The trick to starting early and staying in your budget amount is to keep track of the spending

Then, when you hit x number—-you stop spending. I know this sounds basic—but a lot of times–if you start early and spread it out and don’t keep track—it is easy to spend more that you thought you were.
Also— make a list of all the people you are buying for and x amount of dollars for each.
That way–you spend no more than the allotted amount per person—again–making it easier to stay in the budget.
And me being me—I would also stop before I hit the amount—to give a buffer for last minute extras.


Say my Christmas budget is $500 this year.
I then make a list and have 2 college kids, 4 parents, 2 siblings, their 2 spouses, 2 nephews, and 1 niece.
For spending:
college kids $100 each= $200
Stockings for college kids $20 each= $40
4 parents $10 each (usually buy shared gifts at $20 each) = $40
2 siblings and 2 spouses same as parents= $40
2 nephews $20 each= $40
2 nieces $20 each= $40
Total budget thus far= $400……..leaving $100 for extras, taxes I didn’t include (say a $20 present is $20 before taxes)….or whatever else I want to splurge on.
Just how I do it to keep myself in budget,


P.S. I buy everything on sale—so even though many times my budget for a couple or a nephew is $20–they may be getting a gift valued at $40 or more each.

Call around –

some foresting companies will come in, chop the trees down, haul them away, AND pay you for it.
I found this out when we lived on 10 acres and had a tornado and our insurance agent suggested it.
The only thing is— the above said companies are looking for certain types of trees and enough to make it worth their while.
Just depends on what kind of wood is needed by the company.

Here’s wishing it works for you.

However you come to meet the professionals

through ads or you calling them, let them know up front that you want to barter. That cuts out any confusion down the road. If you’re payment will be part cash and part bartered product that may sweeten it a bit to know there will be at least some cash. They are in business too and have their own vendors & contracted help to pay.

Thinking aloud

What about advertising that you are willing to barter services in this area. With your networks, on line groups etc, place a ad saying that you’re willing to split the profits to some percentage, or barter pork or some other commodity and go from there. This way, people will know up front that this is a bartering agreement from the beginning. Let them come to you if they are interested in the barter agreement.

It’s really nice to see another facilitator here

I really think it depends on the group in the class itself, AND their motivation for being there.

My present class is by far the best one I’ve EVER had. We only had one drop out and the rest have made it to the end. Our dropout is actually working the program on her own, so maybe she’ll be able to continue.

I’ve had classes where I lost half or more, so don’t feel bad about it and cash loans by RT Loans – it really does depend on their wanting to DO IT. I’m terrible in that I generally don’t try to bring them back once they start to wander, but I honestly feel that they HAVE TO WANT to do it and to be there and that there is nothing I can do to instill that in them if it’s not there.

I’ve just learned to accept that it’s not my fault, it’s their choice and to concentrate on the remaining people.

I too, am excited about the new videos coming. Can’t wait until September! I don’t know yet what I think of the 10 week option. I haven’t yet talked to my Ron contact about it, yet. But I do have to wonder if 10 weeks is actually long enough. The majority of my classes are really sad and scared around week 11 and 12 about the program and the forced accountability ending.

Good evening

It’s been discussed quite frequently, that sometimes we can get professional services through bartering for them, rather than paying for them. I have used this approach myself, generally with good results. BUT, I’ve always used it with folks that I already knew really well. I’ve never gone to someone that was a new professional acquaintance, and proposed this idea. Maybe I’m just chicken. But how would you launch a conversation like that, with someone you’ve only just met?
The circumstances here is that we very much want to get our land logged – those trees are dead and dying and coming down on their own with every windstorm. If we do them all now, we can sell the logs and that could earn us some $$$. But there’s a fair amount of money to be paid up front – up to $10K worth. That’s just something we’re not prepared to pay. We have found a foresting company that we think we can work with (our application is rather complicated due to some zoning and roadway issues). I’d like to barter for their services, and/or the services of folks on the crew (the loggers themselves, whom we probably wouldn’t hire directly, the consulting engineer to draft up the land disturbance permits, etc). I’m having a hard time starting that conversation. “Psst, buddy, wanna help us log some land, in trade for some pork?” That just doesn’t sound right. Suggestions?

I thought I had already missed your call

I forgot the call was supposed to be at 3pm CENTRAL. I only caught the last part of it(a co-worker had a computer complaint). I heard Dave say something like, “Those are cool dogs”, but missed the part before that. So I’m listening to this lady talk about how her husband had a disability, so it made it tough for him to work. Then at the end, I hear Mark say, “Ok, Keisha and Pete, blah,blah” I’m like, “KEISHA?!?” Cool!
I’ll have to listen to the archive to hear the whole interview… 🙂

I felt like an idiot

when he started asking me about bulldogs and my husbands disability. I didn’t explain it very well. My hubby has 7 things wrong with his back and neck. I can’t believe I talked to Mark! Serious snoopy dance !!

We have used both Chegg and Amazon

The problem we have had with Chegg is that they retain your CC number AND they are not fastidious about logging in returns. My DD22 was charged $150 to replace a book…which she had returned. She didn’t think she had to keep a receipt of it getting mailed (first time for everything) so there was no way to prove that she had (although they managed to log in all the other books she returned at the same time.)

We would never use Chegg again. It is much simpler to buy from Amazon or the used College book store and sell them back on Amazon.

I think Barnes and Noble is doing a text book rent too…but we’ve never used them.

Obviously, you need to do your budgets on the 40 hour week

If any overtime shows up, that’s a BONUS. But you can’t count on it anymore.
What’s the LOWEST amount you get for your pay? Use that amount for budgeting. Again, anything above that is a bonus to be thrown at whatever step you’re on.
Sounds like your situation changed, and you just didn’t adapt quickly enough. If your bills were $2000 per month and you were making $2200 per month, then you’d have some leeway. If your income has dropped to $1900, then you either need to drop your expenses to $1900, or increase your income by $100 somehow.
Again, it’s all mathematics – they don’t lie.

Ok, well, then I’ve been doing that part correctly

Do you do that every week before payday? I was doing really good with our bills. Had them all down to the dot, and now hubby is down to a strict 40 hours so our income dropped which threw me into a whirlwind.
I took each bill and divide it by 4 (paydays in a month) and I put that amount into a separate account for bills. I have it all wrote down and know what bill has how much $$ for it put back.
I think I am going to start writing it all out on Thursday night and going by his check.
My checks we use for groceries, I get paid every 2 weeks and I never know what I make until the check is depositied.
I’m really stressed out and need to figure this all out, frustrating we were doing so good.