marriage update: 7 months

In so many ways, as newlyweds, we are immensely rich.

We are rich in our new growing love for each other.
We are rich with the Lord at the center of our marriage.
We are rich with such a caring family around us.

In one other way we aren't as rich, but in reality that is the least important way we can be rich. Even though our bank accounts aren't overflowing, it makes us appreciate all that we really do have. It also helps us to budget and make the most of what the Lord has given us. Here are our 7 tips for a household that may be a little strapped for extra spending money.

Check-over before you check-out
I learned this trick from a girlfriend a few years ago: before you check out, look over what you are about to purchase and take out at least 1 item that you can live without. I am a total culprit of being an impulse buyer. I see something cute, add it to my purchases and before I know it, I'm spending $35 dollars on home decor that I can create myself with a little time on pintrest and the right supplies.

A budget app
My husband and I tried out quite a few different apps to help keep our budget on track. Keeping track on paper just wasn't practical for us since we are on the go so much. We also needed an app that we could both use on our separate phones and after lots of looking we found HomeBudget. The first month or so is free so you can try it out to see if it works for you, but unfortunately it’s a $5.99 charge to buy it. For us {who never buy apps} it was an investment that was well worth the $6 buckaroos. For some of the budget apps we found you had to link it up with your bank account and we didn't feel comfortable with that. With HomeBudget you can just punch in what your accounts have in them instead of giving out your bank access. The app really makes us pause and think about what we are purchasing since we have to record each expense.

Talk about everything
We have made a rule to talk about all big expenses. Anything over $100 we check with the other, This prevents us from splurging on items that aren't really necessary.

Play off credit cards & debt asap
Credit cards are terrible for accruing interest. That is where they really get you. Even though paying them off can take a chunk of your savings, in the long run it will save you money since you won't have to pay all the extra interest on top of your payments. Besides I would much rather use the money we were spending from interest on something fun that my hubby and I can both enjoy!

Buy in bulk
Whether it’s garbage bags or baking supplies, I love to buy in bulk. This is somewhat of a new concept for my hubby considering before we got married he would run to the store about every other day and get a few groceries here and there. I am much more of a make-one-trip-a-week, and make-it-count type of shopper. In the long run it saves more money because you don’t make as many impulse buys, and {as I said before} that is a weakness for B & I.

There are so many resources out there for doing-it-yourself projects. There is everything from recipes for making your own laundry soap & cleaning supplies to countless ways for recycling everyday items. It can be a time consumer, but I can't even count how many times I have heard "Oh, I found this idea on pintrest." You can check out my page here.

Find good deals at the grocery store
We love our trips to ALDI, now don’t judge if you have never been cuz you can find some great deals. I might not get raw meats there, and I’m a little picky when looking at the product but for the most part it’s such a good deal. The popsicles, frozen fish, veggie chips, and pastas are just a few of our faves from there. Another staple store for us is target. I love looking through the Sunday adds and clipping coupons, but I sometimes get annoyed with the hassle of making sure they don't expire and keeping track of which ones I even have. This is why I love target with it's consistently low prices. We still love hitting the grocery stores for their good deals, but don't more frequently make our trips to target & ALDI, and an occasional Trader Joes run.

So there are a few ways we have kept our spending in check. It's a good strengthener for our marriage, and even a fun opportunity to reward ourselves when we come in under budget.

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