Babywise Pinterest Day! I am happy to be back participating in the group activities. 🙂 Today everyone who is participating is blogging about budgets and making smart money decisions. Be sure to check out what all the ladies have to say on our pinterest board!
Okay, confession- by the end of being pregnant with the girls we ate a lot of fast food. I mean, a lot. I totally want to blame it on cravings or a hard pregnancy, but sadly that isn’t really the case. It was mainly indulgence and laziness. Now, I don’t feel too bad about this. I mean, this was my last pregnancy (at least that’s the plan for now), so I wanted to live it up while I could. Plus being that preggo with two babies does kind of put a damper on one’s desire to do, well, anything. As much as I love to cook I really just was not feeling it towards the end. I tried to keep it to just the weekends, which helped limit it a bit. It was still more than we should have had.
But it wasn’t just dinners out. Ben and I lived it up the last month by stopping for donuts, or grabbing a bagel before work. We would get the good honey nut cheerios to snack on at the office. And while I was getting those for Ben I would grab some chocolate or chips for myself. (Or both. I know, but come on- twins!) I was able to justify a lot of this that it would be too hard to make stops with 3 kids. And I did let guilt guide me a little bit. I wanted to share as many fun times and treats with Ben before he was no longer an only child. We did have a lot of fun.
The point of all this isn’t to talk about healthy eating, although it was lacking here. The point is that all these little stops for treats only cost a couple of dollars at a time. But if you do it enough, it really adds up! Of course we didn’t go broke or anything from this, but as a family of five instead of three we do need to work harder at saving money. Once the girls were born it was time for a change.
I was right about one thing in all my spending; I knew it would end quickly when the girls were born. We don’t go out as much now. I don’t stop for little treats because it isn’t worth getting all three kids out of the car, especially in the cold. I don’t stop at drive thrus as much either. They just mean more stuff to get out of the car and into the house. Not worth it. In this case my laziness is working for me! 😉 Step one was accomplished though- don’t make it easy on you to spend extra money! It is way too easy to stop and spend a few bucks without even noticing. A quick coffee on the go? It won’t break the bank, but every day it adds up. An easy way to avoid this is by not going out.
I know not everyone wants to have a couple of newborns to prevent them from going into stores or keep them at home. But there are other simple ways to help this out. Can you find a new way to work so you don’t pass temptations? Can you put your purse or wallet in the backseat so it is harder to hit up drive thrus? Can you leave the credit card at home so you aren’t tempted to use it? Find some way to prevent yourself from making that easy decision to stop and grab something yummy to eat. Whatever works for you is good!
Another way I try to stop myself from making bad on the go choices is to have appealing options at home. Even if you don’t change the health quality of your choices, you can be pretty sure that whatever you choose will be cheaper if you get it at the grocery store. I try to anticipate what sort of thing I like to grab on the go, and make a substitution at home. I have a big sweet tooth. So Ben wanting to grab a donut appeals to me too. Instead I have gone back to making us peanut butter bites at home. They are just peanut butter, protein powder, and honey. I think they taste like the inside of a reeses peanut butter cup. They are cheap to make, provide a punch of protein, and they are easy to grab when a sweetness craving hits. I also cold brew some coffee to make my own coffee drinks at home. Granted this one had to wait until after the girls were born (I didn’t want to over caffeinate). But this way I can make a fun drink without having to stop and buy one. Money saved and a little healthier because I can control what goes in it. Pinterest is a wealth of knowledge for how to make almost any treat at home and a little healthier. I highly recommend checking it out!
A final reason to cut out this unnecessary spending is of course the health costs. Stopping for a treat is great, if it really is a treat. And by that I mean a once in a while thing. When it is every day it isn’t a treat, it is just life. I really do try to lead a healthy life, and I also try to model a healthy life for my kids. I did not want Ben eating junk food as a part of his long term diet. Yes, I loved the fun we had and the bonding we did before the girls were born. Now that I have more energy I can focus more on other ways of loving on Ben! We play together, read books, and just cuddle. These are all free ways to show him special attention. I am trying to get him helping me in the kitchen more, which helps encourage healthy habits. The biggest way I have found to cut out unhealthy treats is to just think of my kids. It is easy to make healthy decisions for others. For ourselves, well, it can be harder. So instead of thinking just about what I want I think about what I would want for Ben and what I want him to see me do. Suddenly it doesn’t seem like a good idea to stop for a donut. Sure, sometimes you need a pick me up in the form of a yummy treat. But I want my kids to really see that as a sometimes thing and not turn to food for comfort all the time. Thinking this way keeps me healthier, and keeps that extra money in my pocket.
There it is, three ways to keep your budget in check by cutting out too many treats. It isn’t anything ground breaking, I know. But sometimes it helps to remember that it can be that simple to make a positive change in your life. You don’t have to make your life harder. And sometimes the changes for the better actually make your life easier. I’m going to work hard to keep these positive changes going! Check out what the other ladies have to say at our pinterest page!