What makes the world go round?Posted: September 25, 2006
My answer: gravity
Other people would say money.
So as you may be aware, Brent and I have a plan to live debt-free. This plan is TOUGH especially with things like a WEDDING (which has unexpected expenses popping up), Thanksgiving at our house, Christmas and Renewal of Insurance coming up. YIKES.
Our biggest success so far (in the 2 weeks we’ve been living on a budget) is in the grocery department. We have allotted ourselves $40/week for all food. First we thought it would be difficult but it really isn’t. We’ve come in under budget both weeks and have been eating just as well as before. The trick is to plan your meals ahead of time. Our method is to plan dinners for the whole week and pick up those items at the store first (bring a calculator!). Each meal I make usually has enough leftovers for the next day’s lunch for the two of us so that alone makes 2 meals a day. Then with whatever money is left over, we pick up things like fruit and oatmeal etc for breakfasts and snacks.
We keep the left over money from each week (oh yeah, we really only bring the allotted $40 in cash to the store so we don’t try and go over) in an envelope to use for special holiday meals that are likely to cost us a little over our budget.
Becuase of this, we have also stopped going out to dinner at restaurants unless somebody want’s to pony up their personal spending money for it (we have alotted ourselves each $10 a week so that’s not bloody likely)
After bills and mortgage, EVERYTHING goes to paying off the highest interest credit card (although minimum payments are still being made on the others) so that it get’s paid quickly. Then we systematically pay them all off. Obviously this means that we are not supposed to use them in this time, which might be difficult for example, for Brent who needs to take random business trips and pay for them untill he gets a reimbursement from his work about a month later.
Assuming we don’t get raises, tax returns or cash wedding gifts, this will take us approximately 2 years to accomplish (not really counting the line of credit OH MY). In my experience, things always work out somehow and money I wasn’t expecting shows up to save the day.
I’m estimating that collectively, not including the mortgage, we are about $20 000 in dept (including the line of credit). Anyways, I’m generally number-phobic but to me this seems pretty manageable as long as we stick with it.
Do you have any money-saving / debt-reducing tips?