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Laura Marie
True Blue Farmgirl

419 Posts

Laura
Rancho Cordova California
USA
419 Posts

Posted - Feb 04 2009 :  6:45:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know there are some post the Alee put up about challenging ourselves to save money, but besides grocery shopping and planning a meal for the family, how are you all cutting corners. I'm not as bad as a lot of people but I'm finding it hard to make ends meet, and I'm not sure what excally it's going to take. I'm ready to put myself on a money diet. I have debt I need to take care of and I have bills that I don't want to turn to debt. So what are you doing to cut corners? What is helping you?
Farm Girl Hugs!


Laura Marie #369
www.lauramariedesign.com

"It's not the size of the farm but the size of your heart!"

Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Feb 04 2009 :  7:09:51 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
We turn down our heat and shut lights off. This actually saves quite a bit each month. We also shop around for insurance rate reductions. If you can cut out a bill like cable or something that helps too. Write down everything that you spend money on each month and really analyze it- Is there a way to get rid of it? (cable etc) a way to reduce it ( heat and electricity) or is it a necessity (food clothing shelter).

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
Please come visit Nora and me on our blog: www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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ddmashayekhi
True Blue Farmgirl

3983 Posts

Dawn
Naperville Illinois
USA
3983 Posts

Posted - Feb 04 2009 :  8:27:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I make my own laundry detergent and cleaning products, use cleaning rags that I can wash over & over instead of paper towels, buy items only on clearance not just on sale (I got a winter coat down from $189 to $19.99!), keep the heat at 67 during the day and 60 at night, turn the lights off when we leave the room, and golly anything else we can think of to save $.

Dawn in IL
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  04:24:24 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, Dawn! The homemade laundry detergent, cleaners and cloth rags are a HUGE savings. My husband and I do no buy anything paper except TP. I might be willing to do cloth TP but I know my husband wouldn't go for it. So we buy bulk in Costco and literally we buy TP on average about once every year. That huge amount of TP lasts a long time!

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
Please come visit Nora and me on our blog: www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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City Chick
True Blue Farmgirl

1194 Posts

Deb
Chicago IL
USA
1194 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  04:35:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We're switching our phone company. It's going to save us $30.00 a month. In the past I've called our cable provider (dh won't cancel it all together) and cancelled our movie channel, which we don't have any longer. I told them I needed to save money on our monthly budget. Since we had been long time subscribers they gave us the introductory special for 12 months! It saved us $20.00 a month for awhile. I suggest calling some companies and seeing what changes can be made to save some $. We did the same with our house & auto insurance.

Besides making my own cleaning products. I've cut way back on my trips to the store. Including the resale shop! GASP! That has been the hardest for me.

I know this won't work for many, it wouldn't for me but my hubby is wonderful about this! We put everything on our credit card then pay it off at the end of each month (in full!) We get 3% cash back from our credit card company. We're waiting for a $200.00 check to arrive. This isn't for leisurely puchases either, it's from food, gas - things of that nature. We're going to be buying them anyway - now we get a "bonus check" for doing it!

http://www.xanga.com/My_Pondering_Place
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ClaireSky
True Blue Farmgirl

1760 Posts

Julie
Arcadia WI
USA
1760 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  04:50:46 AM  Show Profile  Send ClaireSky an AOL message  Send ClaireSky a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
A big savings for me is not having a television. So that means no cable bills. I watch my TV on the internet. Almost anything you watch on the TV you can watch on the internet. That's a savings of at least $50 a month if not more.

Julie
Farmgirl Sister #399
West-Central WI Farmgirls

Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog...Charles F. Doran
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Jeanna
True Blue Farmgirl

267 Posts

Jeanna
Franklin NC
USA
267 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  06:55:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Julie,
Have you heard about hulu.com? I found it the other day. Lots of tv shows are on there and they are all free to watch. There are new ones but also old ones as well. There are a few movies too.

Jeanna
Farmgirl Sister #41

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau
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sherone_13
True Blue Farmgirl

2231 Posts

Sherone
Evanston WY
USA
2231 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  07:32:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have disconnected our landline phone. We have to have cell phones for work, so we decided not to have that extra cost. It has saved us $30 per month. We contacted Dish Network and dropped our program down to local channels only. That bill went from $65.00 to $15.99. We have discontinued On-Star and XM radio in our truck. That saved $40.00 per month. We sold one vehicle. We now have DH's truck and DS car. My company gives me a company vehicle, so I really did not need a car. We used DS car for most trips to town, as it getas better gas mileage. We shop bulk at Sam's Club and that saves alot. We have a pellet stove and pellets are cheaper than propane, so we use the pellet stove alot. We traveled about 100 miles to get pellets, but we usually use that trip to get groceries.

I beleive that frugality is a mind-set. You have to decide to live the lifestyle and almost make a game out of getting the best deal you can possibly get. It really is kinda fun.

Hope this helps!


Sherone
Independent Avon Representative

http://tinytaylorranch.blujay.com
http://taylorscountrystore.blogspot.com/
http://sheronesgarden.tripod.com/
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ClaireSky
True Blue Farmgirl

1760 Posts

Julie
Arcadia WI
USA
1760 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  07:37:33 AM  Show Profile  Send ClaireSky an AOL message  Send ClaireSky a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Jeanna, no I haven't. I am going to check it out right now. Thanks.

Julie
Farmgirl Sister #399
West-Central WI Farmgirls

Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog...Charles F. Doran
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Suzan
True Blue Farmgirl

659 Posts

suzanne
duncannon pa
USA
659 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  07:47:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just look at everything I go to spend money on and think "how can I save on this?" If you get in this mindset you will be surprised at what you find in your daily expenses.
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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6055 Posts

Shirley Jean (Jeannie)
Florida
USA
6055 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  07:51:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We do not rent movies, or pay to go to the movies. We eat all meals at home except for once a week....we do not buy many clothes, and when we do, it is for a good price. I try not to make many online or phone purchases (except for MJF), as that costs shipping. I drive less, and bake my own bread, and cut my own hair. I cut back my only subscription to MJF mag. We are thinking of stopping our newspaper, too.....we grow as many vegetables as we can. I buy less "extra" foods such as snacks, or ice cream. We never buy soft drinks, and only drink water (however, I do buy wine!!!) I keep looking for more ways to really make a difference in our budget. Thankfully, neither my hubby or I have expensive hobbies, nor do we travel much. I always laugh that after all our cutbacks, we sound REALLY boring!

Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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Firemama
True Blue Farmgirl

1731 Posts

Amanda
Medical Lake WA
USA
1731 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  08:37:02 AM  Show Profile  Send Firemama a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I have been really trying to decipher between NEED and WANT. Do I need this, or do I just want it. How much use am I going to get out of it. Another thing if I do NEED something,I look at the thrift first.

Mama to 2
FarmGirl# 20

People can only make you feel inferior with your permission, and you dont have my permission......

Dont let the chain of love end with you.....

http://myfarmdreams.blogspot.com/


Edited by - Firemama on Feb 05 2009 08:37:38 AM
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dutchy
True Blue Farmgirl

4427 Posts



4427 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  09:13:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Never rent movies, never go out to eat. Buy sale and clearance. Make many things myself.Stock up on non perishables when on sale. Paper products I hardly use, yes ofcourse TP, but kitchen towels, hardly. I can go months with a 3 roll pack. No soft drinks, no snacks, just the odd bottle of wine once a month or so.Cheap clothes.
Cat food at the cheapest store, he eats it anyway lol.
No subscriptions to mags or papers, get 5 free each week and that is enough news for me!!
Don't drive a car, go by bike in summer and in winter use the little bus, and that is cheap too, YAY!
Have cable/phone and internet the cheapest way possible, and it IS cheap! Way cheaper than calling on a cell. Heat out at night, and when I am gone all day. At 20C when I am home, put on extra socks and a warm sweater. Lamps that I don't need I shut them off, mostly just have 3 burning. Switch off water when not in use while brushing teeth. Do dishes by hand once a day. Do laundry only when washer is filled up.

Yes I am frugal on most things, so I can go and treat myself once in a while, lol

Hugs from Marian/Dutchy, a farmgirl from the Netherlands :)

My personal blog:
http://just-me-a-dutch-girl.blogspot.com/

Almost daily updates on me and mine :)

Edited by - dutchy on Feb 05 2009 09:17:28 AM
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Mumof3
True Blue Farmgirl

3890 Posts

Karin
Ellenwood GA
USA
3890 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  09:55:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We combined our land line, Internet and digital TV into one tidy bill and saved ourselves $85 a month. Quite a lot, really. As soon as my foot heals from the Attack of the Rigid Pine Cone, I will begin walking to the grocery store. We ahev three, all within a mile from us. Who needs that many grocery stores? But I am getting a shopping cart on wheels so I can carry things home. Best part? I should lose some weight along with saving $$. That's something I can live with. :)We have incorporated a lot of what has already been mentioned and it does help.

Karin

Farmgirl Sister
# 18 :)



www.perfectlittlemiracle.blogspot.com
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babysmama
True Blue Farmgirl

931 Posts

Elizabeth
Iowa
931 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  10:11:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
*We only use a pay as you go cell phone which is about $25 every three months. That is so different than contract phone which can be $30 or more a month.
*No cable for us, that saves us over $20 a month, if we were to have the cheapest plan
*We rarely eat out
*I get my hair cut a couple times a year at the most and if I decide I want highlights I do them myself from a box. I cut hubby's hair and the boys and trim my daughter's hair.
*We buy used cars with cash so no car payments to deal with
*We keep our heat set very low and just wear extra layers if we get cold. We had an energy man come look at our home and he says he sees way too many people complaining about their heating bills but they are walking around their house in t-shirts and shorts! If you can do that your heat is set too high.
*We use the clothesline once the weather is warm enough
*We never turn lights on during the day because the sunlight outside is enough
*We grow a lot of our vegetables in the summer
*I use coupons and stock up on sale items when I run across a good deal
-Elizabeth
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K-Falls Farmgirl
Chapter Leader

2096 Posts

Cheryl
Klamath Falls Oregon
USA
2096 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  10:24:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We cut back on grocery shopping trips, We shop at local stores, Sherms Market has the best prices. We are eating food I canned & froze, not eating out as often. Turning down heat during the nights to 60. Thrift store shopping. Taking day trips instead of long distant ones. Supporting local vendors and businesses.

Cheryl
Farmgirl #309


Almost daily posts at:
http://www.k-fallsfarmgirl.blogspot.com/
Come visit the barn at http://barndoorcreations.blogspot.com/

Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise',
I wash my mouth out with chocolate.
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MustangSuzie
True Blue Farmgirl

634 Posts

Sarah
New London Missouri
USA
634 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  11:23:42 AM  Show Profile  Send MustangSuzie a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I just checked out hulu.com, that is awesome! Free is my way to go. I do pretty much what everyone else does, only maybe a bit more extreme at some things. I don't turn my heat up during the day past 64. We have gotten so used to it that anything above that feels hot. lol At night I turned it down to 55. We garden and can produce during the summer and I stock up on sale things as they happen. Rarely do I shop for a certain list of meals, i just look at what we have and go from there. Sometimes I make my own laundry detergent but haven't gotten it quite right yet. When I buy laundry det I only use half or less of what is recommended. I hang all of my laundry to dry outside when it's warm or windy enough, or I hang it inside where it dries mostly overnight. I clean with Murphy's Oil Soap and vinegar mostly, with exception of some bleach in the toilet. I try never to pay retail price for anything shopping clearance sales, resale shops and yard sales. I find some great things on ebay. I don't mind older if it's well made and made in the U.S.A. I thought that I needed (more like wanted) a big kitchen aid mixer. Someone had given me an older Sunbeam mixmaster that works perfectly a couple of years ago. I didn't know that it had so many attachments you could get like a slicer/shredder, juicer and meat grinder. I read anything and everything about frugal living/saving/debt free living/ etc either online or from the library. In 3 months I will have all of my unsecured debt paid off and in about 3 years I will also have my van and house paid for. That is so exciting to me. Anytime that I have a weak moment and want to go on a spending spree I just think of being totally debt free.

Blessings....
Sarah

www.mustangsuzie.blogspot.com
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Sue Feely
True Blue Farmgirl

1044 Posts

Sue
Buffalo New York
USA
1044 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2009 :  5:27:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
have turned the heat down to about 60 when we are not at home (and put a sweater on the dog and cover her up with one of her blankies)and when we are at home turn up to 65 maybe, then don a cozy fleece! Put an extra blanket on the bed! Get rid of paper towels they are terribly expensive! If you have some time and some goodies laying around your home (like we do) try selling them on e-bay, you can make some money to pay a bill, buy some food or whatever!

Sue Feely
Sister #349
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Shi-anne
True Blue Farmgirl

596 Posts

Cheryl
Ada OK
USA
596 Posts

Posted - Feb 06 2009 :  12:47:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love reading everyone's ideas and many of them we are already doing. But I spend a lot of time thinking about how my Aunt Sula (great-aunt, and she was!) would have done things and how many of the things we now think are necessary, she would have laughed at.

Cable would have been one. She and Uncle John got one station and it was "fuzzy", so they turned the TV off and listened to their news over the radio. You can go about your daily chores and listen to the radio, so it worked better for them than TV anyway.

Any more than 2 or 3 trips to town a month would have been unheard of.....unless you needed a tractor part (that's not including Sundays, but back then a grocery store wouldn't have dared be open on Sunday). For the everyday, you planned ahead.

Whatever was leftover from dinner the night before, became the next day's lunch. No one minded, because it was so good!

There was very little "trash". Everything was used. Somethings, old cardboard either was used to start a fire in the woodstove or laid out between the rows in the garden, raw vegetable scrapes ended up fed to the chickens or in the compost pile, cooked scraps would be added to "feed" for either the cats, dogs, or pigs. She bought very little pre-canned stuff, forget about pre-processed, therefore rarely was there even a empty food can to throw out, but if there was a can, Uncle John grabbed it to sort nuts & bolts, so it went to the shop rather than the burn barrel.

I think the years of over abundance are behind us, but I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. I think we will all be better for returning to a lifestyle of "sanity." I think we will be happier and healthier, and our hearts will be lighter.




Farmgirls don't have hot flashes ~ They have power surges!
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Laura Marie
True Blue Farmgirl

419 Posts

Laura
Rancho Cordova California
USA
419 Posts

Posted - Feb 07 2009 :  8:46:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All of these are great ideas. I've gotten some ideas that I feel like I could use. A lot of it is just having the energy when I get home to do it and to get my fiance on board with me. He knows we need to save, but he comes from a more luxury life style then me and he doesn't see the money he waste...I spent a little extra this last week to stock up on stuff, but I am planning on making some summer tops out of fabric I have laying around, going through my stuff and selling anything that I don't need. I went online and sold a bunch of my old text books, that I haven't even looked at since being out of school. I am trying to stream line everything, it just is taking me a little time to cut back, but I think I'm going to have to just cut it because of the $$$$ Thanks ladies...keep the ideas coming!

Laura Marie #369
www.lauramariedesign.com

"It's not the size of the farm but the size of your heart!"
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katalind
True Blue Farmgirl

177 Posts

Kathy
Chapin SC
USA
177 Posts

Posted - May 24 2010 :  11:52:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I turned down the temp. on my water heater, wash in only cold water, keep the air set on 80 during the summer (use fans mostly), 55 in the winter, and off completely in Autumn and Spring. I don't buy paper towels, instead I use towels. I line dry my clothes when weather permits and only wash clothes when I have enough for a full load. I don't go out to eat, or watch movies, and I use coupons. I try to make most of my cleaning products, but if I do buy I buy only what's on sale plus use a coupon. If I do see something I want that's a want and not a need, I always check out reviews on line first and then find the best price on line, which is usually Amazon.com ,this site has saved me bundles of money.
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katalind
True Blue Farmgirl

177 Posts

Kathy
Chapin SC
USA
177 Posts

Posted - May 24 2010 :  12:01:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've gotten some great ideas on this site but the best one was to think about what your older relatives would have done. So I think that when things get tight we all need to ask ourselves, "What would Grandma and Grandpa have done?" and we'll have our answer. This modern world has spoiled a lot of use but we don't need most of it. If our Grandparents could live without it so can we.
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Beverly Gill
True Blue Farmgirl

1114 Posts

Beverly
Marlborough
USA
1114 Posts

Posted - May 25 2010 :  4:45:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use the inside packaging of a cereal box to wrap leftovers, only use toilet tissue and tissues.....no paper plates or paper towels, empty the garbage from paper bag to plastic bag for garbage pick-up lessens the use of buying plastic bags.....I buy the cheapest, healthiest food products.....no name brands for me....and most important buy used clothes. I add very little detergent to my washer---it doesn't seem to really matter, I wash dishes by hand, just set the dish washer to rinse and dry. Now that may not make sense to you all but I do want to make sure my dishes are as clean as possible. I put the water from washing the dishes in the toilets to clean them.
For a fun... cheap time to enjoy my husband and I go to the library----very relaxing and fulfilling......no spending $$$$ except for gas.

Beverly Gill
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DvilleMama
True Blue Farmgirl

159 Posts

Lyn
Small Town MI
USA
159 Posts

Posted - Jun 05 2010 :  1:10:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Starting to make my own laundry & cleaning products. Looking into homemade personal hygiene products also. A long time ago we switched in the kitchen, the only paper product in the kitchen are paper towels. Other than that, we use real dishes, cloth napkins, dishtowels & rags. I buy produce in-season, preferably from farmer's markets then freeze the extras. We're part of a food co-op where we buy organic whole grains, etc in bulk. The co-op saves from spending shipping fees. This also saves on packaging...less trash to the road, spending less on said trash bags. We don't buy processed foods that come in boxes, cans, etc. Dinner is home cooked from scratch. We've learned to network with local farmers for meat, eggs, fresh milk, for a better, healthier product, costing less than in the stores. Networking keeps us out of the grocery store, saving on impulse shopping. Healthy eating keeps us away from the doctor, saving on medical costs. Line dry our clothes as much as possible instead of using the dryer. I don't drive into town unless I have at least 3 stops to make, saving on gas & wear & tear on the car. Have recently opted for reusable, sustainable feminine hygiene products. Keep lights, ceiling fans & a/c off as much as possible. To sweat a little is good for us- I consider it a mini-detox! We're on the budget plan with our utility company, keeping the bill the same every month for easier budgeting. This year we even got a credit back...don't need to pay utility bill for 2-3 months, when the credit runs out! We don't buy bottled water anymore! Our well water is yucky so we finally invested in a reverse osmosis filtration system. Now, it tastes better than bottled water. I don't buy annual flowers for the flower beds. I get perennial seeds or perennial plants from friends & have my gardens filled up that way. Haven't spent $ on the gardens in years!

Lyn
Rural Mid-Michigan
Farmgirl Sister #1574

Edited by - DvilleMama on Jun 05 2010 2:56:34 PM
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Domestichippie
Farmgirl in Training

16 Posts

Erika
Indianapolis In
USA
16 Posts

Posted - Jun 07 2010 :  07:10:27 AM  Show Profile  Send Domestichippie an AOL message  Reply with Quote
we canceled cable but not internet and got netflix. much cheaper but you get alot more.

Even with the DVR it seemed we never wanted to watch what was on.
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marjean
True Blue Farmgirl

3742 Posts

Marsha
Deltona FL
USA
3742 Posts

Posted - Jun 07 2010 :  09:09:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We only buy gifts for our Anniversary. I make my own gifts for friends and greeting cards. I don't drive anymore so that has cut the gas bill in half. We grow our own organic vege now so that will be a huge savings this year.
I try to make and sell new ideas on my etsy. I've seen something else that gave me a good idea for one of my handiwork items.
I unplug appliances with clocks that saves $20 a month.
I barter whenever possible. I cut out all unnecessary expenses. Combined cable/tv/phone, saved over $100/mo. No more cell phone.
All the changes has saved us over $500 a month.
My goal this year is to not buy until I sell an item on my etsy. So, I don't take out of the budget for anything extra.

Farmgirl sister #308
handmade cards, vintage organizer bags and more at www.jeanpatchbymk.etsy.com
http://jeanpatch.blogspot.com
www.fullerdirect.com
id#0920150
www.watkinsonline.com/rjaramillo
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