Monday, June 11, 2012

My Austerity Measures

I mentioned recently that my place of employment has taken a major funding cut, but I've also noticed that since I started working there, I just haven't been able to get ahead financially.  Yes, I am making less money that I was when I was working three jobs and more hours a week, but I also cut back on the amount of gas I was using and made other small changes that don't seem to have added up like they should have.  Put it this way, when I look at my monthly budgets, I should be able to save some money, and it seems like I never am.

Even though I am taking a couple vacations this summer (more on that later), I am going to enact some austerity measures that will hopefully allow me to sock away a bit more cash.

  1. No more races.  I have three 1/2 marathons coming up, and I am not allowing myself to register for any more.  Every summer I go through this need to register for as many races as possible, and I am bringing the hammer down!  I have plenty to look forward to, and I can choose to run 13.1 miles on my own for FREE.
  2. No more clothes.  Seriously, self, you have enough clothes.  Quit being a dumbass and thinking you have to have a new dress/capri pants/insert other article of summer clothing.  From now on, I'm shopping the closet and that is good enough for me.
  3. No more overpaying on student loans.  I have tremendous student loan guilt.  My number eats away at me, but I need to accept that there is no point in re-diverting all my disposable income toward loan that will be forgiven in less than ten years.  Yes, I hate the sight of the principle amount rising; yes I keep thinking that if I just sent another $100 it would make a difference, but I know that's not the case.  I need to put that money into my retirement fund because no one is going to take care of me when I start falling apart and can't work anymore.
  4. Reign in grocery spending.  I don't know why the hell our grocery bills have been so high, but it needs to stop.  I need to be more organized about packing a lunch for work (I haven't been going out for lunch, but I've gotten a bit lazy on this front i.e. same lunch every day), and I need to just spend and eat less and stop going to the fancy grocery store.  Plus, I've already paid for my farm share, I need to eat it!
  5. No restaurants unless we have a Gift Certificate or Groupon.  We have a ton of both of these things, and there have been a plethora of nearby restaurant Groupons lately.  Plus, we're going to be on vacation for a while, and we really don't eat out all that much.
  6. No more thinking--I need that!  This will be tough, mostly because it's so vague, but I need to re-remind myself that there is actually nothing that I need. Obviously, there are things that I want and things that would make my life more convenient, but very little I need.   I noticed these feeling ramp up because I've been a bit busy over the last couple weeks.  Getting busy means that I start feeling out of control and it makes me spend.  What I need, is to put money in savings, I do not need stuff.
  7. Cut Back on Booze.  This gives me the sads because I love beer, but we spent a lot of money on booze last month (we hosted a fancy cocktail hour), so this month is going to be cheap local beer and boxed sangria--less of both.  Thankfully, I prefer cheap stuff and that boxed sangria comes in a five liter container!  Value!
  8. No more Gym Membership.  I mailed in my 'I want to quit the gym' letter the other day, now I'm just waiting for Bally to start with the excuses as to why they don't want to give me my money back.  But I will fight!!  Oh, I will fight.  I also realized that there have been tons of Groupons lately for sporty endeavors, so many that I could just buy those instead of a traditional gym membership.  There was one a little while ago for spin class at fancy gym right near my house, but I skipped it because I already had spin class at gym  I'm currently paying for.  Recently though, I've been thinking I kind of want to try this Cross Fit thing that it seems everyone is talking about.  Lo and behold, I found a Groupon for 88% off.  New strategy + no contract.
We'll see if this works, but if I can stick to these rules, I should be on the road to savings.

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