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Monday, August 30, 2010

Reader Questions Post!

Here is another post where I answer reader questions!

Dear Liz,
Do you really think that making your own cleaning products and laundry detergent is a good use of your time? I can get a lot of that stuff practically for free by combining sales with coupons.

I don't make my own soaps and cleaning products just to be frugal. I also do it to avoid having harmful chemicals in my house! I actually started making my own laundry detergent as a way of reducing my allergies. After that, it just made sense to see what else I could make! And let's face it, making your own laundry soap and bathroom cleaner is fun!

Dear Liz,
Don't you worry that your homemade cleaning products aren't getting things clean? Maybe you should buy lysol or something, just for your toilet and kitchen sink!

This is a tough one, because I don't really know if there are tons of harmful bacteria living in my house. I guess if they are, they aren't doing anything. I've been making my own cleaning products for like 3 years, and we hardly ever get sick. I think the key is to just not let the microbes build up in the first place. I scour my kitchen every day, and my bathroom at least every week. Also, I don't prepare any meat anymore, so salmonella and other harmful diseases probably don't get a chance to multiply on my counters and sink.

Dear Liz,
I'm trying to be more frugal, but it seems like I'm always backsliding! How do you stay on track and stick to your budget?

Okay, first of all, everyone backslides! In fact, I backslid just this month! I don't even know where all of my money went. All I do know, is my budgeted cash ran out like 4 days ago. I had to go to the bank and take money out of savings to cover the deficit. The important thing is to make sure you have some savings, so that if you do overspend, you won't have to rely on credit cards, or just do without essentials. My plan next month is to try to be stricter with my budgeted money to hopefully make up what I overspent.
That being said, I do have a budget plan that I normally stick too. I stay within my budget by taking out a specific amount of cash every week and then dividing it up into different envelopes. I put $50 in the grocery envelope, $40 in the gas envelope, $10 in my babysitter envelope, $25 in my lawn care envelope, and $30 in my miscellaneous envelope. Once the money is gone, it's gone. Sticking to the cash system can be difficult, especially since I don't have a ton of cash to work with, but it's helped me to stay within my budget and not run through my savings, or go into debt during these lean times.

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