A Teacher’s Day In The Life (16): The Budget, Month Three

I am finally getting the hang of this a little bit!  The Good Budget app and I are still not really friends, unfortunately.  However, I’ve been checking our accounts more often, and I’ve been more open with David about our spending and where our money is going.

Where I feel I’ve really made some strides is with our groceries.  I’ve learned my original budget for food was off by about $75.  We need about $275 a month for groceries.  I was able to reallocate some of the money we were spending on David’s phone bill to our groceries because he took his iPad off the account, so it all worked out just fine.

 

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I’ve been using Ibotta and Ebates more and more, now that I’ve made a habit of checking the apps once I’ve made my grocery/household lists.  If you’re unfamiliar with these apps, basically you either purchase items and then scan the barcode and receipt through the app or go through the app to other apps or sites you’d normally use to buy household items, etc. in order to make your purchases.  They don’t save us money up front, but we get money back.  It’s a nice way to save up for Christmas or the baby/toddler clothes we always seem to need.

Speaking of Christmas, I’ve found some ways to save that I wanted to share.  With such a tight budget, we won’t be spending much this year.  However, David and I have been thinking about what to get the girls since Lily’s birthday in June, so I’ve been able to keep an eye out for sales and slowly procure gifts.

As teachers, you can sign up for a million different rewards programs.  I highly recommend finding ones you’re interested in, of course, but I would also just sign up for the program Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store offers.  You might not be into crafting – that’s okay!  Jo-Ann’s partners with Shutterfly, so you’ll get offers for free Shutterfly products!  All you pay for is shipping.  I just ordered an art print and a calendar courtesy of Jo-Ann’s.  Merry Christmas, mother-in-law!

The other app I use to keep an eye out for awesome sales is Zulily.  Now, Zulily can be tricky because there are no returns.  You have to make sure you’re actually getting a good product for a good price, so check out the product on Amazon before clicking PLACE ORDER.  The other downside to Zulily is they take forever to ship.  They’re honest about this.  It says the estimated ship time on the product page (It’s usually 10-14 days.), but it really feels like you’re waiting ten years for your package.  I guess I’ve been spoiled by Amazon Prime.  All that being said, I have found some awesome deals on clothes, baby gear, and toys on Zulily.

I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but my advice would be to have a plan before you get lost down a rabbit hole of offers and today-only sales.  It can be super easy to spend way more than you were intending.  It’s super easy to over-spend during the holidays period.  I hope these tiny tips help.  They’ve been working for me so far!