Thursday, September 29, 2011

If you Don't Change Your Habits; You are Just Changing Geography

Last night was the first night in the fifth wheel.  Finally there.  We still have a few things to do to get completely out of the house.  Have one more load, sweep, mop, clean carpets and paint our room.  We are trying to get that done by Sunday night.  Wish us luck.

So now that we are there it is time to get to business.  The business of saving money.  When we first came up with this idea I ran it by a lot of people.  The person that I really wanted feed back was my cousin, Kevin.  He said something that just keeps playing over and over in my mind.  "If you don't change your habits, all you have done is change geography."  That was a pretty powerful statement.

Okay, so where to start......
1.  Our biggest drain of money was all the people that we had living with us for free.  Using electricity that they didn't pay for, taking showers, washing clothes with extra wash and rinse and......all the other stuff.  That drain on our wallets is done.  Please don't get me wrong we love our family and we are glad we could help, but it was time.

2. Eating Out - due to our job we tend to eat out a lot.  At least it was easy to blame the job.  There was a time that I cooked and packed a cooler.  We ate better, felt better and saved a lot of money.  I hate to admit it but I just added up the receipts in my wallet.  We spent $649 eating out and getting drinks and snacks at the convience store.  That was over the last two weeks!!!!!  That's nuts.  Goal for the next two weeks to limit our total food bill to $250.  That includes all eating out, drinks, snacks and even Woody's Coffee fix.  Going to get cash and put it in my wallet and when it is gone it is gone.

3. Sliding that little card - Do you know how easy it is to spend money when you slide a little plastic card?  It doesn't matter if it is a credit card or a debit card.  The money just seems to vanish.  We are going to sit down and discuss all swipes of that little card.  We have agreed that neither of us can swipe without talking to the other.  Impulse buying is the biggest drain on the balance on those little cards.  BTW we have no more credit cards.  We have a prepaid card that doesn't charge a monthly fee if there is a direct deposit made to it.  We have part of our paycheck going there and we are building up a balance to be used for an emergency.

It is amazing what you spend when you really sit down and look at it.  We spend $5.25 everytime we get coffee.  Sometimes we go twice a day.  A pound of the same coffee is $9.00.  Allowing for the cream and sugar a cup of coffee made at home is $0.22 and a cup at the coffee shop is $2.62.  That is a $1700 per year savings!!!!!

We are going to work on these for a month and master them.  The next big goal is to quit smoking. That would save us over $1500 a year.

Who would have thought that we spend more on coffee than I do on cigarettes.

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