7 Steps to Better Finances

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Some food for thought….

7 Steps to Better Finances | Life as MOM

I know that you will feel better about your life and your spending if you’ve got your finances under control.

This post is part of a 7-part series to help you get your finances in order. Check out past posts here:

This is Frugal Friday. In an effort to make these weekly financial discussions more interactive, I’m no longer posting a link-up. Feel free to leave a link in the comments. But better yet, chat with us on today’s topic.

Tell us how you’d like to improve your finances.

Original image credit: Niksin used with permission via this license, text has been added. Changes to the photo are not endorsed by the photographer.

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  1. August is the toughest time financially for me. It’s back to school time, about 5 birthdays in this month alone, and this year I have a baby on the way ( who I don’t think will be waiting until her September due date). Would love any financial/ DIY advice that anyone could offer. I’m feeling a bit overwelmed today.

    1. Angela – I totally get that. December is our crazy month…. 2 birthdays, our anniversary, christmas, new years, and the fact that we live so far from family that we travel/fly every other year is a huge expense in itself. I usually give myself a pass on our budget during that month just so I don’t go crazy and then use January as a “reset month”. After celebrating all month long (it feels like) its not that hard to spend a month in which we don’t buy ANYTHING extra and don’t eat out at all. Maybe you need a reset month following your busy hectic month? I totally recommend doing freezer meals for your upcoming little one. Mine is coming in October and I am just starting to put a list together so I can have at least 15 things ready to go – chili, soups, chicken meals frozen in their marinades, homemade waffles (for easy breakfasts), ect. Financially, and taste-bud wise I just don’t want to get stuck eating fast food or frozen pizza until I can get back on my feet in the kitchen lol. Fast food for an entire family gets $$ and is super not healthy 🙁 Hope that helps – thats what I do to kinda handle our hectic month every year. Congrats on your little baby girl coming!!

    2. Don’t despair. That’s point number one. Things are just things. Keeping your family safe and healthy is what matters. Drink some water while you’re reading this. Dehydration is a big cause of preterm labor. 🙂 BTW, Congrats!

      After that, set a budget. Birthdays might be slim or more creative this year. It’s amazing what you can do when you think outside the box. Trim whatever is not really necessary. Is it gifts for birthdays or full blown parties? Avoid the parties if you can. Baby is a good excuse. Have a fun movie night instead.

      Give me more specifics. I can probably dig up stuff from the archives to match it.

      1. my hubby just came home and told me he came up with a doable budget that, provided my baby doesn’t make too early of an arrival, we will have the bills for this month, and next month taken care of. What a relief. God is so good! Wanting to try freezer meals to streamline things. Gifts and cake is usually my budget blowers for birthdays. Hubby is turning 30 & step-daughter turning 13 the next day, trying to see if they can share a cake this year

        1. Isn’t that wonderful?! Do you buy your cakes? I’ve found that I can make one for a lot less and we like the taste better. I have some super yummy buttercream recipes over on Good Cheap Eats.

          1. I make my own and always try to do something different each time. Last year it was brownie sandwhiches lol. Will definitely look up those recipes 🙂

  2. August this year will be hard on my family. 5 of the 7 children will be in school. they will need supplies. School pictures times 5. My oldest is a Senior so this whole school year will be money I am sure with yearbook, senior pictures, cap and gown. My husband has been laid off from work since March and just now this week went back to work so we are playing catch up with our house bills as well. I was use to one budget then had to readjust to another. I pray we get relief soon. I know God has me in His palms and that is the only thing that saves me right now

  3. We have to stop using credit. We always pay it off in full, but then we have no money left (after savings and bills), so we have to keep using it. I justify it by saying that we get points for using our credit card, which is true. 30 to 40 dollars of free groceries every few months help. We have to really work on our food budget. I’m on mat leave now, so when I’m at home I tend to spend more.

    We have an emergency budget which we will have to use – we have a ceiling leak coming from our upstairs bathroom. 🙁

    1. It was that way for us 7 or 8 years ago. Finally we just bit the bullet and stopped the ferris wheel. We didn’t pay it off one month so that we could pay for things in cash. I’d also suggest not funding your savings if you’re carrying credit. Hard to do. VERY hard. Post coming up on that.

  4. We do Dave Ramsey and are on babysteps 4/5/6. We only use cash and it is hard at first but after you take the plunge, it is the best ever. My husband bought my minivan last year with cash – literally. He walked in with $17000 in a brown paper bag. He felt like a super hero.

    We are in the process of re-financing our house to a 15 year loan at 3.5%. We will have a lot more going to principle and cut about 6 years off our mortgage length. Our goal is the have it paid off in 10 years.

    Hang in there for those who are on the journey. I know it is hard but it so worth it to be debt free!

  5. The trick is working full time. I am a poor college student, well to be accurate I just graduated and have a little baby. I look at my budget and things are quite tight. To avoid giving the math breakdown, I spend so much on paying off dumb credit cards I opened when I was young and stupid (isn’t it just criminal banks can hand out credit cards to 18 year olds?), that the high interest and monthly payments actually make up half of my bills every month! It’s crazy!

    The one variable in the budget is definitely groceries and incidentals. That’s the only place I can actually save money.

    The upside is, I NEVER miss a payment. I think what I need to do is “refinance.” The only thing I saved up over the years is a good credit score. I am sure I need to change from high interest credit cards to low interest ones. If that helps me pay off debt quicker, and lowers monthly payments that would help me.