I’ve been known to be a bit of a complainer about my family's financial situation.
With my husband out of work and my freelance income in constant flux, my household exists in a permanent state of financial anxiety.
At least we're in good company: it seems like all our friends are in similar straits, though some folks just seem to have a can-do attitude about money management. We're all scrimping and saving, but not everyone has the desperate, fearful attitude that marks my interactions with the cost of living.
One thing I have done to reduce anxiety a bit is to ramp up my bargain shopping. I'm afraid of food-borne illness and passionate about ethical farming, so I still buy meat at Whole Foods--but I no longer get chicken breasts, only thighs (much cheaper!), and I buy in bulk.
(We talked about whether buying organic is worth it more in this story.)
My other shopping is parceled out among the stores that are cheapest: diapers, wipes, milk, eggs from Costco, weekly specials (organized with their new smartphone app) from Safeway, flour from the restaurant-supply store or Trader Joe's. I keep a constantly updated list that tells me where things are cheapest.
Basically, I ease my anxiety by shifting my obsessing to a specific, hobby-like activity.
Turns out, lots of other moms have systems in place to help keep them sane throughout the year, too. We've rounded up ten of the best ideas we've heard.
(P.S. Those are my kids in the photo above! They're pretty happy all the time.)
To view the slides in one long list, click into the slideshow and select "list view."
Tell us--what are your money secrets that keep you and your family happy?