Saturday, December 13, 2008

Finance Tips

Words from the sisters of Cambridge First Ward

from Heather Staker~
Allan and I do best when we use cash envelopes. We decide on an amount for each of us and what we’re each in charge of (for example, my envelope needs to cover groceries, classes for the kids, clothes, etc. His covers his lunches, our dates, and babysitters.) Then we don’t ask each other any questions about how that money is spent. If we have any money left over at the end, we can spend it however we want, no questions asked.
Whenever we take the time to do this, we’re both a lot happier!
from Anna Walther~
And here's some budget tips that might be useful (hopefully not too late):
- ASP (Automatic Savings Plan): a lot of banks allow you to set a regular transfer from checking to savings (ING is especially cool for this). I've used this for regular long-term savings as well as for targeted savings (ie: specific purchases or large bills that you will need to pay all at once). Saving a little automatically all year can add up significantly without much burden and may help ease cash flow problems when a large bill comes due.
- Scheduled babysitting swaps - While having regular free childcare arranged may mean that you spend more money on dates, at least you don't have to pay for a babysitter too. Also, a major bonus is that you and your kids have the chance to get to know another family better.
- Skip one meal every other day or so. It really adds up. JUST KIDDING! :)
- Reuse. Save your money and the planet, too. Boston Craigslist is amazing. Lots of free furniture, baby gear, housewares, and hand-me-down clothing opportunities...- Bikes. Cambridge is great for biking (especially when gas is $4+/gallon). Don't let the drivers scare you. It is totally doable.
from Pam Smalley~
I just try not to go to the store, if possible. I try to use what I have in my fridge and cupboard, not touching our food storage stuff, unless necessary, to make our meals, etc. I think one thing that we waste our money on is food. We tend to buy food when at the stores because it looks good or we're just hungry and I think that if we plan wisely, our money and our food supply can really go far. (That's where planning weekly meals can help, too.)I'm not sure if you were just wanting tips for the holidays, so here's what we do:
1) For birthdays, we usually send emails, e-cards or call in the evenings when long distance minutes are free. No need to buy a card or stamps.
2) Buy Christmas cards, a week after Christmas, when they are 75% off! (This works for many holidays, too.) Even better send out electronic newsletters with updates and pictures attached. No need to buy cards or stamps.
3) Last year, Daniel and I made a Jeopardy game (kind of like the one used in the EQ Thanksgiving Dinner) using questions/answers related to just our family members. It was fun for everyone. We've also burned them cds with pictures of us throughout the year and they've really enjoyed that. Daniel's sister burned cds with her wedding pictures on them for all of us as a Christmas present for each family.
4) There was one family who used to be in our ward and they moved a couple of years ago, but they would invite people over for dessert, instead of dinner. They were able to visit with many different families and yet not hurt their food budget at the same time.
from Terese Plant~
· Shop at less expensive grocery stores (Summerville Ave.).
· If you’re really trying to be tight, don’t buy juice. It’s a great way to cut out sugar and drink more water.
· Buy items that can be used in multiple recipes. This is a way to search for less expensive items and stock up for food storage with greater ease. Those items can be: cream of chicken soup, spaghetti sauce, frozen veggies, canned beans, etc. In my house we joke that we start to have a Taco Bell menu where we come up with tons of recipes with the same four ingredients!
· Cut back on buying meat. Cooking soups and stews can require a lot less meat than other main courses. Ground beef usually comes in pound and a half portions (didn’t they used to be in one pound portions?) which could easily be divided into two meals.

Click here for the online mini course on budgeting "Peace in Your Hearts: Managing Household Finances Wisely"

Basic Microwave Brownies
2/3 stick of melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix buter and sugar first, then add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a 9x9 or 8x8 greased microwave-safe baking pan. Bake on high of 4-5 1/2 minutes.

The Times in Which We Live
President Gordon B. Hinckley
How grateful I am for the law of tithing. It is the Lord’s law of finance. It is set forth in a few words in the 119th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. It comes of His wisdom. To every man and woman, to every boy and girl, to every child in this Church who pays an honest tithing, be it large or small, I express gratitude for the faith that is in your hearts. I remind you, and those who do not pay tithing but who should, that the Lord has promised marvelous blessings (see Mal. 3:10–12). He has also promised that “he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming” (D&C 64:23).


Amberli said...

hey terese! thanks so much for this post and this blog in general! i appreciate your hard work and thanks for your lesson today.

Dani said...

Thanks so much for posting these tips since Lily didn't let me listen to your lesson. I really appreciate it!!
Also, if you look at on their homepage you can list a couple of ingredients you have that you want to use, and they will give you recipes that match. It's great b/c they have normal ingredients that you usually already have in your kitchen. THis has helped me when trying to use up things in my fridge/cupboard instead of letting it waste.