October 20, 2014

Save Money, Get Organized = Use YNAB!

This post is a little off topic for Renaissance Mama, but I want to share because it’s made a HUGE difference for us!

Finances can be such a difficult thing to get control over. I am not naturally gifted with finances, and I spent a lot of my adult life worrying about whether there was enough money in the bank to pay our next bill. Can you relate?

I experimented with a few different programs to help track our money, and nothing seemed to be worth the time I put into organizing everything.

Then, I met YNAB, otherwise known as You Need A Budget. YNAB offered both a transactions register to track all my purchases, AND an actual budget program. I log my purchases (or import them from my bank), and the program deducts it from my budget.  I can customize all the categories, and know exactly WHERE my money was going.

Now, instead of looking at my checking account balance and *hoping* I had enough to pay that bill (but what if the electric company payment posted before the check to the doctor went through?), I KNEW there was enough to pay it.   And, if I went over in one category, I could just move a little money over from another category, no sweat.

If you’d like to give YNAB a whirl, you can download a free trial program for 34 days.  They offer lots of tutorial videos including live webinars, and their customer service is fantastic.  I’ve emailed with questions, and gotten very prompt, friendly responses.   They also offer mobile versions of the program, so you can input transactions on the go.

Have you used YNAB?  I’d love to hear about your experience!

(By the way, this was not a sponsored post.  I just really like them!)


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* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

A Simple Change = Saved $$! (Frugal Friday)

Are you interested in a simple change that will help you save your $$, and produce less paper waste?

Use washrags and small towels instead of paper towels.

I promised it was simple. After you use them, toss the rags into your normal laundry load. Your rags don’t have to be fancy – I use prefold cloth diapers (that weren’t used on the baby) and those have worked wonderfully! You could use cut-up old t-shirts or even scraps from old bath towels.

I’m thrilled to be able to save a little more of my grocery/household budget money just by skipping the paper towels. At around $6/pack, I buy about a pack a month – so that’s $72 a year saved on just paper towels!


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

Frugal Fridays – Eating Organic & Saving Money by Keeping it Simple!

Can I tell you a secret?  Our grocery bill has actually gone down by around $400 since we stopped eating processed foods.   We even added a family member during that time.

I know it can be really difficult to make ends meet sometimes so I want to encourage you that you don’t have to give up (or stay away from!) natural and even organic foods because of the price tag.

What’s the key?

Simplicity

For us, it’s been simplicity.  I no longer load up my grocery cart with packaged chips, cookies, poptarts, and pre-prepared dinners that don’t really nourish us anyway.

I instead buy food as fresh as possible and as local as I can.   I can buy organic eggs, apples, juice, etc because I’m not sinking my dollars into empty calories.

I also pick simple foods that I know my family will eat.  I don’t experiment with recipes much because I’m not a very good cook, and I don’t want to waste ingredients!

Costco has been a great help!  I can buy organic pasta, organic tomato sauces, organic green beans, and snacks there for often a good discount.

Snacks for on-the-go are about the only thing we still buy packaged – we really like the Brothers All-Natural freeze-dried fruit and the Annie’s Bunnies snack.  Those and some cheese sticks make excellent grab-and-go snacks for us.

One thing that definitely costs more but is well worth it for us, is raw milk!   The nutrition and the taste can’t be beat, and we are big milk drinkers.  A big part of my grocery budget goes towards our milk.

Meals

Thankfully, my husband doesn’t expect gourmet meals (because I couldn’t deliver them even if my budget was unlimited! Unless I could hire a cook… now there’s a thought!)    He’s happy with simple too – and he’s even happier now that he realizes how much better he feels NOT eating all the junk!

A few simple meal ideas:

Lunch:  tuna fish sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, dinner leftovers

Dinner: Spaghetti, tacos, quesadillas, crockpot lasagna, taco soup, chicken pasta, & tuna salad.   The Internet gives us an unlimited supply of recipes and meal ideas.  I like Heavenly Homemakers for ideas too.

Meals might be rather boring at our house, but they are both cost-effective and nourishing! 

What are your go-to simple meals?

 

 


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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