So I realize I was a little vague on the last post about our spending habits. Basically, I have decided that we need to make a real effort to be putting more towards debt, and the three easiest areas to do that are in going out/fun money, misc expenses, and food.
Our going out money is probably the easiest one to monitor, but not the easiest to break habits. We both love going out to eat on the weekends or going to bar with friends, but some weekends we spend over $100 on going out to one or two places. So our going out costs us some months over $400 and there is no way that can continue. The solution? Well, their are several:
1.We are planning to have people over more for game nights, movies, just sit around and watch the dogs be foolish, and so on. Most of the time, this just costs us buying a little extra food and cleaning the house, which we need to do anyway.
2. We are going to start doing more activities with Roxie. Her favorite thing to do is go for a long walk and with my recent quest to become more active, we really need to utilize the 15+ miles of trails that we have just minutes away from us.
3. In case anyone hasn't noticed, St. Louis is a great city for free/almost free activities. We are really going to start taking advantage of those, including our library cards. I love buying new books, but that expense can really start to add up.
4. We are going to make the effort to see more family and friends. We really need to do this anyway, some of our family thinks we are dead. With family, this will only cost us just a little gas money and will usually come with a free meal. :) With friends, it is going to be easy to get sucked into spending money by going out, so we are going to try to be prepared by making a plan beforehand. I will do a lot of, "I can make the BBQ chicken you love if you want to make those yummy cheesy potatoes, and we will bring over that board game you guys like."
5. We are going to utilize things we already pay for, like the 100s of movies on cable, our Blockbuster online membership, and the 100s of DVDs and video games we own. Really why did we buy these if we don't use them?
We are still budgeting $100 a month (not including the cable and Blockbuster membership) for ourselves though, because it is totally impractical for us to stop our normal activities cold turkey. Plus, this money will come in handy for those almost free activities.
I am sure some of these solutions are common sense to most of my readers. I am hoping the next two sections on misc and food really give some tips that spark some ideas of your own.