Trying to Budget But Keep Our Cleaning Lady

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We have been on a budget since November 1st. We are trying to figure out how much money we can spend and how much we can save for traveling and emergencies. Our original plan was to put back $1000 a month for savings but it looks like that may have been a bit hopeful. I mean, no matter where we live we have four kids to provide for. That sounds like a big savings too but remember airline tickets back home for our family of six will cost $2500 and up!

Our biggest cost besides rent is groceries and gas. Gas prices here are about the same as in Louisville Kentucky. Or at least what it was before we left for Mexico. Right now it’s about $3.50 a gallon, give or take a little. Plus we have a large GMC Yukon Denali that is a gas hog. I love that vehicle though. It’s perfect for our large family and traveling.

And the girls are eating like crazy! It’s definitely increasing our grocery bill. We discontinued their ADHD medicine because it was going to cost us $200 a month and they are no longer in public school, forced to sit in a chair most of the day. $200 is a lot cheaper then the US cost but in the US we had health insurance. It’s probably for the best anyway. They are doing pretty well without it. We are learning to deal with ADHD and work around it. We also started using Vetiver essential oil, Omega 3, and a multi-vitamin as natural methods for controlling ADHD. We watch their eating habits and use the pool as an energy outlet. So less cost for medicine but more cost for food!! The medicine had a bad side-effect of decreasing their appetite. They are growing!!

We made a few changes to our budget to accommodate for the cost of groceries and gas. One of those we tried today. Washing our clothes at the laundromat and then hanging them to dry at home. We figure not using dryers will save us about $45 a month. We also switched laundromats last week. We found one closer to home that is about half the price of the first laundromat we were using.

We also found a cheaper car wash closer to the house. Instead of 70 pesos we now pay only 50 pesos. Not a big difference in dollars but it all adds up. And we decided that Walmart is good for some things but not everything. The local market is where you get the best prices. So we buy our eggs, chicken, fish, hamburger, bacon, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, cheese, honey, and tortillas at the market. So much cheaper then the store and much fresher.

I know you are wondering why we pay for a cleaning lady and a gardener if we want to save money. Well, we have thought about that ourselves. But honestly I would rather hang dry my laundry then give up my cleaning lady. She comes every two weeks for $15 a time. She does all the deep cleaning so that I only have to do spot cleaning in between. It’s awesome and I love it! The gardener costs about $8 a time and he does a fabulous job too. He comes about once a month. I am not buying a lawnmower, hedge-trimmer, weed-eater, rake, shovel, and hand tools for that price.

So that’s where we are today. Live and learn. I even found bagged milk at Walmart that is about half the cost of the container milk I was buying. And it tastes just as good. Hopefully the little things will add up and we will be close to our savings goal with just a few more adjustments and time. Signing off, Tina

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