Tuesday, 16 September 2014

show me the money

I want to make a change.  One that requires quite a bit of money.  (How is that for being vague?  I am not talking surgery of any sort.  In fact, it would be a temporary change, but one that I think is well worth the money it would require.)

So this means that for the next year, or possibly longer, I need to live as cheaply as possible.  Interesting timing, given that I am less than one year into a new mortgage.  Even more interesting considering that I already live quite cheaply on a day-to-day basis.

My car is paid for.  I eat out only a few times each month.  I don't have any extravagant hobbies.  I've been watching Til Debt Do Us Part for years and live off of cash, using a system very similar to Gail's jars.

Regardless, I still need to find a few more places to cut costs.

I do have a weakness for shopping.  Usually I deal with this by simply not going to the mall.  It is pretty much a given that if I do go to pick something up, I will end up seeing a scarf, necklace, or shirt that I fall in love with and buy without hesitation.  In reality, I have very little need for any type of clothes at this point.  So, impromptu shopping is out.

Cut my cable?  Perhaps.  I am almost down to just the basic package now, but there is still one "entertainment" add-on that could go.  Restaurants will officially be for special occasions only, and good-bye $6 cocktails, hello water.

Grocery shopping is an area where I oddly spend a lot more money than I should.  I rarely get through all of the food I buy before something is going bad, and this is awful for more than one reason.  More diligent meal planning will hopefully help.  Can I become a couponer?  Not sure I have that in me, but I can always try.

Truth be told, I have been considering buying a new car, but that plan has been scrapped.  I will need to put a bit of money into my current car, but that should end up buying me at least three more years without a new car payment, so I'm okay with that trade-off.

I have two trips coming up in the next year.  Both of which are basically bought and paid for, other than our food and entertainment - I'll have to be smart about those.

Beyond those things, I am at somewhat of a loss.  I don't think I have much/anything to sell.  I have a pretty lame (and cheap) cellphone plan.  The hours/obligations of my job don't really leave room for a second one.

Welcome to my new frugal life.

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