August 13, 2010

Frugal Friday - Budgets and iPhones

So I broke down and did it... I bought an iPhone.  I'm really liking our purchase and it really has made my life easier.  So, the question was asked.  How does someone as frugal as me buy an iPhone?
- I save money in other areas to cover the cost of the data plan
- I saved money until I had it to purchase the phone, I didn't put it on a credit card or roll it into my monthly payments
- I didn't buy the latest and greatest, I went for one step below and this move saved me a ton!

Heath and I recently had to sit down and go through our budget.  I hate this, but with two big school tuitions for the boys and mother's day out for the littlest of the littles, it had to be done.  We follow Dave Ramsey's school of thought, so we have a cash budget and use an envelope system.  There are always places to cut and places that need to be revisited.  For example, when we did the GFCF diet with Stone and Cash, our monthly grocery budget was $550, now it's $350.  That's like making $200!  So, after tithing, savings, mortgage and school tuitions, here's how it all shaped out - for now at least:
- Groceries: $350
- Entertainment/Out-to-eat: $100
- Blow money: $50
- Clothing/gifts: $50
- Cleaning lady: $300 (I know this is not frugal, but remember, necessary - you have to pick your battles)
- Medical: $100
- Utilities (Gas, electric, water/waste, cable/internet/phone): $500
- Car expenses: $160 (we don't have car payments, so this is gas for my car ($100/month) (Heath's is paid for through work-gas and upkeep) and $60 for maintenance expenses that will pop up
- Cell phone: $50

I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't agree with me sharing this much info, but I'm always interested in how others make it work and I thought you might be too.

So, how do you make it work?  Where do you cut and where to do splurge?  There are no right or wrong answers, just whatever works for you!


Uyen said...

Thank you for posting this! I've been telling Colby we spend too much on groceries. If you can feed 4 little ones and 2 adults for $350, then I should be able to feed 4 adults for at least the same price.

I haven't broken down and bought an iphone, but I want to sooo bad!!


Anna said...

We spend a lot on groceries. At least that amount with just the two of us! I like to buy organic, and with both of us working, we buy more 'convenience' foods like TV dinners than are really necessary. We save on clothes - becuase we never buy them! Haha, even for Adam, we have been so blessed with family (and friends, ahem!) to hand them down, that's a huge savings. Sometimes that means not dressing him in what I would pick out, but really, he's a baby. He's cute no matter what!

Allison said...

Makes me want to track our money. We have never really been on a "budget" our mentality was always spend as little as possible :)
I have no idea what we spend on gas/groceries, etc.
We did cut down our cable bill from $38 to very basic for $12 and canceled our home phone a year or so ago. And recently cut out our green waste garbage can since we compost everything anyways. These were ways we could "afford" our iphones. We do use credit but always pay them off- plus you earn rewards (we always save up for the cash option)