I am not sure if this helps. I know I like to Pinterest when I am feeling the shopping urge. Just look at what they have or show and what I already own that could work.

Thanks for listening to my woes. I promise I will work on getting back on track tomorrow.  Let me know what your shopping triggers are, we would love to hear from you.

Friday Money Saving

It’s Friday, which means it is time to make or save money. Today, I wanted to focus on saving money. More over I wanted to focus on saving money for gift giving.

Christmas, Birthdays, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, or Weddings.  Most of us have so many of these each year. Not to mention Anniversaries, Mothers Day, Fathers Day. If you are like us you have step moms, in laws, step dads and so on.  It adds up to a lot of gifts.

I wanted to share something our family started doing last year, in hopes that this may work for you or may inspire a different idea to save money.

Favorite Things

Just like the song goes, this gift giving my be wrapped in brown paper and tied up with strings.

With the exception of all graduation presents which are a check written for the amount of the year $21.17 for all grads this year.

For the holidays, we made this an extended family theme. “The Year of Our Favorite Things” the theme was simple, everyone had to think through something that they discovered, made, ate, or did that became their favorite thing.  Then you buy X amount of them (all the same one for each person in the family).  This year was a challenge health wise for me and so I found the little ice bags like I had when I was a kid. Over the holidays they had multiple patterns of these available and I paid under $40 for all of my gifts for the family.  They love them and everyone uses them.  Our son, loves Cheese its, and while that is not unique to him this year, he got everyone a box of cheese its. I think his total was around $15.  The rest of the family gifts included lotto tickets, 3 pack samplers of kcups, bagel gift cards, soaps, and cookies.  The story alone makes these things worth trying because they were thoughtful.

We expanded this idea to the entire theme of gift giving. Lots of my gifts center around things I have highlighted on this blog. Soaps, Kcup recyclers, resuable bags, pickles, and the list goes on to more that I just have not shared yet.

For baby showers, and I went to quite a few this year, something that I loved or used for my own baby, with a note was perfect.

There is something to be said for a pretty brown paper package tied up in string. Adding a tag with a note about why its your favorite thing, and suddenly gift giving on a budget takes on a new meaning.

I was always one to prefer a meaningful present than something that was on sale at the nearest box store. My sisters loved when I sent them a card with Garbage Pail Kids from our childhood, or nostalgic candy.

Let me know if your family has a similar idea or way that you save money with gift giving.

Stay tuned for next week when menus and grocery budgets come out.


August Menu Planning and Grocery Budget

Well here we are, the final piece before August Menu Planning and Grocery Budgeting.  I want to introduce you to Walmart Grocery Pick Up.

I like to recommend Walmart Grocery Pick Up.  for a few reasons:

  • Can make your list and stick to it, no impulse buys
  • No need to spend 1-2 hours of your day walking through a grocery store.
  • Still get great savings with prices being low, and Savings Catcher.
  • Freshness guarantee. (I had raspberries that were sub par and they immediately gave me new and credited my account.)

For our menu we shop for our family of 4 for around $80/week. We buy food only and cat food monthly because Subscribe and Save does not offer our brand of cat food. ($4/month)

The nice part about Walmart Grocery Pick Up.  is I can see exactly how much my order will be, no counting while I walk through the store.  This also let’s me tweak things if I go over budget.

Example: Last week, I wanted to make spaghetti and homemade meatballs for dinner. Ground Beef was $4.89/lb, plus rice noodles $2.89, and sauce $1.50 (I had other ingredients for this on hand) the total cost of this meal was $9.28.

For an alternative, I had half a head of cabbage from the Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls, cost $0, kielbasa sausage $1.50, and shelled rice noodles, $1.50. ( already had onion and other ingredients on hand. ) Total cost for this meal was $3.00!

This freed up about $6 from the budget. This let’s me go back and separate my needs from wants. I love fruit snacks, but if we are close on budget that month I do not need fruit snacks.

Another thing is “Savings Catcher” , this is a Walmart program where you enter your receipt number, and they shop current competitors ads. If there is a store with the same product cheaper , you get the difference on a Walmart e-gift card.  You can not use on the grocery app, but you can use on and in store on anything.  This year I have already received $65 in Savings Catcher refunds. I used this to buy a collapsible wagon for vacation and party supplies for a graduation party.

I was a loyal Aldi shopper forever but have not noticed any money difference since moving to Walmart.

The only thing I have found that is not in line is the amount of plastic bag use. I can not use my reusable shopping bags. I do however bring the bags back to the store each week to recycle.

Next week, I will begin offering up weekly menu plans with recipes. My menus and meal prep will be based off of my families eating habits and pricing based on  Walmart Grocery Pick Up, if you use this link its $10/off your first order.

This week, I would encourage you to check out Walmart Grocery Pick Up, and use for your current budget and list. I should add that the customer service they offer through grocery pick up is fabulous.

Happy Hunting!!!

TGIF! Saving Money the Old Fashioned Way

Well it is Friday, and you know what that means….time to either show you how to make or save some money!! The other day, as a standard courtesy, we got our annual electric use audit. Basically, the electric company says your household use is better or worse than many of your neighbors. As you know, Mr. Maker works from home, and works on computers, so there is some accountability for all that electric use. There was no where near the justification for the use though. With that one simple notice in the mail, we have been focused on making some money saving tweaks. I will get to more of those later, but for now an oldie but goodie.

From the beginning, I have said that you won’t have to give up your lattes and pedicures, that we are just going to show you other options. I stand by that. We are a family of 4 and one of the things we do a lot of in our house with runners and teenagers is laundry. I am talking like 9-10 loads per week. We have long since made the teenagers do their own laundry.  To me 9-10 loads seems like a ridiculously large amount. Here’s the thing, we only dry about 4 loads.

The laundry drying rack. A few years back, I got turned on to a blog called Mr. Money Mustache. The whole concept of not wasting, investing, and retiring early came to me at a time in my life when I hated my job, was reckless with spending, and even more reckless with my eco footprint. The blog is still very appealing to me and I practice or modify a lot of the tips and tricks on the site. The coolest part about the drying rack since we live in the suburbs, with strict homeowner association rules,  is that it is indoors and can set up in the laundry room.

This drying rack concept tackles TWO of our main goals- Saving money and Doing something good for the planet.

  • Save energy and curb emissions
    In many households, the dryer is the third-most energy-hungry appliance, after the refrigerator and washer. Air-drying your clothes can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by a whopping 2,400 pounds a year.
  • Save Money
    Not many people can afford to spend any more than necessary on energy bills, and many households pay more than $100 a year on the electricity claimed by their dryer. Most households will likely have less than a year of payback time for purchases that enable air drying.
  • Save your clothes
    The lint you find in your dryer is evidence of your wardrobe literally wearing away. When you stop using your dryer, you’re conserving your favorite clothes longer and saving the cost of replacing them before their time.
  • It’s safer
    It eliminates the risk that your dryer could ever start a dangerous fire. According to a report by FEMA, clothes dryer vents can become clogged with lint, causing more than 15,000 house fires every year. Not to mention NO dryer sheet use required. Dryer Sheets can put a lot of carcinogens into the air. With a family that is concerned about anything that could be cancer causing, this is HUGE for us.

I still dry towels, sheets, and underwear. I use fabric softener but NO dryer sheets for this.  The rest is hung up on the rack to dry, usually in 12-24 hours.

I encourage you to look at your own household energy consumption. What can you do to save a few bucks? The savings of $100 a year is enough with Swagbucks to pay for two months of our SUBSCRIBE and SAVE order.  Essentially paying for two months of our Non-Grocery Essentials for the cost of a drying rack.

Have you done anything to cut down or eliminate the use of an energy sucker like the dryer? We would love the details.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Non-Grocery Quarterly Budget

By now, if you are following along, we have only begun to work on the budget, but you should have a basic budget with your income and expenses and you should know what you have left each month. That is where this journey begins. 

From our previous post, you should have everything included in your budget and those non- necessities highlighted.  What does that leave you?  In our budget this month, we have about $670 left over for gasoline, food, and entertainment. Keep in mind that is one income and doesn’t include savings, or extras.   Your number will be more or less depending on your situation. Whatever that number is let’s break down those numbers.

Mr. Maker uses 1 tank of gas per month and on average it is $40 to fill. Mrs. Maker will go through about 2.5 per month and it will cost about $80 to fill 2.5 times. We need to set out $120 in the budget for gasoline.

This leaves us with about $480 for food and household items.  As I mentioned before my grocery budget is $70/week, so this month it will be $280 and I add $20 cushion in there. Leaving $180 for household items and extras.

You might have noticed that my grocery list and menus do not include paper products, cleaners, shampoo and so on…..that is because we order those items quarterly on Subscribe and Save 

To maximize the savings you want to make sure you are ordering 5 items per order to get the 15% savings.  To do this, I stagger our order so that things like dish soap (which comes in a pack of three)  don’t ship every month.

We won’t use all three dish soaps in a month, we use about one per month, so we stagger this out to every three months.

Dog Food is a monthly delivery, same with K-cups. We have toilet paper, kitchen cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, and fabric softener all staggered so that there is always 5 items each month, but not so that we are stock piling things.

Including cat litter, cat food, and dog food ($20) we spend about $60/month with Subscribe and Save.

I am sure there is room to improve and if we were being super strict, we could make adjustments here.

I priced shopped, so that you didn’t have to. Using the dish soap from above. Subscribe and Save offered three bottles for $9.41.  Similar stores were $11.37 and $11.67.  The savings on this one product is $2.26. Every item we ordered offered this same type of savings. Assuming 5 items each month with a savings of around $2-$3.  That’s $10-$15 savings.

To sweeten the deal, Mr. Maker has an Amazon Store Card which offers 3% cash back on purchases.

Our Subscribe and Save monthly order of $60 gives us 3% cash back or  $1.80

We save on average $20/month for shopping non- food items this way rather than at the grocery store.  They also offer coupons you can clip on site for your first order. 

Once we get into the specific grocery budget you will see that I do not have any line items for dog food, toilet paper or the like. If you don’t have pets, or your pets aren’t divas like ours you will have room to save here as well.

On our tally of things we USED to waste money on: ADD $240.

I will say, I am not a brand name snob, I am a chemical gluten free product snob. I also won’t switch to generic or no name toilet paper regardless of the savings.

We would love to hear about your tips and tricks for this type of thing. Our household just started using Subscribe and Save, prior to this we bought everything at the grocery weekly or hoarded it if we found a sale that we couldn’t pass up. I can think of better ways to spend my time than shopping for toilet paper 🙂






It’s Friday and you know what that means, we are either making or saving money!!!

This week we are going to build off of the EBates post and show you how to make even more money doing what you already do.

As you will learn later this week, I am a huge promoter of Walmart Grocery Pick Up. 

Walmart grocery pick up is excluded from Ebates, however it is not excluded from swagbucks.

The current promo is 3 swagbucks per $1 spent.  My current Walmart Grocery Pick Up  order is $91  meaning I could get 273 swagbucks for this week.

For the month of July if I spent that amount every week at the grocery store. I would have around 1100 swagbucks.

With the swagbucks, I can redeem for Amazon gift cards. 1,000 swagbucks would get me a $10 gift card.  They also have current promos for Dollar Shave Club 

That’s $120 in Amazon cards a year, just for groceries I was ordering anyway.  That’s two months of Amazon Subscribe and Save.

I really hope this all makes sense for you. Services like this are easy to use and require very little effort to help you live you best HOMESPUN life.

I would love to hear about other services like this that you are using!! Comment below.

Monthly Budgeting-Your Next Moves

Good morning, Mrs. Maker here- I hope that you are enjoying the budget tools we have provided so far.  By now you should have about half of your monthly receipts saved up and a good idea of what money is coming in and going out of your house each month.  We suggested that you highlight those areas on your budget or even with the receipts that you collected that weren’t necessities. For Mr. Maker and I that would include:

  • Netflix and Hulu subscriptions. $12
  • Cello lessons. $60
  • Ice cream $15
  • Daily Growler/Food Truck $22

As I mentioned previously, we aren’t asking you to give up lattes or anything. We do want you to be aware of where your money is being spent. If you have a month where the electric bill is higher than usual, you had to get  new brakes, or you had a lot of friends getting married or having babies like Mrs. Maker did last year,  you need to be able to cover those expenses and NOT on credit.

Mr. Maker and I look at our household budget using only one income.  After all the bills are paid, the remaining money is divided between the above items and groceries since these are variable or non-necessity items.

Last month for example: After all bills were paid- The Maker family had $460 left in the budget.  Based on my menu planning and meal prep,  groceries were going to take up approximately $80 a week or $320 for the month. That would leave $140 for the remaining items above. That is where we begin to pick and choose what we want to pay for and what we need to do without or find another way to make it happen for less.

To give you some ideas of ways we could save just based on the above mentioned.

  • We could walk to the United Dairy Farmer, pick up a gallon of ice cream and bring it home to enjoy on the patio. Spending about $5 and saving us $10.
  • We could forgo the food truck at the growler and just have a pint of beer. The Daily Growler does not serve food so we would have the ability to bring our own in. I could make some sandwiches and a veggie tray at home and save us about $12 – or since Mr. Maker is a home brewer, we could forgo the trip all together and have a beer on our patio saving the entire $22.
  • It is summer and our daughter doesn’t take cello lessons in the summer, that would put an extra $60 back in the budget for the three months of summer.
  • With Netflix and Hulu while I put these in the non-necessity areas. With a lot of our favorite shows like, Game of Thrones premiering over the summer, we don’t want to do away with these services. I can do without ice cream but not without Jon Snow.

I would invite you to sit down as a family and look at your own budget. Kids have the best ideas  of ways that you can still spend time together without spending money.

Menus, Grocery Budget, and Meal Prep are coming soon- but the basics the foundation for knowing what you have to work with is where you begin. We would love to hear some of your creative ways of saving a buck or two so please message or comment.