My big money saving plan.
I am all laid up and sad with allergies this morning, so I thought i’d alleviate some of my boredom by sharing this money saving list i’ve been putting together in my head this week. Money problems are like herpes, you see one little red spot and pretty soon it’s invited all of its friends to inflame your life (P.S. I do not have herpes [P.P.S. I have nothing against people who have to live with herpes]). I don’t want anyone to think that we’re about to file bankruptcy or that i’m hinting at something (unless you really have like, a grand you’re not using), but the only way for me to not have no extra money is to clearly stop spending so much of it, so this is what i’ve come up with. It’s a set of rules that is guaranteed to save me money, without totally putting a damper on my consumerism.
- No bottled drinks! I mostly drink tea and water, but occasionally I will get a bottle of Vitamin Water or a bottle of Yerba (expensive), and rarely, a soda. If I only get two bottled drinks a week, and they cost $1.50 each, that’s $3 a week.
- $40 a week grocery budget, including the Farmer’s Market. I will go to the ATM every Saturday to get cash for the market like I always do, and that’s my food money. That’s not too restrictive for one person, but it will keep me from nickel and diming my money away on expensive processed foods that I can do without.
- No soy yogurt! Soy yogurt + banana is my breakfast of choice, but the yogurts cost $0.80-1.20 each (they are sometimes on sale), and that adds up if i’m eating one almost every day. This is the only specific food i’m banning from myself, as I rarely buy things like tofurky slices, vegan ice cream, etc. on anything close to a regular basis.
- No new (or new to me) clothes, even if they’re on the clearance rack. I often justify buying new clothes because they’re on sale. I really don’t need new clothes, I haven’t donated any in a long time so I have a glut of clothes. I have jeans in a wide range of sizes, I could gain or lose 10 pounds tomorrow and still not need new pants.
- No dvds, even if they’re only a few bucks. We have a large dvd collection, so large that Brian and I weeded out over 50 movies and t.v. shows and I still barely have room for them. So not only do I not have the spare money, I really don’t have the space. We never buy t.v. shows on dvd brand new, but even on sale that’s still $15-25 per set. And I have plenty of t.v. shows to watch! This got tested hardcore today, as Amazon has the Daria series for $27. But I remained strong.
- Remembering the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’. I need food, pet food, and Chester’s pills (he’s currently ingesting about $40 a month in liver and thyroid supplements) and some gas money. I do not need sports headphones, new cookbooks, or to go out to dinner.
That might sound very un-fun, but part of the reason for making up these rules for myself is so I have money for other things. Like going to the $5 movies (saw Machete last night), and throwing my underbums at going to see Ted Leo at the end of the month.
That’s all I can think of, but if anyone has any other suggestions of things that you probably don’t think drain your wallet but do, let me know.