The other day I (gasp!!) canceled my cell phone contract. It was up for renewal, and each month it's been a sore spot in our budget. So I canceled it and am so happy I did. I guess for the last few thousand years the human race has somehow managed to get along without cell phones, so I'll be in good company.
This was not a "have to" kind of elimination of our budget, it was a "it's the right thing to do" for us sort of thing to do for our budget. We've taken the Financial Peace class from Dave Ramsey and it is good stuff! Now to really get it all into practice :).
Using coupons has helped immensely! However deep down, even without using coupons, I still believe (and Dave contends) that using a cash budget is the real key to financial peace. He's right. Using cash has been something I have struggled with for years. I'll do great for awhile... then fall right off the wagon. Coupons have helped us to not run to the store for dishsoap (because I have about six in the pantry right now that I got for about .39 each) and to grab something quick for an impromptu dinner when we feel like "treating ourselves" (there's ton of canned soup available now (usually for .10-.40 per can; I rarely purchased it before because we primarily make everything homemade).
The goal is to build up a savings account and in the process, eliminate two debts that we have. Thank goodness we don't have any car payments and we don't have a credit card anymore (I still can't quite believe that!!). But we do have a HEL leftover from remodeling our house and my student loan. So we'll keep trudging on, and keep trying using a cash budget in the meantime. We'll probably never have the perfect financial life, and that's okay with us. Our children go to a small private Catholic school and it's worth it in other areas of our lives to cut down to make their schooling a priority. So wish me luck as I do the grocery shopping tomorrow on a cash-only basis, I'll need all the help I can get!
P.S. I sold my phone to Gazelle for 14.00! Nothing like making money when you save money!