Most of us are looking for ways to save, whether it’s a big ticket item like buying a house or day-to-day spending, every dollar can really add up.
We all want to save money but actually doing it is another story. Managing money is no easy task but working toward financial goals can be extremely rewarding. As we kick off our new series Ways to Save we’re talking budgeting, a financial lesson with big payoffs.
There’s no arguing the paychecks we work for are spread thin. From food to housing, clothes, cars and everything in between our dollars dwindle fast. We’ve all heard of the “B” word but how many of us actually BUDGET? The answer might surprise you. According to Debt.com, about 1 in 5 people keep a formal budget so the majority is keeping little to no track of where their money goes.
“Everything comes down to money, ” Allie Peach speaks words so true. Most everything comes down to the almighty dollar but budgeting where the dollar is spent can be huge in terms of financial stability.
“We saw where the money was going and we saw where we could cut,” this was the first step for Joshua Sapp and his wife when they first got on a budget. The Sapp’s are the parents of a son and daughter, Ryan and Allie Peach have two daughters. Both families say parenting brought on changes to the budget, “My income didn’t change all that much but our expenses greatly went up,” said Ryan.
In Evansville nearly 40 percent of people are living paycheck to paycheck. It’s something Sapp and his wife decided they no longer wanted to do so they made a joint sacrifice to cut costs, “We carpooled, I carpooled to and from work from Toyota for a long time. We cut down on the extra gas just driving around, not going on trips. Cutting out concerts, we put our entertainment on a budget.”
Another major area to cut costs: food. Think about how much food you throw away and eating out, it all adds up. It’s one of the reasons Allie made a fool proof guide for meal planning. Allie’s Seamless Meal Planner walks you though what you have in your kitchen and what you need to make week’s worth of meals.
“I think one time our budget…budget, it wasn’t a budget. The amount of money we spent in one month on food was $1,400 or $1,500,” said Ryan. To cut food costs the Peach’s budgeted $150 a week for groceries for 4 people. Yes, it’s doable and it’s actually a lot of food!
One thing you can count on along the journey to living debt free, growing pains. Josh admits some of the ways he and his wife were able to save, not everybody can do, “I looked for a job that maybe was not a career but it paid the bills a lot better. It could be something so small as just cutting out some electricity less trips in the car, eating out less, but once it’s done, one you’ve really gotten started it gets easier,” said Sapp.
Unconventional, even times, unpopular decisions were also part of the Peach’s process to pay off student loans, “The way we did that was we sold our house and we moved into a not great apartment for a year but it was so important to us to not have those student loans looming,” said Allie.
The old saying goes budgets were meant to be broken but if you stick to one reaching goals can be endless. There are also going to be ups and downs along the road to reaching your goals, Ryan and Allie know from experience, “Being okay with failing, I mean we would sit down some months and just be like, “‘What happened, we are strapped for cash? It was like, Oh, I went to Starbucks 15 times,”‘ said Ryan.
The Peach’s are currently renovating an investment property. Joshua and his wife now in their own home, huge payoffs thanks to a budget, “It feels unique, it feels weird, it feels a little different. We are kind of surrounded by a different generation in our neighborhood but our children have a backyard to run in and that’s almost priceless,” said Sapp.
So what was used to get everything in check? For Joshua and his wife they put pencil to paper writing out a budget. The Peach’s like to use tha app Mint, it’s free, all your information downloads right from your bank account and you can set budgets for essentially whatever you want.
If you’re interested in Allie’s Seamless meal planner you can find it here.