Awesome questions, right?? Here's my answer to Mike:
So in my wallet I have:
1) My Costco AMEX card (for my personal purchases) and
2) Our Master Card credit card (for family budget items). (Click HERE to find the right card for you)
I only have 1 debit card, and that is to my personal “wife checking” account. I, to date, don't know if I've ever used it more than 5 times. We really feel that buying things on a CC offers great benefits. Especially if you are used to using a debit card anyway, it's nice to use a CC to get the security and perks. You could also use prepaid cards, see HERE for a post on that.
We do it this way so we can put EVERY purchase on ONE card (or two cards in our case) and simply use the bank accounts to transfer the money to pay OFF the credit card at the end of the month.
As for the overages, you just need to track your spending well to avoid overages. We never have overages because we put everything on a credit card and pay it off once our paycheck has cleared in our accounts…but I wouldn't recommend CC's if you're having trouble with overspending or over-drafting, because overspending can be really easy with a CC! As long as you are organized and clearly define your budgets, you should be able to avoid overages. Hope that helps!
Thanks for reading,
Here's another question:
Here's my answer:
Here's my answer:
That's a great question. (First of all, to see how I grocery shop to get up to speed, click HERE.) To be honest, Walmart's policy can be pretty open-ended. Ultimately, is up to not only the store manager, but the individual cashier too! (Which can be a bit annoying).
My advice? Print out the policy (HERE), take it with you, hold your ground when you think you rightfully deserve a deal.
But more importantly, YES – each Walmart is different…so just find the Walmart that is the best to work with! Always choose Neighborhood Walmart's rather than Super Walmart's if you have the choice. Why? Super Walmarts are more concerned with their electronics, clothes, toys, and everything else the sell. The food section is NOT their money-maker, so they aren't as familiar with price-matching food many times. Whereas for the neighborhood WM's, food is all they do!
Additionally, once you find a good checker that you like, find out when their typical schedule is and go to them every time. Extreme? NO WAY. It'll make all the difference in the world! Building a rapport with them will make your life so much easier. I know that my favorite gal (Crystal at the Draper, UT Neighborhood Walmart for anyoen who is interested!) works most nights after 8pm so that's when I try to go.
Good luck, and sorry they've given you so much hassle. P.S…I LOVE THE MEXICAN MARKETS! Amazing, right? We have some here too and I love them!
How much do you recommend adding to your family grocery budget per pet? For example, we have two dogs that we want to factor in. I can see it depending on the type of pets, because some pets are more expensive to keep than others. Any ideas? – Anonymous
Here's my answer:
Great question! Here's what I recommend…
You would just need to add up exactly how much you spend on your pet in one month. Do that for 3 consecutive months, then find the average. THAT is what your budget should be.
Really, your regular pet expenses (food, shampoo, poopy bags, treats, etc.) should be included in your grocery/other budget as-is. But, you must be realistic. If you find that your budget isn't enough to include your pets then just increase your budget slightly, but understand that the money will have to but cut from elsewhere, like your entertainment budget for example.
We all love our pets, but it's important to be frugal with pets too! I buy my dog food from Costco, as well as my treats and dog beds (see HERE). Click HERE for other ways we save with our pets! – Jordan
Here's another great question:
Hey Jordan; great ideas and we're going to try some of it this month! A couple questions though;
How do you budget your husband's lunches? Does he just take leftovers or does he have money to buy his own groceries/lunches? We're trying to decide if my husband should have his own grocery limit deducted from our main grocery budget (so since there are 3 of us it would be something like $275 for me and $25 for him…which is only like a dollar a day for his lunch!); or if I get the full $300 a month for groceries and his food budget would be totally separate. Confused about what to do there. He never remembers to take leftovers and he works 40 minutes away from home so it wouldn't be practical for him to take things like milk, lunch meat, etc. to his work, meaning he needs to get his own stuff.
With your 7 budgets, is your Family Emergency Savings the same thing as a 401K? I've read through a lot of comments and haven't seen anything that clarifies that. To us, it seems like pretty much the same thing but we want to make sure we're putting enough away into the various things we should be saving for. Thanks! Jessica
If he wants that money to go toward things OTHER than paying for lunch, then he needs to brown-bag it! That's what my hubby does 99% of the time. He packs leftovers (as seen HERE). He also keeps a bag of Costco frozen burritos in his work freezer in case he forgets to pack a lunch, or in case he has a lunch appointment that cancels.
So, I have looked at all your posts. I am a military wife who knows we send more then necessary! Your tips are interesting I may take on some and branch from them. I live in Guam and unfortunetly price mark ups for produce, meats and dairy are crazy! So this may be tuff for me! I wanted to ask you, if the item is not the best deal in your price notebook do you buy it anyway? I also do my best to be organic which is difficult here and pricer and there are just item we always use I dont know that I would stop buying them just becasue they arent the best deal. What do you do? – Mary
And my answer:
Thanks for your question! Yes, I often times buy items even when they aren't the EXACT price in my price notebook. ]Your price-notebook is a guide to help you notice when there is a great deal, so you can stock up like crazy on it. If the price of the item is MUCH higher than your notebook price, pass on it, don't buy it, and wait for it to go on sale…because it's bound to. You just have to get in the habit of only buying what's on sale and planning your meals around what's on sale during that week/time of year. It's so much easier than you think!!! Good luck! – Jordan
Lots of great questions, right?! Hope you enjoyed. What questions do YOU have?