Of course, I have a few small-ish project that I plan on getting to before we move, such as re-staining our kitchen table and perhaps repainting the thrift-store bargain hutch that we bought recently. However, our bigger focus right now is saving money to a) have a bigger down-payment for our new car that we pick up in 2 weeks; b) to make sure that we have something to fall back on in case any unexpected costs come up when finalizing the purchase of our new house, and c) hopefully saving up enough to head to Europe this summer. (Yes, I am aware that we are a bit crazy).
Some of the ways that we have been saving money lately are the following:
- Spending money on only the necessities (food, house and car expenses and other monthly bills)
- Joe has been buying his beer by using money from the monk*.
- We have stopped going out for dinner and eat-in instead. (We were getting into the habit of going out for dinner about once a week to feed my green curry addiction.)
- We have resisted the urge to make any impulse buys and only buy necessities.
- We haven't been going thrifting as much. You might think thrifting doesn't cost much...but I'm sure it adds up, even if you're only buying small items.
- We walk instead of driving whenever possible.
- We have been using up cans and dried goods and frozen foods that we already have.
- Using up gift cards (you get many of these at Christmas as a teacher) and gift certificates (we went to the movies the other night using some gift certificates) when we want to go out on a date.
- Doing free things like skating at the city hall rink, going for long walks on local trails, spending time with family/friends etc.
I must say it hasn't been a big change from our norm. We tend to live pretty frugally, but now that we're budgeting a little differently I realize how often I did spend money here and there. We're lucky to be living in such a great location that walking is usually an option, and almost everything we need is close by.
*What is the monk, you ask? Well... he is a horrendous monk-shaped cookie jar that Joe bought at a thrift store, that says "thou shalt not steal" on it. This is where Joe throws all of his leftover change.