Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Buy Nothing October - Saving Tactics

We've been having a little personal Buy Nothing October to cut back our spending and, hopefully, save up a little for the holidays this year.

Now, to be clear, it's not like we aren't buying anything - my youngest child's birthday is this month, so I budgeted a certain amount for those gifts, but I've been trying to cut out extraneous purchases.

This last year has been chock full of expenses. We had a lot of car maintenance expenses on our 14-year-old vehicle, replaced quite a few single pane windows in our basement, got a new roof and refinanced our home. We paid for all of these out of our checking/savings and didn't finance anything. And that was on purpose.

The plan was to save the $500 a month we are saving from refinancing to recoup the closing costs and other expenses, but we just haven't really achieved that. Other monthly expenses have crept up and we haven't really been strict about "binge" buys.

So, I've been really trying to crack down on that this month and hope to continue through next month. My husband really likes going out to coffee so we haven't stopped doing that, just reduced what we buy when we do so (only coffee, no treats). And, we otherwise aren't eating out. At all. Which is pretty normal for us anyway but we've been ordering out a lot over the summer.

One of the techniques that we've employed is to create Christmas lists for ourselves on Amazon and, whenever we feel like we want to buy something, we put the item on our respective Christmas lists to be ignored for a couple months. Most likely the urge will pass and if, after two months, we are still dying for those purchases, they'll get budgeted into our Christmas gifts. So far it's working.

Another tactic I'm using is recording all our expenses and watching our credit card closely to keep us on track. That way, if we start falling back into old habits, it's easier to correct sooner rather than later.

What are your favorite ways to avoid overspending money?

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