I was watching a show last night, The Clark Howard Show, and I saw this lady who went on a financial fast. The very thought of this is a little terrifying to me because I like new things, eating out and well - flat out I like to buy what I like. Now-that being said, my husband has a great job, pays well, and has amazing benefits. We are very fortunate to have everything we need and want, a new house, news cars and eat very well.
I am somewhat ashamed to say that we have too much. We could live with one car, we could live in an apartment, we could live without new wardrobes every season. After all people are starving, and living homeless all around this great city. With that being said, I am going to radically transform our finances all while helping others.
In a previous post you would have noted that I also have jumped on the coupon wagon-WAY before the coupon TV show. I follow a few other bloggers that post deals that are free to cheap every week, and although I don't use a lot of those products, and honestly I don't want them cluttering up my house there is no reason to not "buy" those products and give them away. I do this around Christmas but there is no reason I cannot give all year. So, I will be coupon all the free things I can get each week and making a monthly donation to my local food bank/homeless shelter. I challenge you all to do the same, make a small difference and change the world.
Also, with this radical financial overhaul I am changing how much I spend on groceries each week. I have been spending around 50 dollars a week, around is the key word. I make a very detailed list and budget each week - taking full advantage of Walmart's new price matching policy. However, if I see something I want that is not on the list, I think twice but I can always talk myself into it. After all, we can afford it so why not? I hate when food goes bad and I hate not having enough food, so it will be a fine balance. I will also try to make one trip per week, this will cut down on last minute purchases and other non-essential costs.
The cost that I am currently negotiating are:
Cable - If you call, you will most likely get a better deal. Just don't fall for last minute upgrades, or contracts!
Internet - For me this goes hand in hand with cable. It was actually cheaper to bundle together, but we can down grade the amount of speed we have, and save 20 bucks per month.
The items/luxuries I am cutting out completely are...take a deep breath...
Clothes for myself - now I say for myself because I have plenty of clothes - actually I am getting rid of a lot. My husband however has a job that may require additional clothes for travel, meetings, etc.
Magazines/books - I do not buy a lot of new books or magazines, I would estimate about 1 every other month. With each magazines costing about 5 dollars, that's 30 dollars a year. May not seem like a lot, but every bit I can throw towards savings, or a loan is great.
Eating out - this is the kicker for me. I LOVE food, I LOVE wine. I love the fellowship that comes with it. However, trying to feed 2 people for 50 dollars a week while eating at home looks a lot more appealing then spending 100 on one dinner out. Plus, I will learn to make all these great dishes at home.
With all the saving we are going to be doing, here is were the extra money will be going.
Car loan. My husband and I bought a new Jeep last year and still owe 10,000.00 on it. That number makes me shiver. So, we are hoping to have at least 5,000.00 paid off by December. That is 3 months away. EEK.
Savings. We want to up our savings by 5,000.00 by December.
This seems about impossible to me because the word Budget has never been in my vocabulary. Never. I am dedicated to paying of and saving the last 6 months of this year. I am not willing to give my money away to creditors just to borrow money. So we are paying it off years in advance! Go us!
Have any ideas on how to save money? Please Share!